As a publishing house inside of SAS, we often hear: “Does anyone want to read books anymore?” Especially technical programmers who are “too busy” to read. About a quarter of American adults (24%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form. In addition, leisure reading is at an all-time low in the US. However, we know that as literacy expansion throughout the world has grown, it has also helped reduce inequalities across and within countries. Over the years many articles have been published about how books will soon become endangered species, but can we let that happen when we know the important role books play in education?
At SAS, curiosity and life-long learning are part of our culture. All employees are encouraged to grow their skill set and never stop learning! While different people do have different preferred learning styles, statistics show that reading is critical to the development of life-long learners, something we agree with at SAS Press:
- In a study completed at Yale University, Researchers studied 3,635 people older than 50 and found that those who read books for 30 minutes daily lived an average of 23 months longer than nonreaders or magazine readers. The study stated that the practice of reading books creates a cognitive engagement that improves a host of different things including vocabulary, cognitive skills, and concentration. Reading can also affect empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence, which all help people stay on the planet longer.
- Vocabulary is notoriously resistant to aging, and having a vast one, according to researchers from Spain’s University of Santiago de Compostela, can significantly delay the manifestation of mental decline. When a research team at the university analyzed vocabulary test scores of more than 300 volunteers ages 50 and older, they found that participants with the lowest scores were between three and four times more at risk of cognitive decay than participants with the highest scores.
- One international study of long-term economic trends among nations found that, along with math and science, “reading performance is strongly and significantly related to economic growth.”
Putting life-long learning into practice
Knowing the importance that reading plays, not only in adult life-long learning with books, SAS has been working hard to improve reading proficiency in young learners — which often ties directly to the number of books in the home, the number of times parents read to young learners, and the amount adults around them read themselves.
High-quality Pre-K lays the foundation for third-grade reading proficiency which is critical to future success in a knowledge-driven economy. — Dr. Jim Goodnight
With all the research pointing to why reading is so important to improving your vocabulary and mental fortitude, it seems only telling that learning SAS through our example-driven, in-depth books would prove natural.
So to celebrate #endangeredspecies day and help save what some call an “endangered species,” let’s think about:
- What SAS books have you promised yourself you would read this year?
- What SAS books will you read to continue your journey as a life-long learner?
- What book do you think will get you to the next level of your SAS journey?
Let us know in the comments, what SAS book improved your love of SAS and took you on a life-long learner journey?
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About SAS: Education Outreach
About SAS: Reading Proficiency
Poor reading skills stymie children and the N.C. economy by Dr. Jim Goodnight
Do books count as endangered species? was published on SAS Users.