The impact of literature
Literature proposes itself to from personalities. It takes action directly upon intellect and soul, enhances proficiencies and vision, defines us as individuals and as a nation.
Reading is the cognitive process of deriving meaning from written or printed text. Although reading print text is now an important way for the general population to access information, this has not always been the case. With some exceptions, only a small percentage of the population in many countries were considered literate before the Industrial Revolution. Rates of reading include reading for memorization (fewer than 100 words per minute (wpm)), reading for learning (100–200 wpm), reading for comprehension (200–400 wpm), and skimming (400–700 wpm). Reading for comprehension is the essence of most people’s daily reading. Skimming is sometimes useful for processing larger quantities of text superficially at a much lower level of comprehension (below 50%).
Studies have shown that American children who learn to read by the third grade are less likely to end up in prison, drop out of school, or take drugs. Adults who read literature on a regular basis are nearly three times as likely to attend a performing arts event, almost four times as likely to visit an art museum, more than two-and-a-half times as likely to do volunteer or charity work, and over one-and-a-half times as likely to participate in sporting activities. Literacy rates in the United States are also more highly correlated to weekly earnings than IQ. Reading books is generally regarded as being a relaxing past-time, while at the same time it requires the brain to process text so it can be stimulated. Because of this it is sometimes considered to cause at least a temporary increase in one's mental faculties. Independent reading builds fluency.
There is substantial evidence that unless students can accurately and effortlessly deal with the word-identification demands of reading, difficulties will result in comprehension and overall reading achievement. There is also evidence that unless children read substantial amounts of print, their reading will remain laborious and limited in effectiveness. Finally, evidence exists which shows that when students do read substantial amounts of text, their reading performance improves. One of the best-established relationships in the field of reading is the very significant relationship between vocabulary development and achievement in reading.
There is also evidence which shows that independent reading is probably the major source of vocabulary acquisition beyond the beginning stages of learning to read. This same research shows that while the probability of acquiring the meaning of any specific word simply through reading it in the context in which it appears in independent reading materials is not high, students who read widely can learn the meanings of thousands of new words each year. Another extremely well-established research finding is that students' reading ability is dramatically influenced by the amount of interrelated information (schema) they have about the topic about which they are reading. By reading widely, students are exposed to diverse topics and information which they can then use in future reading. It has been known for a while how children learn to read and the foundational milestones they must achieve to become fluent and accomplished readers. But now we are seeing that the amount of print children are exposed to has profound cognitive consequences, and that the act of reading itself serves to increase the achievement differences among children.
Research has shown that early success at reading is clearly one of the keys that unlock a lifetime of reading habits. We now understand that children who crack the spelling to sound code early appear to enter something like a positive feedback loop, a reciprocal effect in which reading increases their ability to read.
This may explain the Matthew Effect seen so often in literacy development, a rich-get richer and poor-get-poorer phenomenon that has early and efficient acquisition of reading skill yielding faster rates of growth not only in reading achievement but other cognitive skills as well (Stanovich 1986; Walberg & Tsai 1983). We believe that independent reading may help explain the widening achievement disparities between the educational haves and have-nots. It is one thing to speculate how differences in reading volume may have specific cognitive consequences and another to demonstrate that these effects are occurring. All of our studies have demonstrated that reading a lot is effective regardless of the level of a child’s cognitive and reading ability. We do not have to wait for “prerequisite” abilities to be in place before encouraging students’ free reading. Even the student with limited reading and comprehension skills will build vocabulary and thinking skills through reading.
Moreover, in our research we have observed the large and unique contribution independent, out-of-school reading makes toward reading ability, aspects of verbal intelligence, and general knowledge about the world (Cunningham & Stanovich 1990, 1991, 1997; Stanovich 1993, 2000; Stanovich & Cunningham 1992, 1993; Stanovich & West 1989). We have found that there are specific effects of reading volume that do not simply result from the higher cognitive abilities and skills of the more avid reader.
This is an encouraging message for principals to give teachers of low-achieving students. Since reading has such profound consequences, it is imperative that we do not deny reading experiences to precisely those students whose verbal abilities most need bolstering. If we want them to get a successful early start for reading ability, it is critical that we support their extensive engagement with print.
The statistics show how even we, the Romanians, “slay” our culture: 36% among us didn’t read a book in the last 3 months, 19% began one, and 17% reached the performance of the second one. We are interested less in literature and reading in comparison with other European states, whereas in France, a teenager with the same age reads on an average 50 books a year. As for the rest, the role models we choose in life are only 1.7% - people of culture, preferring de TV stars – 30%. As a response, we notice a drawback of the number of scholastic libraries with 328 in 2006 in comparison with 2005. “The soul’s food”, as it is surnamed, rather induces “nausea”. Romania occupied the 36 place in 45 in a competition which concerned children performances at reading. As a proof stands the fact that a quarter from the 10 years old children don’t have at home more than 10 suitable books for his age. This way, our frequency in the libraries, is disgraceful: 42% of the pupils studying in theoretical types of schools enter one once a month and 27% of those in vocational schools, sometimes by chance.