Reading books, fiction or nonfiction, is an essential to broaden our knowledge (1), improve our creativity, and prevent the decline of our mental faculties (2).
Just read one of your favorite author’s books, the latest best-seller, or a non-fictional book!
- May reduce stress
- May reduce the risk of dementia (2)
- May increase longevity (4)
- May reduce cognitive decline with age (3)
- May improve intellectual development in children (1)
- May increase empathy (5)
Science shows that by reading books, we can immerse ourselves in novel situations which helps to prevent cognitive decline and increase longevity (4). Reading about a character’s emotional life can also increase empathy by improving our capacity of taking other’s perspectives (5).
- Ritchie, S. J., Bates, T. C., & Plomin, R. (2015). Does Learning to Read Improve Intelligence? A Longitudinal Multivariate Analysis in Identical Twins From Age 7 to 16. Child Development, 86(1), 23–36. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12272
- Hughes, T., Chang, C.-C. H., Bilt, J. V., & Ganguli, M. (2010). Engagement in reading and hobbies and risk of incident dementia: The MoVIES Project. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 25(5), 432–438. https://doi.org/10.1177/1533317510368399
- Wilson, R. S., Boyle, P. A., Yu, L., Barnes, L. L., Schneider, J. A., & Bennett, D. A. (2013). Life-span cognitive activity, neuropathologic burden, and cognitive aging. Neurology, 81(4), 314–321. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0b013e31829c5e8a
- Bavishi, A., Slade, M. D., & Levy, B. R. (2016). A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity. Social Science & Medicine, 164, 44–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.07.014
- Kidd, D. C., & Castano, E. (2013). Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind. Science, 342(6156), 377–380. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1239918
Great before bed
- Reading before bed may increase your sleep quality and reduce insomnia.
- If reading non fiction, combine reading with journaling. Take notes when you read and determine actionable steps you can take.