The Benefits of Reading

Reading is very beneficial, both physically and psychologically. These benefits go from improved brain connectivity, greater empathy, and a more extensive vocabulary.

Reading can strengthen the brain by making a specific network stronger. Research has proved that reading involves a complex network made up of circuits and signals. This network gets more robust and more developed as your reading ability matures. According to Healthline, “researchers used functional MRI scans to measure the effect of reading a novel on the brain. Study participants read the novel “Pompeii” over nine days. As tension built in the story, more and more areas of the brain lit up with activity.” Throughout the reading period and days after, there was an increase in brain connectivity. This is especially true for the part of the brain that responds to physical sensations. Physical sensations include pain, which involves another benefit.

People who read fiction show a more extraordinary ability to understand others’ feelings and beliefs. According to Healthline, “Researchers call this ability the ‘theory of mind,’ a set of skills essential for building, navigating, and maintaining social relationships.” Long-term fiction readers tend to have a better-developed theory of mind, while a single session of reading fiction isn’t likely to spark it.

The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. According to Healthline, this is the sum of the Mathew effect that is “a term that refers to biblical verse Matthew 13:12: ‘Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.’” It has been found that students, starting at a young age, who read books regularly develop large vocabularies over time. This vocabulary size can affect scores on standardized tests to college admissions and job opportunities.

While the above are benefits of reading, there are still more of them. There are nine benefits listed on Healthline.


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