Scientific Reasons Reading Is Good For You

Americans love to read. And although we love our e-readers, according to a 2012 Pew Internet survey, 88 percent of people who own them still read real books. No matter which you choose, though, scientists say that reading is good for you.

Several studies have shown reading a good book, whether an e-book or a traditional one, can be beneficial to your health and happiness in many ways.

Reading is a good work-out for your brain

We all know that reading is one of the best ways to gain knowledge, but studies show that regular reading boosts brain power and memory function, in addition making you smarter. If you are a real bookworm, you may find it interesting to know that research shows reading on a screen slows you down by as much as 30 percent — so if you are a power reader, traditional books may be for you.

Another interesting note about reading traditional books — Time reports that you may have a better understanding of what you are reading better than those who read e-books. The feel of the pages in a real book provides your brain with context, which can actually help you remember and comprehend what you are reading better than seeing the words on a screen.

Reading helps fight Alzheimer’s disease

A paper published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that those who read or participate in activities such as puzzles or chess may be 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Reading can help you sleep

Reading at bedtime creates a ritual that signals your body it is time to go to sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, it works even better if you read a real book because screens on e-readers can actually keep you awake and adversely affect sleep.

Reading reduces stress

According to Lifehack, reading a good story is a great way to reduce stress. A book that engages your mind allows your tensions to drain away and your mind to relax.

Reading improves your vocabulary

Along with gaining knowledge, reading increases your vocabulary. Being well-spoken and articulate is a help in any profession, and increases confidence in everyone, whether they work or not.

Reading sets a good example for your kids

Reading aloud to kids can encourage them to become frequent readers. A Scholastic reading report found that more than 40 percent of children who love to read were read to by their parents on a regular basis. And encouraging kids to read leads to them getting a better education.

The Inquisitr reports that President Obama is proposing free community college to all who wish to get an education. Do you feel that the opportunity for more people to attend college will be an incentive for parents to encorage reading in their kids?

[Image via Ugly Dog Books]