“Five Reasons Why Reading Books is Good for you” – this story in the World Economic Forum caught my eye on line and I wanted to share its glad tidings with you:
Reason #1: Readers of all backgrounds live longer than those who don’t according to a study by Yale University. “Book reading contributed to a survival advantage that was significantly greater than that observed for reading newspapers or magazines,” the study’s researchers wrote. Why? Deep reading promotes empathy and emotional intelligence – key survival skills. “Compared to non-book readers, book readers had a 23-month survival advantage,” they noted. Well, that’s good news!
Reason #2: The four-in-ten Americans read only print books may be onto something. Some studies suggest that students absorb more information from paper than from screens. One study in Norway showed students who read texts in print scored better on reading comprehension tests than students who read digitally. There’s also evidence that readers in general may not grasp complex or length material in digital format.
Reason #3: Reading helps develop adaptive skills. Evidence suggests that being immersed in an environment that values books and makes them easily available boosts educational achievement. One study shows that growing up with a home library enhances not only adult literacy, but also numerical ability and technological problem solving. Skills like these are increasingly important as younger generations enter what’s being called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” World Economic Forum research shows demand shifting to softer skills that can be fostered via reading.
Reason #4: Along with improving emotional and cognitive intelligence, reading also broadens vocabulary. One Oxford University Press study found evidence of a major word gap in UK schools, which could hold back the educational progression of some children. No surprise here! “Reading aloud, discussion about reading, and independent reading experiences at school and at home can encourage vocabulary growth,” the report noted.
Reason #5: Keeping your mind supple and engaged can reduce the risk of brain drain according to the Alzheimer’s Society. It advocates finding something you like doing that challenges your brain and doing it regularly like reading “challenging books. “Regularly challenging yourself mentally seems to build up the brain’s ability to cope with disease,” according to the Society’s website. “One way to think about it is ‘Use it or lose it’.”
OK, now we know what we writers all knew already: Reading keeps you younger, smarter, stronger, and sharper — whatever your background or age. So now, we’re not only writing because we love it, were on a mission to help our readers live longer, more satisfying lives. Let’s keep this in mind as we all write on!
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