This is a stunning finding because it means that students who get off to a fast start in reading are more likely to read more over the years, and, furthermore, this very act of reading can help children compensate for modest levels of cognitive ability by building their vocabulary and general knowledge. In other words, ability is not the only variable that counts in the development of intellectual functioning. Those who read a lot will enhance their verbal intelligence; that is, reading will make them smarter.
More evidence to support a big push for simply getting kids noses into books. If you don't want to read the whole article (because you'd rather watch 24 reruns) Martha Brockenbrough has a brief summary at MSN Encarta.