While some of us read a book — or more — each day (my wife, for example), others stay so busy that finishing one book per week may feel like a luxury. Either way, studies have shown that reading often has significant benefits.
1) Higher IQ
This may seem really obvious, but it is one of the major benefits to reading as much as you can as often as you can. Anne E. Cunningham and Keith E. Stanovich, released a paper that shows that those who have a “higher reading volume” tend to have higher GPA, intelligence and overall general knowledge of how the world works than those on the other end of the spectrum.
2) Mental Health
Research also shows that keeping your mind engaged as you grow older — from reading to doing crossword puzzles — helps to fight off the effects of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Exercising your mind, like any other part of your body, allows you to strengthen your mind and stay healthy.
3) Stress Reduction
What general feeling do you get when you walk into your favorite bookstore? Usually not fear and dread. Most people experience that thrill and wonder of the next portal that this small, paper device will take them through. A well-written story can transport you to new places where you can lose yourself for hours on end. And when we return to this world, studies have shown that our heart rates are slower and blood pressure is reduced.
4) Improved Analytical Thinking
This may be another one of those moments where you just shake your head. Of course, it seems so obvious. But if it is so obvious, why are people making such poor decisions all around us? (Probably because they don’t read very often.) Anne and Kieth also show in their paper that those who have a higher reading volume can solve analytical problems faster than their non-reading counterparts.
5) Improved Memory
Do you frequently forget where you left your keys? Or forget people’s names? Anne and Kieth show that those that read often can retain information better than those that do not.
If you need to improve your brain power, get into the habit of reading. Apparently, reading often has some pretty nice advantages. On top of the fact that it is a lot of fun.