You’ve probably been told all your life to read. From your parents to your teachers, they always insisted that reading a book was “good for you.” Well, they were right, but not just because of the information you were learning. Turns out, reading has real, psychological benefits that changes the way our brains, and by extension, we, function.
Reading taps into several parts of our brain, all working in concert to understand a written text. Quite literally. Even as you read this sentence, your brain is deciphering the symbols on your screen into an actual, understandable concept. It’s how we know the letters r-e-a-d spell out “read” and that “read” means a specific action. But by performing that action repeatedly, we’re improving the way those different parts of the brain work together, improving connectivity and helping our brains work better, and faster.
Our attention spans increase
Reading is a real workout for the brain, taking serious time and effort. A novel has a beginning, middle, and end that encourages your brain to take its time and absorb the information instead of rushing through each detail.
We become more empathetic
When you pick up a novel, you’re placing yourself in the shoes of the protagonist, connecting you to the characters and imagining the events in your mind. As a result, you’re improving your ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions.
Reading improves our memory
As previously said, reading is a workout that exercises several parts of the brain at once, more so than watching a movie and listening to music can. Part of the brain that gets a workout is the area for memory and thinking skills. Some research even suggests that reading can slow down the rate of memory deterioration, especially helpful for those suffering with dementia.
We’ve laid out some of the reasons why you should be reading, but for some, the act of reading can be a challenge. If that’s the case, contact Dr. Mazza. As a reading specialist located in Garden City, NY, she can develop individualized lessons to help you or your child crack open that next great novel.