Can Books Boost My Brain Power?

Can Books Boost My Brain Power?

When was the last time you experienced “being lost in a book,” the phenomenon of being immersed in a brand new world? In reading, there are no beginners, amateurs or pros: whether your shelves at home are overflowing with novels, you’ve started a few audiobooks, or you haven’t picked up a book in years, anyone can enjoy a story at their own pace. And here’s the best part: when made into a consistent hobby, reading contributes to great health and uplifted well-being in many ways.

It may sound like fiction, but here are the facts:

When you read, your brain delights.

According to Healthline, the way your brain functions while reading is like an exercise—sort of like lifting weights, the more you read, the stronger your brain gets. This exercise doesn’t just pay off while you’re deep in a book; reading enhances memory and hones decision-making skills, which makes reading the perfect hobby for older adults—or anyone—who wants to sharpen their cognition as they age. Books also aid in the relief of stress and depression. In fact, just 30 minutes of reading soothes any stress symptoms just as well as yoga or humor can.

When you listen, your mind opens.

Don’t let anyone tell you “audiobooks are cheating,” or “you have to read a book to truly understand it,” because a study done by the Journal of Neuroscience concluded that listening to versus reading a novel stimulate the same areas of the brain! Audiobooks can improve literary skills, particularly in children and teenagers, but anyone is able to reap the rewarding benefits of amplified language comprehension and new additions to their vocabulary. Listening to audiobooks before bed can also improve your sleep, helping you nod off without the eye strain of reading from an e-reader.

When you focus, your world expands.

In short, reading boosts empathy, thus allowing you to better understand and relate to the people around you. The long answer: literacy has massive impacts on society, enabling people to resist and reduce inequalities, bring positive change to their and their children’s lives, and inspire them to take an active stance in their communities. Reading a book about a topic that challenges you may grant you the ability to see things from a new perspective, and the more your own point of view expands, the more accepting your mind—and our society—becomes.

Book Lover’s Day is recognized as an annual and unofficial holiday on August 9. Next time you open a book, remember the gifts you’re giving yourself: a sharpened mind, better understanding skills, better sleep and perhaps even a better life. That’s truly something to celebrate!

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