Reading Is Good for Your Brain

2018_05 keep calm and love reading

Scientific studies have found that reading is good for you.

Reading fiction helps you be more open-minded. The same brain regions are activated when you experience something in real life as when you get into the heads of characters and imagine walking in their shoes.

Reading protects against cognitive decline. “Use it or lose it” applies to your thinking ability. Reading is exercise for your brain.

Print vs. Electronic?

Some scientists believe that reading off of paper likely results in better retention of the material than does reading off a monitor. I have certainly found that to be true. When I have an unfamiliar and/or difficult thing I want to learn, I always opt for print-outs or books. I have often thought it was because I learn better when I can underline and make marks in the margins.

And these physical acts may indeed help with understanding and retention. These same scientists suggest there’s another factor, which is that when you hold a book in your hands, you make unconscious associations with where words are on the paper. Your memory of the material includes where you read it on the page — top or bottom, left or right on the page — as well as how far into the book you are according to how many pages are in your right versus left hand. They say these landmarks help you remember the information.

Successful people are often readers.

For example, former President George W. Bush is a prolific reader. The Left liked to portray this president as an incurious, unread dolt. But during just two years of his time in the White House — when one might think a president was too busy to read anything other than reports and briefings — “Dubya” read 186 books. Karl Rove wrote in 2008, “In the 35 years I’ve known George W. Bush, he’s always had a book nearby.” This was in addition to his habit of daily Bible reading.

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