The positive impact of vinyl records and physical books

Remember going to record stores and poring through vinyl albums? Or maybe you’re of an age where a record store is now a rare, independently-owned grand experiment?

Whatever the case, you could physically pick up the album, look at its art and maybe read some liner notes. You might give a sideways glance to the browser next to you, seeing if what they were looking at was cool.

Then there are physical books. Volumes that take up space on a bookshelf showing their value just by the mere fact you wish to display them or have them within easy reach to read them again -- like visiting with an old friend.

For all kids, physical books in the home provide significant academic advantages.  But, for disadvantaged kids, research shows that when there are few books in the home, more books make a big difference. Comparatively, when a home is filled with books, a few more don’t have as much impact.

Were you raised in a home surrounded by books and vinyl? If so, what kind of impression have they had on you? As an adult, do you still buy physical books and LPs? If you were raised in a home with few books, what kind of influence have books had on you?


Teddy Wayne, author of the recent New York Times article, “Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves

Mariah Evans, professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Nevada and lead author of the study, "Scholarly Culture and Academic Performance in 42 Nations"