You always knew reading was a good thing to do, right?
Did you know that scientific studies are released on a regular basis confirming the benefit of reading? Many of these are specifically aimed at young children and their development, but there are also studies that look at how reading helps older people too.
Here are a few of the benefits we call all take away from sitting down with a good book or magazine.
Reading reduces the risk and/or progression of dementia
Studies have shown that staying mentally active can reduce the risk of dementia and slow it’s progression in those who are affected. The brain responds to being exercised by staying strong and healthy.
Reading improves vocabulary
This one is obvious. New words you read will most likely make their way into your vocabulary, and because you read them in context you will generally be able to define their meaning without recourse to a dictionary.
Reading leads to better writing skills
This relates directly to the point above. The more you read, the more you will understand how the written word works. This applies not only to creative or professional writing, but also to a simple email or note.
Reading improves knowledge
Every time you read you are learning. Maybe it’s only something small, but it’s still something. I aced my year seven history class mainly because I’d read an historically accurate novel about William the Conqueror and I knew his life in detail.
Reading reduces stress
Reading a great novel can take you away to another place, and an absorbing article can distract you, and a biography will show you a whole different life, all of which gives you a break from the stresses of the world around you.
Reading helps you get better sleep
This one links to the reduction of stress. Reading before you go to sleep gives your mind and body a chance to unwind and relax, leading to better sleep habits.
Reading helps improves memory
When you read a book or article you need to remember what you have read so that the rest of the story makes sense. People, places, and events all need to be stored in your memory for recall at the necessary time. This is more brain exercise.
So next time you pick up a book, you’re not only experiencing the simple pleasure of reading, you are improving your health and exercising your brain.
Sounds like a good reason to read more! I'm off to tackle my to-be-read pile...
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All about my writing life: news, research, books I've read, and more.