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[Susan notes: On target.]

Submitted to Time Magazine but not published

To the editor

Edison was a reader

Thomas Edison had little formal schooling but was a "relentless autodidact" and profited from reading books in his father's home library as well as the Detroit public library ("The electrifying Edison," July 5).

Edison's case is consistent with research: Creativity researcher Dean Keith Simonton has concluded that "omnivorous reading in childhood and adolescence correlates positively with ultimate adult success" and a number of studies show that those who read more have superior literacy development and more knowledge of a wide variety of subjects.

If this is so, why are we allowing funding for public and school libraries to decline? Access to quality school and public libraries, staffed with professional librarians, is especially important as poverty increases, and fewer families and fewer children have extensive home libraries.

source: Simonton, D.K. 1988. Scientific Genius: A Psychology of Science. Cambridge University Press, p. 111.

Stephen Krashen

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