If you haven't been to the Tyler Public Library lately, here's some incentive to head that way.  There's a big advantage to growing up around books, and it sticks with us for life.  But is it the tangible copies or the digital ones?

If your childhood memories involve as many books as GI Joe figurines, you're probably really smart and successful today.  Researchers figured out that those of us who grew up in an environment that included lots of books on the shelf perform better in school and in careers down the road.

Home libraries with 10 to 20 books give kids a boost in school that will turn into higher reading, math, and technological skills. And it's not just here in East Texas.  They looked at 31 countries across the globe to figure out that reading-driven abilities not only help achieve high scores in school, and reading also lays the groundwork that makes us want to pursue other activities that stretch our minds later on.

So if you read to your kids at night, you're doing them a solid.  And if you soak up murder mysteries and suspense novels in the recliner every evening, research shows you'll be a wise ole bird as you get up there in years too.

It's the impact of the tangible books that they know for sure will last for life.  The jury is still out on how the impact will change with the rise of digital books and consuming books on screens.  In my observation, its sort of hard to stay interested in a digital book because I've got the urge to fiddle with other things on my device while I'm there.  It's a choppy read on a device, and a much smoother read with more concentration when I'm actually holding it and turning the pages.

No matter which way you go, the Tyler Public Library can hook you up.  They've got a big digital collection and plenty of books on the shelves too.  And a family book sale is coming up October 17 through 21, with stacks and stacks of books for sale to help us build up the home shelves.

Reading always makes us feel smarter, and now we know it's the truth.  The best part is, we don't have to read an academic journal or something else that's over our heads to get the benefits.  Just read!  And the smarts will follow.