It seems like a no-brainer. After all, you’ve probably already read how reading books keep our minds sharp. But that’s not all these bombastic bundles of paper can do.
Books inspire us to do better
Keith Oatley, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Toronto, found in his 2006 study that reading fiction is linked to higher scores on empathy and social acumen tests. In other words, reading books helps boost our ability to relate to our friends, family, and even strangers!
This finding makes perfect sense. Look at your favorite books and ponder the intense challenges the protagonist must overcome in each one. In fiction, no matter what the genre, we often see the main character face obstacle after obstacle. And during the journey, most of us began to relate and root for the hero. These plots are like simulations, working out that old social muscle.
And this is a double-whammy. Think about it. Reading books is amazing for you, and the person you are empathizing with. They will feel like they are understood, which is a great relief. And it might motivate you do commit other selfless acts, like giving to charity or volunteering. All these activities don’t only make you feel good – others get the aid they need.
Books motivate us to grow
Fiction shouldn’t get all the credit. Non-fiction has its pros, too!
CEOs read over 50 books a year on average. They aren’t alone. Entrepreneurs have often related their success to books that have made them think critically about business and their industry. If you scroll down the booklist, you’ll find most of these influential titles are non-fiction.
Reading non-fiction books are a great way to achieve an edge in your work, keep up with industry trends, or develop new skills. While video tutorials appear to be dominating the web, a good old-fashioned book offers room to consider the concepts. You can borrow books from the library or a friend, and you can read them at your own pace.
Books influence our health
Books help us flex those vital creativity muscles, all from the comfort of our couch.
The creative brain functions differently than you might expect. This study shows how the connection between various networks in the brain change during creative tasks. Creativity strengthens areas of the brain. But that’s just the physical stuff.
Creative tasks have also been shown to boost mental health, and potentially deal with long-term trauma.
Books are a gateway to a healthier mind.
Is reading books good for you?
From dystopian dramas to historical romances, reading books helps us to expand our universe. Whether you are reading non-fiction because you are fascinated by the world, or you are reading fiction to experience another reality, these stories are beneficial to our lives and long-term health.
Reading can inspire us, motivate us, and help us grow. Delving into an original story can boost our own physical and mental health.
At the end of the day, reading books is good for you, whether they are paperback, hardback, or digital.
Now, we want to know: What are you reading?