Everyone has different views on why and when reading is good for you but there are eight undeniable facts that everyone should know. I have listed them below with some basic information about why.
- It increases intelligence – A children’s books expose kids to 50% more words than prime time TV. Also, children who read are better able to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgement.
- It can boost your brain power – When you read you have to remember a lot of things (including different characters, the main plot and subplots). All of these things create new memories, meaning new synapses being created and old ones being strengthened. Therefore, your short-term memory and recall capabilities improve.
- Can make you more empathetic – Science published research by David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano, showing that literary fiction has the power to help its readers understand what others are thinking by reading other people’s emotions. The impact is more significant on those who read literary fiction as opposed to those who read nonfiction.
- Reading can help you relax – A 2009 study by Sussex University researchers found that reading may reduce stress by as much as 68%. David Lewis, a cognitive nueropsychologist told The Telegraph “It really doesn’t matter what you read, by losing yourself in a throughly engrossing book you can escape from he worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring a world of the author’s imagination.”
- Reading before bed can help you sleep – If used as part of a bedtime ritual, it can send signals to the body its time to wind down and go to sleep. However, this only applies to real books, as screens like ebooks and tablets can actually keep you awake longer.
- Reading is contagious – 75% of parents wish their children would read more for fun. How do you encourage this? Start by reading out loud at home, and don’t stop when your child learns to read for themselves. A report from Scholastic suggests that reading out loud to kids throughout elementary school years may inspire them to become frequent readers. More than 40% of frequent readers (aged 6-10) were read to out loud at home, but only 13% were not.
- Improves your health – Studies with elderly patients have shown that is decreases mental decline by 32% and that you are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Another study showed that depressed patients in a mental health ward showed positive improvement when they read stories out loud.
- Reading improves motivation – Reasearch has found that those who read about characters doing something are more likely to actually do it in real life. Meaning your more motivated to do something you have concerns about (like asking for a raise, or go mountain climbing).