11 reasons why scientists recommend reading books

11 причин, чому вчені рекомендують читати книжки

We stop reading books. More and more frequently we read short texts from phone screen, ebook, or listen to audiobooks. Nevertheless, reading books is important – this is what scientists say.

Rapid pace of life and mobility make us read short texts, information and analytical digests from smartphones, tablets, computers. Even if we devote some time to literature, all what we do is listen to audiobooks while on the way home or to work. The scientists say that reading books has a number of advantages over listening to them. Moreover, printed books reading is deemed preferable to reading the same very books from the screens of electronic devices. What are the scientific perspectives of reading books and benefits received from it? Why printed books better than electronic ones? It appears that there is extensive scientific evidence to back that up.

1. While turning the pages, you understand the meaning better

Believe it or not, but turning and touching the pages is sort of an “anchor” that helps your brain to increase reading comprehension. When you scroll pages on the screen of electronic device you do not touch paper that has certain texture and weight. When you listen to audiobooks you receive information through continuous flow with no physical “anchors”. Therefore, information from audiobooks and ebooks is perceived worse.

2. You encourage your children to read

Recent studies show that parents, who read books, inspire their children to become avid “bookworms”. They start treating reading not as compulsory procedure necessary for learning, but as a sort of entertainment, which is very beneficial for their future lives: they polish up reading skills and once they shall perceive written information, they make it easier than their age mates unaccustomed to reading.

3. Printed books are read faster

Experiment conducted by team of researchers has shown that people perceive text from paper more easily and read it faster. During this experiment short text was read. Reading speed from ebook was 10.7% slower than from printed version, while tablet has measured at 6.2% lower reading speed than the printed book.

4. It is much easier for you to sift some question to the bottom if you read printed book

Yet another study has shown that it is easier for the reader to see into a new unfamiliar matter from paper instead of from screen. Sure thing, if you try to understand something for the first time ever, you will have to reread the book several times. But test persons had to reread printed text fewer times if compared to those, who used its electronic version.

5. Reading makes children smarter

The ability to understand more of the world around you is directly linked to the lexicon: when you name things by their names, we get better understanding of the whole point of events. The studies have shown that the lexicon of children’s books is one and a half as much as the bag of words used in television programmes and by graduate students. The net result is that expansion of the vocabulary through reading of children’s literature results in better development of reading comprehension skills and enhances the intelligence as well – in childhood and later on in life. The proof of that – tests conducted by the researchers.

6. Reading is the secret of brain longevity

Researchers have proven that reading preserves memory and retards the memory deterioration process in the process of body ageing. Everybody knows that sport exercises keep your body fit. Reading keeps your brain and memory up in the same manner not allowing them to turn senile. Moreover, it is preferably not to start reading a lot in old age, but to engage in reading from youth or childhood.

7. Reading prevents from Alzheimer’s disease

Amazingly, but active people that shall always be concentrated, inclusive of playing chess, solving of puzzles and, of course, reading, reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s disease development by 2.5 times! Low-level brain activity greatly increases the chances of this dangerous disease emergence.

8. Books help to communicate

Literary fiction, widely infamous “light reading”, develops emotional intelligence of persons. When we feel empathy for the fictitious heroes, we get better understanding of emotions of other people in actual life and improve our empathy skills. Therefore, it is no wonder that reading books helps us to be more social, sensitive, and empathic in spite of the fact that it is not the social activity.

9. Book is the best sleep-inducing drug

It is well known that for a number of reasons working with electronic devices place an immense burden on the psychological state. At the same time, the evening ritual of paper books reading helps us to set our minds on healthy sleep, promotes relaxation, switch brain from day-to-day concerns to a peaceful night. Some academic sources, however, claimed that reading books from smartphone or tablet before going to bed may delay the time when you fall asleep and may reduce the quality of sleep.

10. Reading reduces stress levels

Idiomatic expression “to relax with a book in the hand” is actually a system that works: researchers have proven that reading may reduce stress levels by up to 68% – it is more effective than stress-relieving effect from walking or listening to music. “Avoiding reality” while plunging into a book of any genre (!) may also sideline internal disturbances and tensions, since the brain is unable to be focused on several subjects at the same time. Therefore, reading is a great way to lose yourself if you worry for nothing and cannot forget about some situation that was bothering you throughout the day.

11. If it is to your satisfaction – read while eating!

It is popularly believed that it is better to be focused on eating when you eat – allegedly, this is good for your digestion, – at the very least, this expression is not fully accurate. If you read while eating, you chew food slower and spend more time for this, which has a positive impact on the absorption of food by your body. Therefore, as a minimum, there is no harm in reading while eating.



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