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Any Connection Between Reading Books And Making Money?

26 March 2011 No Comment

The variety of tests conducted over the years to study the effects of reading are staggering . Most times these studies were to show a connection between intelligence and reading books, using such indicators as IQ. But a recent study was done to determine if there was a connection between reading and income.

Before discussing the results of the study, the merits of the study should be reviewed. One preliminary problem I see with the foundations of the study is that in general, a child in a higher income family will likely read more books. Of course other recent studies have shown that children from higher income families are more likely to stay in the higher income than a child coming from a lower income family .

So to study a connection between books read and income may be similar to a study of household incomes for black and Latino populations in America. Because blacks and Latinos have been poor they have stayed poor with a lack of opportunity for either education or enterprise; and that cycle will continue until forcibly broken by increased opportunity. The increased availability of discount books online has the potential to be a bombshell for such under-served communities, but only if a wave of investment follows. 

Another potential bedrock problem with the study is that it is, for ease of computing results, using the number of books as the gauge. Instead of finding more value in one book or another, they are simply saying all books are equal and that 100 books is always 100 books regardless of content. Obviously, this is not a genuine way to calculate knowledge gained as 1 physics book is easily worth 100 of the latest novel from your discount book club in knowledge gained. 

With the merits discussed, the results aren’t much of a surprise nor are they very convincing of any real truth. The study found that children who read more books made more money; or more specifically had higher incomes. It didn’t necessarily account for break out enterprise, and seems to be more focused on the holding of a job over long periods of time. This is another problem with the study; it focuses on highly predictable, non risky job holding. Small business owners regularly will make nothing for 2-5 years before getting “over the top” and then finally having a strong income generator.

So will reading books make you more money? Will you become the next millionaire just by picking up a bunch of discount college text books? I think we can all agree that it depends on the books you read, and the knowledge that you are able to pull from them; not your ability to roll facts off your tongue.

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