I think I will talk about parenting, at least a bit, at Donna's suggestion.
On our first day of class in Children's Literature in 1975, we were assured that children who were read to were better readers. I have seen that claim repeatedly over the years, but this is a classic example of correlation versus causation. People who read out loud to their children a lot are different from those who read to their children a little are different from those who don't read to their children at all. Even though it intuitively seems right that reading to children will help them learn to read earlier, faster, better, there isn't actually any evidence for this. It would be hard to test in a way that removed the genetic element. Adoptees, perhaps. I don't think that work has been done.
Then why do it, if there's no guarantee it's going to make your child a better reader?
Because it's fun. It's one of those things that builds a family culture, something that people do together. Singing in the car may not make your child a musician, cycling together may not make her an athlete. We hope that all of our actions contribute to our child's development, education, character, because part of the fun of parenting is watching little things grow. But being a family is an end in itself. Reading aloud is an end in itself.