For a personal benefit of reading, scientific studies have shown that reading stimulates regions of the brain through your vicarious experience of what you’re reading. Your neural pathways are strengthened through this activity. Why does this matter? It helps to make you be more creative, think more clearly and critically. Your mind responds more quickly. It is also believed to help in warding off Alzheimer’s.
If you have family and friends and an active lifestyle, you may not appreciate how many lonely people there are in the world. Reading novels provides, although vicariously, a social existence for many people. Being able to escape into other worlds where they can enjoy the emotional fruits of friendship, romance, adventure, and so many other life experiences is a lifesaver.
Reading nonfiction materials with an open mind helps develop the habit of critical thinking; in other words, avoiding the easy path of immediately jumping to conclusions for starters. Simply accepting a view without taking time to analyze the information and cogitate on it is not critical thinking. Learning to suspend judgment no matter how strong the evidence until you explore the bigger picture helps develops analytical skills.
Psychologists agree that your personality is affected by the things you read. This, in my opinion, supports the idea that you should expand your horizons and read many genres in both fiction and nonfiction to contribute to your well-being.
I have always been an avid reader. As an introvert, it provides a social world for me. While caregiving for years, it created balance by providing a stress-free environment. As a senior citizen with all except one of my family gone, it helps fill in the voids in my life.
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