Bliss…taking the time to read.
I’m definitely someone who loves to read a good book. Nothing beats a book that captures your imagination and helps you escape the mundane of every day. The dirty washing can wait! It helps me to relax, unwind and recharge. Essential in this face-paced, technology crazed world. Personally, books offer me solitude from constant screen time. I’ll hand you over to my guest poster, Edward, who shares just how good reading a book can be for our health. Like, we need any encouragement, right folks?
Reading is good for people in many different ways. According to a recent study, reading a book for 6 minutes diminishes stress levels with 68%. As we age, it’s really important to keep our brains active in order to strengthen our mental abilities and ward off diseases related to our cognitive functions, such as Alzheimer’s for example. Research shows that people who read regularly are less likely to develop dementia than those who don’t like to read. Needless to say, not everything we read is good for the brain and health.
Paper books vs. e-readers
As e-readers become more and more powerful, conventional reading fades away. There will always be a debate regarding which of these two methods is better. Controversy abounds and many people blame the Kindle ever since it was launched back in 2007. While some question that e-readers are emotionless and can’t make readers “feel” the experience, others command electronic reading because it’s a lot more convenient. Whatever you want to read is right there at your fingertips.
Paper books increase comprehension
Apparently, e-readers can’t make the pleasures of enjoying the plot of a book like a hardcover. In a recent study performed in 2014, a number of subjects were required to read a short mystery story on an Amazon Kindle device; the exact same number of people was given a paperback version of the story. The conclusion was that Kindle readers had a difficult time remembering the story’s order of events. The tactile feedback of an e-reader device doesn’t offer the same maintenance level for the mental reconstruction of a story’s plot as a paper book does.
The brain was not meant for reading, but we’ve adapted it and created new ways to understand text and letters. Basically, the brain perceives reading through the construction of a text’s mental representation; this representation is based on words placed inside the covers of an actual book. The process is aided by the tactile experience of holding a book in your hands.
Even though e-readers are trying hard to recreate that unique sensation we have when we turn pages, the touchscreen is limited to a single ephemeral virtual page. Various surveys performed on using Kindles for reading suggest that digital reading affects the sense of control and serendipity of the reader. The inability to turn back pages and look back or have physical control over the text limits our sensory experience. Basically, our brains don’t function long-term and we immediately forget what we just read.
Reading extensive, long sentences is skill you have to master
Reading extensive, literary phrases without distractions and links is in fact a skill you may lose if you don’t apply it as often as possible. Prior to the materialization of the internet, people’s brains were used to reading in a liner manner, thus benefiting from sensory details to memorize the part in the book where the most important information was.
Right now we read on touchscreens, which means our reading capabilities have been tailored to skimming a text and not reading it thoroughly to absorb its meaning. E-reading is often associated with superficial reading; this affects our abilities and we can’t perceive the depth of a text anymore. A lot of people who engage in digital reading have admitted that immersing themselves in a good book has become an incredibly challenging endeavor.
Focused, slow and attentive reading has many benefits for the brain
The more attentive you are when you read the highest chances you have to remember essential information and actually enjoy the story presented in book. Experts recommend us to read 30-45 minutes daily without letting technology interfere with the experience in any way. This helps the brain re-engage in linear reading. Slow ready has lots of benefits for the brain. It reduces stress and improves our general abilities to focus.
Reading print books help boost empathy; the activity was also linked to improved sleep. Apparently, enjoying a paper book 1 hour before going to sleep aids the body enter a different zone, and prepares the brain for a relaxing activity – absolute relaxation. In spite of some clear advantages technology has as far as reading is concerned, some people still agree that nothing can be compared with the simple pleasures of reading a paper book.
Author Bio: Edward Francis is a tech writer basically and he loves reading books. His favourite hobby is to read eBooks and he prefers http://www.lovereading.co.uk/ to get a variety of books at the same place.