Want To Read More This Year? There's A Scientific Method You Can Use

Want To Read More This Year? There's A Scientific Method You Can Use

On the tube, in a waiting room or comfortably snuggled under the duvet, there is no bad time to devour a good book. This leisure activity is accessible to all, and it can bring all sorts of benefits to your brain… and even to the whole body!

Scientists have finally confirmed the theories surrounding the importance of reading. In 2014, a study made by twin researchers at the University of California, Berkley, USA, and published in the Child Development journal showed, for example, that children who had started reading the earliest were more successful in some intelligence tests.

Reading to get along better together

Two years later, in 2016, another publication published this time in the Trends in Cognitive Sciences magazine showed that regular readers had a greater capacity for empathy. In addition to improving our brain capacity, books also have the power, in a way, to change the world…

But when you are not an avid reader, it is difficult to stick to a strict reading schedule. However, setting reasonable literary goals is sure to do the trick... It’s a bit like New Year’s resolutions, which we have so much trouble sticking to at the beginning of every year.

‘Start by reading, say, five pages of a book that interests you every day. When you reach the five-page goal, try to get to ten, then twenty, and keep pushing that goal,’ advises Popular Science in an article entitled ‘Books are good for your brain.’

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A little extra tip given by the website; put all the odds on your side by acquiring a digital tablet, or a smartphone application for reading digital books. Thus, ‘when you have a little free time, you can open your book instead of playing your favourite game on your smartphone.’ Paper books, digital books, and even audiobooks all seem as stimulating as the other. Only the brain functions concerned would differ between the written and spoken versions.

‘The head and legs’

The ultimate, and rather unexpected benefit of literature, is that books could encourage us to do more physical activity! Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States discovered in 2012 that restricting listening to audio thrillers in the gym only encouraged people to go to the gym more frequently. Reading, definitely one of the best ways to forge a healthy mind, in a healthy body!

• Emma Jensen
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