It’s always nice to learn there are proven benefits to a beloved hobby, and given all reading does for us, it seems like this is a hobby very much worth cultivating.
Reading is reading, right? To an extent, yes. Reading of any kind requires you to make connections, but a book with chapters—as opposed to, say, a newspaper article—generally requires more memory and increased critical thinking. This kind of work creates new neural pathways between regions of your brain, and that can lead to quicker thinking. So, reading something short and simple won’t necessarily be as beneficial as something that requires a deeper, longer read.
The type of reading you do, the kind of book you read, and whether you hold a physical book or an e-reader in your hands can all affect your brain in different ways. This holds true for audiobooks as well: While research shows audio books stimulate the brain similarly to paper books, listening doesn’t require quite the same effort because there’s a voice providing the rhythm, sound, accents, emphasis, and more. When you read, on the other hand, it’s up to you to piece all of that together. An audiobook is a great option for times when you can’t have your eyes on a page. You might even find that having a compelling audiobook cued up is a great incentive to go for a walk or hit the gym! But to get the complete brain benefit of being a bookworm, make sure to keep real books (or at least digital versions) on hand.
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Benefits of reading
- It’s like exercise for your brain
- It can help you relax
- It boosts creativity
- It increases self-confidence
- It can make you more empathetic
- It makes downtime more enjoyable
Read more in detail about the benefits mentioned above.
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