Quote that says Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.

I have always preferred a good book over a movie or T.V. show and now neuroscientists are telling me that this benefits my brain!  Recent studies into how the brain works are revealing that reading, and also listening to stories, has positive effects on brain development.  Listening to stories, like our available eBooks, makes your brain work.  Different areas of my brain light up depending on the topic discussed.

When we read or listen to words our brains makes pictures, or photos of what we are reading about.  I guess that is why when we see a picture of a radio host, we are often surprised that they look so different from what we pictured them to look like!

Reading about experiences is almost the same as living them. Our brains react as if we are in an experience when we read about it!  It is like athletes or musicians who think about playing and their brain stimulates the same areas as when they are actually moving those muscles.  This helps me understand why I love nonfiction adventure stories so much.  When I read about Shackleton and his crew, my mind thinks I am there and it is so exciting!

Neuroscientists have shown that story structure encourages our brains to think in sequence and expands our attention spans.  Thinking in sequence allows our brains to link cause and effect.  The more you read, the better the brain gets at thinking this way, and our attention span increases.Woman reading on a couch

Reading can also change our brain structure!  The more you read, the more white matter you develop in the language area of the brain.  That is so cool!  It really is true that what we do with our brain determines how it is wired and the areas that either grow or atrophy.  Use it or lose it, baby!

Deep reading, meaning reading that really makes you feel what the characters in a story feel, makes us more empathetic to people and more aware of and alert to the lives of others.  I feel that books have given me greater insight into other people’s motivations and choices.

I have not been able to find anything about the following attribute of books online, but reading has saved the world from my impatient wrath many, many times.  I am always on time and appointments or people that run late would drive me to homicide, were it not for books.  I always carry one, so I can read instead of seethe!  I really just can’t imagine live without books and reading.  And now, instead of wondering if I really should be doing something else, I can kick back and realize that I am growing my brain.  Really, what could be more important than that?