Congratulations bookworms everywhere! Science now says you are smart, not only for reading and the subsequent learning that generally comes from reading (especially when it’s reading for pleasure), but also for helping your brain fight aging.
That’s right–books fight the effects of an aging mind.
According to an article published in Neurology (also published on their website), reading at a younger age helps slow “cognitive decline.” The conclusion of the study was that the more you read across your lifetime, the better your cognitive status will be in your old age.
So read, read, and read some more! It can literally do you no harm (unless you do it while walking into traffic or driving a car–avoid books and cars, in general, I think).
And don’t be picky about what you read either. If Twilight is your favorite book series, read away. If you enjoy horror, fill your shelves with Stephen King novels. Heck, if you like a good romance novel, open your heart and your mind and read away. And don’t leave comics or graphic novels out–those count too.
Honestly, what you read doesn’t even need to have a plot or be story based. If you enjoy reading scientific journals, go for it. News stories and blogs (like this one!) all count as reading as well, so if you’d rather read Slate.Com over the latest New York Times best seller, go for it.
This is a good reason for me to put Netflix and television series like Game of Thrones on hold and pick up some books instead. I like my mind, and I want to keep it.
Besides, I have all these books in my bed with me just begging to be read.
Join me, dear reader, in putting Netflix away for the summer and cracking open a book. It’ll do you good in the long run.
– Amanda Riggle
You can follow Amanda on Twitter @ThePandaBard, on Pinterest @ThePandaBard, or on Medium @ThePandaBard. You can also find her research on Academia.Edu at Cpp.Academia.Edu/MandaRiggle.