Some good reasons not to stop reading literature:
“Gregory Currie, a professor of philosophy at the University of Nottingham, recently argued in the New York Times that we ought not to claim that literature improves us as people, because there is no “compelling evidence that suggests that people are morally or socially better for reading Tolstoy” or other great books.
Actually, there is such evidence. Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, reported in studies published in 2006 and 2009 that individuals who often read fiction appear to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and view the world from their perspective… A 2010 study by Mar found a similar result in young children: the more stories they had read to them, the keener their “theory of mind,” or mental model of other people’s intentions.”
Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/06/03/why-we-should-read-literature/
“The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) [Dr Morteza Dehghani, et al. at the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC], is a first for neuroscience…
The study suggests that exposure to narrative storytelling can have a widespread effect on triggering better self-awareness and empathy for others, regardless of the language of origin of the person exposed to it.”
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4952658/Reading-makes-feel-empathy-others.html
But this study has a caveat:
“While children’s book are often brightly coloured and stuffed with pictures, new research has found they could actually be making it harder for children to learn to read.
University of Sussex psychologists have shown that having more than one illustration per page results in poorer word learning among pre-schoolers.”
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4655838/Childs-reading-books-ONE-picture-page.html
So keep on reading to yourself and your children, but try to find books that don’t overdo it on the picture side!