Results of numerous studiesindicate that reading contributes to the development of emotional intelligence and is an excellent training for the brain. According to a VTsIOM survey, 53% of Russians - that is, every second - read books. But even despite such encouraging figures, many of those who consider themselves to be readers would like to read more. The fact is that reading positively affects both the brain of children and adolescents, and the brain of adults. But how to make reading a good habit and which books should you pay attention to first?
Reading is good for the brain.
Twin study results inUniversity of California showed that children who started reading at an earlier age did better with certain intelligence tests. A study conducted by scientists from Stanford University in 2012, during which people read excerpts from Jane Austen, while inside an MRI scanner, showed that different types of reading train different parts of the brain. Moreover, researchers today suggest that as you get older, reading can help slow down or even stop the decline in cognitive abilities.
For more interesting articles on how reading affects the brain, look on our Yandex.Zen channel.
Another nice result that readinghas a brain meta-analysis of 2016, according to which readers of fiction have a well-developed idea of what psychologists call the “theory of the mind” - the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others and to understand that other people may have different desires, emotions and thoughts. So, people who read constantly show more empathy for other people. So if until this day you were dismissive of reading, it's time to change your mind.
How to read more?
Given the modern pace of life, make timereading is pretty hard. That's why you need to start small. Setting a new goal, you should strive for a specific task that you can solve later. So at first it is better to read no more than five pages of an interesting book, but do it every day. As soon as you regularly read five pages a day, try increasing the number of pages to 10, then twenty, and more - until you reach your goal.
But where to start? Researchers advise focusing on their own interests. Therefore, you should not immediately start with “War and Peace” just because it is serious literature. Read what you are interested in, such as science fiction or detective stories. Reading a book of your own choice makes this lesson a pleasure rather than a chore, so you are more likely to succeed in your endeavors. However, if for any reason you miss one day, do not self-flagellate, but be prepared to fulfill a long-term commitment to yourself the next day.
Electronic, paper or audio books - which is better?
Many people like to read in any freeminute, and modern technology provides all the possibilities for this. That is why the question of on which media it is best to read books, or maybe even listen to them, is extremely urgent. While most people prefer paper books, science has not proven that physical books are better than digital ones. It should be noted that academic research is mainly focused on the retention of information - that is, on how many events from the book you remembered after reading. Although paper books have an obvious advantage in this regard, they nevertheless depend on the environment and context.
As for audio books, studies have shownthat they stimulate the brain in the same way as black and white pages, although they affect your gray matter in a slightly different way. As you listen to a story, you use various methods to decipher and understand it. When reading to the brain, it is necessary to imagine a voice called prosody - this is how we imagine the “melody and rhythm of speech”, intonation, emphasis on certain syllables, etc. In audio books, the actor reading the work provides you with this information, so the brain does not generate prosody itself, but concentrates on understanding the meaning of history.
Do you read books? If so, what are your favorite works? Share your answer in the comments to this article, as well as with the participants of our Telegram chat
Somehow, the researchers agree,that listening to audio books is “considered” reading. Ultimately, if you want to start reading books or reading more, you don’t have to give up paper, digital or audio media. Reading should be fun, but it is up to you to decide how and on what to read.