The results of numerous studies show that reading promotes the development of emotional intelligence and is an excellent workout for the brain. According to poll VTSIOM, 53% of Russians — that is, every second reads books. But despite these encouraging figures, many of those who consider themselves to be readers, I would like to read more. The fact that reading has a positive impact on the brain of children and adolescents, and brain of adults. But how to make reading a healthy habit and what books should pay attention in the first place?
Reading good for the brain
The results of a study of twins at the University of California showed that children who began reading at an earlier age, better able to cope with certain tests on intelligence. A study conducted by researchers from Stanford University in 2012, during which people read excerpts from Jane Austen being inside an MRI scanner, showed that different types of reading train different parts of the brain. Moreover, the researchers suggest that the aging of the reading can help to slow or even stop cognitive decline.
Another pleasant result that reading has on the brain, is a meta-analysis of 2016, according to which readers of literature well-developed idea of what psychologists call “theory of mind” — the ability to attribute mental States to themselves and others and understand that other people may have different desires, emotions and thoughts. So, people who always read show more empathy towards others. So if to this day you dismissive attitude to reading, it’s time to change your mind.
How to read anymore?
Given the modern pace of life, to carve out time to read is difficult. That’s why you need to start small. Setting a new goal, you should aim for a specific taskthat can be solved later. So first it is better to read five pages of an interesting book, but to do it every day. As soon as you will regularly read five pages a day, try to increase the number of pages to 10, then twenty, then — until you reach your goal.
But where to start? Researchers are advised to focus on their own interests. So do not just start with “War and peace” only because it is serious literature. Read what you like, for example, science fiction or detectives. Reading books by choice makes this class more of a pleasure than a chore, so you are more likely to succeed in their endeavors. However, if for any reason you miss one day, do not beat yourself up, but be prepared to carry out long-term obligation before itself the following day.
Electronic, paper or audio books — which is better?
Many people love to read in every spare moment, and modern technologies provide opportunities to do that. That is why the question about which media is better to read the book, and can and does listen to them is extremely important. While most prefer paper books, science has proven that physical books are better than digital. It should be noted that academic research mainly focus on retention — that is, how many events from the book you remember after reading.paper books in this regard have a distinct advantage, it still depends on environment and context.
As for audiobooks, that studies have shown that they stimulate the brain the same as black-and-white pages, while and affect your gray matter a little differently. As you listen to the story, you use different methods for decoding and understanding. When reading, the brain must represent the voice of the called prosody is how we imagine “the melody and rhythm of speech”, intonation, emphasis on certain syllables, etc. In audio books an actor reading the product provides you with that information, so the brain itself does not generate the prosody and concentrated on trying to understand the meaning of the story.