Why You Should Be Reading a Book

Why You Should Be Reading a Book

I know with all of our busy college schedules that finding time for anything else is almost nonexistent, but taking time out of the day to read a book just for 30-45 minutes a day can provide some important health benefits.

According to Psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano at the New School for Social Research in New York from the ZME Science article, reading literary fiction enhances the ability to detect and read other people. “Deep reading” forces your break to think critically and make connections between the page to the outside world. Your mind is literally forging new pathways between the different regions of the brain. This is a crucial skill in navigating complex social relationships.

2. Reading can make you more empathic in real life.

According to a study done in 2013 by Netherlands researchers, students who read books showed increased empathy over the students who only read news articles. Those students actually showed a decline in empathy. For this to work, the reader must be fully engrossed in the story otherwise empathy would decrease. The results from the Author Recognition Test (common measure of exposure to well-known literature) also showed a correlation between fiction knowledge and empathy test scores. From a study in 2013 that Emory University reported, they found that reading actually makes you visualize the story, and that you start the feel the emotions in the book.

3. Reading helps you later in life.

According to a study an article in The Medical Journal of the American Academy of Neurology, people who read continuously throughout their lifetime displayed better memory and mental abilities in all the different stages of life. Other studies done found that people who read regularly were less likely to develop diseases relating to brain cell decay. It fuels cognitive reserve which is the brain’s ability to adapt to damage. According to an article from Yale School of Public Health in 2016, people who read for as little as 30 minutes a day over the course of several years were living an average of two years longer than their peers who didn't read at all.

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