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Reading

Reading

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Description

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).

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How to Do It

Just read one of your favorite author’s books, the latest best-seller, or a non-fictional book!

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Benefits

  • 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)
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Time Commitment

20 min/day

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Why it works

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).

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Suggested Frequency

Daily

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Supporting Studies and Articles

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
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Side Effects

None

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Required Equipment

Books

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Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it

Warren Buffet

Bill Gates

Elon Musk

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Suggested Time of Day

Any time

Great before bed

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Notes

  • 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. 

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Category

 Productivity  Focus  Creativity  Memory  Sharpness
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