Book reading is an essential component of cognitive and social development for children and adolescents. Reading a lot is associated with things that might be expected, such as larger vocabularies, better comprehension, and stronger writing ability. But reading also opens up the world to the reader, increasing children’s knowledge about how things work, the history of the world, and the nature of social relationships. Reading helps students to focus for longer periods of time and to persist in other academic tasks. In short, reading is a fundamental skill--a building block of other important processes.