4 Reasons You Should Be Reading, According to Science

From inc.com — check out the original article here: https://www.inc.com/christina-desmarais/4-reasons-you-should-be-reading-books-daily-according-to-science.html

Reading is an activity which you may take for granted, but the ability to derive meaning from letters on a page or screen (if e-books are your thing) can be life-changing. Here are several ways researchers say reading books is good for you.

It helps you get a better job

A researcher at the University of Oxford analyzed the survey responses of 17,200 people born in 1970, and determined that people who read books at age 16 were more likely to have a professional or managerial career at the age of 33. The questionnaire asked respondents about other extra-curricular activities such as sports, cultural outings, computer gaming, cooking and sewing, all of which were not found to be linked with future career success.

It’s a workout for your brain

That’s according to Ken Pugh, director of research at the Yale-affiliated Haskins Laboratories, which studies the impact of spoken and written language. He says that reading books is an activity which activates all the major parts of the brain and strengthens skills in language, selective attention, sustained attention, cognition and imagination. And books which tell a story through fiction or narrative non-fiction are particularly useful for building imagination and thinking ability which other kinds of reading can’t.

It develops communication skills

According to a study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, reading just one picture book to a child every day exposes them to about 78,000 words a year. Researchers have calculated that in the five years before kindergarten kids who live in literacy-rich homes hear about 1.4 million more words compared with children in homes where reading is not a priority. Simply put, the more you words and language you read - the better you can use language to communicate.

It helps you be a better leader

That’s the opinion of John Coleman, coauthor of the book Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders in a story he penned for Harvard Business Review. He writes:

Reading increases verbal intelligence, making a leader a more adept and articulate communicator. Reading novels can improve empathy and understanding of social cues, allowing a leader to better work with and understand others -- traits linked to increased organizational effectiveness, and to pay raises and promotions for the leaders who possessed these qualities.

Try reading books within a variety of genres, joining a book club which will expose you to titles you might not have picked on your own. Or, just read for fun as a way to relax, a pastime virtually everyone can benefit from.

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