Report: “Paper Books Linked to Stronger Readers in an International Study”
An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study across approximately 30 countries found that teens who said they most often read paper books scored considerably higher on a 2018 reading test taken by 15-year-olds compared to teens who said they rarely or never read books. Even among students of similar socioeconomic backgrounds, those who read books in a paper format scored a whopping 49 points higher on the Program for International Student Assessment, known as PISA. That’s equal to almost 2.5 years of learning. By comparison, students who tended to read books more often on digital devices scored only 15 points higher than students who rarely read – a difference of less than a year’s worth of learning.
In other words, all reading is good, but reading on paper is linked to vastly superior achievement outcomes.
OECD researchers are most worried about poorer students. Low-income students made huge strides in access to digital technology well before the pandemic. Ninety-four percent of students from low-income families across 26 developed nations had access to the internet at home in 2018, up from 75 percent in 2009. “While disadvantaged students are catching up in terms of access to digital resources, their access to cultural capital like paper books at home has diminished,” the OECD report noted.
As one gap closes, another one opens.
Note: The OECD Report Cited in the Article Above is Available Online: Does the Digital World Open Up an Increasing Divide in Access to Print Books?
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.