No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. – Confucius
Do you remember reading as a child. The wonder of it all. Getting lost in adventures. Such a wondrous experience, one I eagerly took part in and enjoy still today.
Books are everything. They offer adventure, escape, wonder, and excitement. We gain knowledge. Books teach us. While we are lost in enjoyment our brains are being filled with words, inspiration and knowledge.
As a child, books increase our vocabulary and make us inquisitive about the world around us. They make us eager to learn more, read more and open to learning as we grow. When we read as a child and as an adult it opens our minds and gives us the ability to analyze.
Envision Harry Potter and the effect it has had on so many children. They are wrapped up in all the situations playing out on the page and thinking about all the possibilities. Their imagination soaring.
At the same time they are evaluating and learning concepts. They are learning skills that they will use the rest of their lives.
I love the texture of a book in my hand and the pages as they slip through my fingers. The weight of the book, even it’s smell. The crisp clean smell of a new book first opened and the old musty smell of a book sitting on a library shelf. Reading is a tactile experience imprinted on your brain that stores memories and feelings.
When we read we can lose ourselves in the story. It is relaxing and invigorating all at the same time.
Brain scans are revealing what happens in our heads when we read a detailed description, an evocative metaphor or an emotional exchange between characters. Stories, this research is showing, stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life.
Annie Murphy Paul, March 17, 2012
Reading evokes empathy with the characters. We respond with emotion to the trials and tribulations, the highs and lows of their lives. We suffer and rejoice with the characters. In real life our perceptions and our responses to human interactions may become more empathetic as a result.
Neuroscience and the use of brain scans is showing the affect words have on different areas of our brain.
Keith Oatley, an emeritus professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto (and a published novelist), has proposed that reading produces a vivid simulation of reality, one that “runs on minds of readers just as computer simulations run on computers.” Fiction — with its redolent details, imaginative metaphors and attentive descriptions of people and their actions — offers an especially rich replica. (Annie Murphy Paul, March 17, 2012)
We expand our knowledge and strengthen our brain by reading. We read for enjoyment and to learn.
The most important aspect of reading is overlooked, our brain, the health of our brain. We take it for granted. When you make the decision to exercise what are you thinking about ? The way our body looks, the definition of our muscles, the health of our heart. The most important muscle we have is our brain. Our brain with the help of our nervous system controls everything we do.
When we read we are exercising our brain. Just like muscles, the brain benefits from a good workout. And reading is more neurobiologically demanding than processing images or speech. As you’re absorbing a book or article, “parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions—such as vision, language, and associative learning—connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging,” says Ken Pugh, PhD, president and director of research of Haskins Laboratories, ( By Lauren Duzbow , June 2008)
Reading makes us smarter by increasing our general knowledge and our vocabulary. Our expanded ability to use words allows us to be better in all aspects of our lives. We become better, more interesting conversationalists. We become better writers, better teachers, better bosses, better parents.
When we read we stimulate our brain. We are exposed to new thoughts and ideas. Have you ever been reading and thought “Wow, I never thought of that!” or “I want to be more like that.”
Reading can give us a different perspective. When we are done reading a page, a chapter or a whole book we can sit and soak it all in. We reflect, we think and we are richer for it.
When we read we relax, lower our stress levels and sleep better. We relate better to the life and experiences of other people. We become better humans.
Pick up a hard cover book and relish in the experience. Feel the weight of it in your hand, feel the pages as they slip across your fingers and smell the wonderful aroma. Sink back in a chair and absorb. Lose yourself in the wondrous joy of reading.
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a nice day.