Reading practices play an important role in the learning process of students. Especially in a fast-changing world where knowledge about nature and society is in a constant state of flux, book reading helps students foster skills such as thinking, valuing, adaptability and creativity for sustainable development. This research study used a dataset of 1676 observations of junior high school students from northern vietnam to explore students’ academic achievement and its association with their reading passion, family socio economic condition, parental education and occupational aspiration. The empirical results show that higher grades in stem-related subjects are predicted by reading interest (readbook = 0.425, P < 0.0001), With students who love reading books achieve higher score than those who take no interest in books. Remarkably, the education level of the mother strongly enhances academic performance, with = 0.721 (P < 0.0001) In cases of mother having a university diploma or higher. Students coming from wealthy families are more likely to buy books whereas borrowing from the library is the main source of books for students who grow up in not-rich families. However, even among wealthy families, investment into buying books still rely more on personal interest, despite the aforementioned educational benefits of book reading, as evidenced by an over 7 percentage point disparity between the likelihood of purchasing books among wealthy-family students who took an interest in reading (45%) versus students of the same background who did not like to read (38.7%). The results present implications for education policy making with a vision towards united nations’ sustainable development goal 4: quality education. 2019 By the authors.