Reading is good but reading quality stuff is better, magazines and websites present everyday concepts with regular vocabulary which makes for valuable reading practice but interesting, innovative material makes the reader push themselves and develop their cognition.
Students who engaged in reading high-quality books daily scored much higher in tests than those who chose to read items such as magazines a study of 43,000 students in the United Kingdom showed.
Griffith University's Beryl Exley, Professor of English Curriculum & Literacies Education in the School of Education and Professional Studies says, "Story books and information books usually present academic concepts with a more technical vocabulary in an abstract way. This is what grows cognitive capacity.
"That's not to say that comics, newspapers and magazine don't ever focus on academic concepts, but it's less likely that will happen.
“Children still should be encouraged to read comics, newspapers and magazines for pleasure, to add to their general knowledge and to be politically aware. Breadth of reading opportunities is the goal."
Associate Professor Michael Nagel from the University of the Sunshine Coast adds, "This study resonates with a growing corpus of literature suggesting that reading paper based books offers a distinct advantage for achieving excellent standards of literacy and higher academic achievement.
"Aside from a range of issues associated with reading on screens, and an oft held sacred cow suggesting that children should be offered anything to read just as long as they are reading, this study links with others that have identified that children prefer to read books on paper rather than screens and that academic success is linked to developing a rich understanding of complex text through books over the school years.
"This is not to say that children should be discouraged from other types of reading but that books should be at the forefront of such endeavour. Reading, and reading comprehension, are not general skills and both are nurtured through incrementally complex text in age appropriate books over the course of a child's life and educational journey."
Image by Scott Rettberg under flicr cc attribution license