There are more and more articles about the therapeutic value of reading. I think these articles have merit. My gut says that schools with reading cultures also promote mindfulness and empathy in students.
In “Read Slowly to Benefit Your Brain and Cut Stress,” Jeanne Whalen reports on a “slow reading movement” that is growing among adults. Instead of book clubs that discuss books that are read at home, more people are joining book clubs where silent communal reading is the goal.
There’s the controversy, of course, about whether e-readers are allowed. Ms. Whalen does a good job of distinguishing between distraction-prone devices (like tablets with wifi) vs. E Ink devices, where reading is the norm.
“Once a week, members of a Wellington, New Zealand, book club arrive at a cafe, grab a drink and shut off their cellphones. Then they sink into cozy chairs and read in silence for an hour.”