Reading is known to have some obvious benefits, such as improving vocabulary and of course increasing the breadth of knowledge that one has. But recent studies have shown some other less known benefits of reading.
1. Reading improves your ability to step into another person’s shoes.
While it has been known that reading can put you figuratively in a character’s shoes, recent brain scans using MRI technology have shown that reading a book can “transport you into the body of the protagonist.” This ability to empathize with another person’s experiences is a powerful and important tool that students will use throughout their lives, whether in the professional setting or in their personal lives.
2. Reading improves your ability to visualize in the same way athletes do.
According to an article on Psychology Today, the act of reading (and more specifically, reading fiction) improves the reader’s proverbial imagination muscle, thus allowing them to create stronger visualizations that are similar to techniques used by athletes. This study conducted by a group from the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the Lerner Research Institute in Ohio shows that visualization can actually improve performance even without actual physical practice. This visualization process is beneficial to students, whether they’re training for athletics or for any other purpose.
3. Reading improves creativity.
The by-products of reading, which include using the imagination, learning new vocabulary, grasping new concepts, and exercising the mind, all lead to increased creativity. Understanding a variety of topics allows people to make connections between ideas that otherwise would not exist if it were not for the knowledge and mental strength gained through reading. Creativity leads to out-of-the-box thinking, which is highly valuable in any professional setting.
4. Reading improves society as a whole.
Literacy Partners, a non-profit organization that provides literacy programs in New York, estimates that every dollar spent on improving literacy brings a return of $7.14. Reading increases worker productivity and financial literacy.
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