What Reading Does for Your Brain

This week, I wanted to talk about something a little different from my past posts. A couple of semesters ago, I decided to take Psychology 101 during my awesome days at community college. I learned a lot of very cool things in that class, but the one thing that has always stuck with me is how reading is basically amazing for the brain.

This ABC article does a great job of explaining what I mean, but basically reading is new to humans. Well, relatively new. Humans only developed reading as a skill 5,000 years ago. That’s pretty new if you look at the how long we have been around.

The brain is so cool. Like, honestly. The human brain is astonishing, and it is ever-changing. Our brains do not stop growing like other parts of our bodies.

Reading a novel activates different parts of the brain. It ignites our imagination, while simoultaniously activating the parts of the brain that process words. Reading has been show to improve connections between these various regions of the brain. It’s like cardio for the brain.

In fact, reading exercises your brain to a point where it can actually change it. Fiction is fun, and exercises the brain more than reading boring facts ever will. So put down that text book once in a while and go read something you will actually enjoy.

This may be unrelated, but I have always struggled to read in my free time during a school semester. This semester, I have been reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (amazing book omg) while I have been commuting to school on the bus. Just that little bit of reading has helped my writing a lot during classes.

17 regions of the brain are activated just by reading a book. I know during the age of the internet, reading is becoming harder and harder for people, but go read a book. It doesn’t have to be Lord of the Rings, don’t take something huge like that on. Just a simple novel. Trust me, they are out there.

Help your brain out.

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