Minimalism and decluttering are topics which seem to be popping up more and more frequently. There’s lots of advice out there about rolling your tshirts or giving away things that you don’t need. Sure, making sure everything has its place is important; and many people will find less toys means more play, because they’re accessible. But there’s one way in which decluttering can go too far . . . and that’s with books.
A recent study found that when controlling for every factor, almost all reading ability in children came down to genetics. If parents were good readers, their children would be too; and vice versa. There was only one environmental factor that made a difference; the number of books present in the house.
(nb: bears no resemblance to state of bookshelves in my own home)
Children who lived in houses with lots of books were better readers, even if they didn’t win the genetic lottery. Not only were they better readers, but they ended up better educated, too.
So whatever you do, don’t decide to throw out the books in order to make your house seem less cluttered, or more minimalist. They need those books!
Here are some links to the research; there are a few studies out there, if you look for them.