Health benefits of reading books compared to reading from screens16 min read
The Facts:Numerous studies show the scientific benefits of reading. These benefits tend to increase when reading from actual books rather than screens.
Reflect On:Do screens consume the majority of your time? When was the last time you read a book? Reading is akin to exercise for your brain.
In the age of information we are being bombarded left, right and center with quick facts, fake news, censored information, video images and so much more. This is greatly affecting the span of our attention. To many the idea of picking up a book, when we could just as easily listen to it, or read segments on our phones is completely absurd. However, there are many benefits that come along with reading books that just might make it worth it to you
Benefits of reading:
Reading requires patience and diligence, which is not something required from a glance and a click on a quick headline. Reading a book is almost a kin to running a marathon for your brain, I mean if you can finish a whole book!
Reading stimulates imagination and creativity.
Research has shown that reading helps with comprehension and emotional intelligence as well as fluid intelligence — meaning the ability to reason and have flexible thinking. This leads to smarter decision-making regarding yourself and others.
As we age, our memory will decline, but regular reading can help keep minds sharper longer according to research published in Neurology. Frequently exercising your mind was also proven in that same study to lower mental decline by 32 percent.
Reading can help make you more empathetic — researchers from the Netherlands designed two experiments showing that people who were “emotionally transported” by a work of fiction experienced boosts in empathy,
“In two experimental studies, we were able to show that self-reported empathic skills significantly changed over the course of one week for readers of a fictional story by fiction authors Arthur Conan Doyle and José Saramago,” they wrote in their findings. “More specifically, highly transported readers of Doyle became more empathic, while non-transported readers of both Doyle and Saramago became less empathic.”
Even More Reasons Read Books
Aside from these deeper reasons to read books, here are some more basic ones:
Books are a lot easier on the eyes than screens, which will provide a nice break for many of us as we are spending an increasing amount of time staring at screens at work, at home, on our smartphones while watching Netflix — your eyes could use the break.
One survey of 429 university students revealed that nearly half had complained of strained eyes after reading digitally. Electronic books can cause screen fatigue, which may lead to blurred vision, redness, dryness, and irritation. With print books, you don’t have to worry about any of that.
If you are reading an actual book, there is less of a chance that you will be distracted compared to reading on your phone. A book has no notification pings, buzzes or pop-ups, and you can ensure this distraction free time by leaving your phone in another room or putting it on silent or on airplane mode while reading.
Another great thing about books and the wonderful byproduct of less screen time is less exposure to electromagnetic frequencies, if you don’t have your phone on you, and perhaps you even have your Wi-Fi turned off while not in use you are giving your body a bit of a break from the constant bombardment of these frequencies.
Reading books before bed can help you sleep better, the main reason being — they do not emit blue light, or any kind of light at all actually, which has been shown to interfere with a good night’s rest. Not only that, but personally I find in general, reading a book tends to make me sleepy, so I enjoy reading a few chapters before putting my head down for the night.
Who doesn’t love the smell of a good book? You know that lovely, kind of musty smell old books give off? Or the fresh, crisp paper smell of a brand new book?
Final Thoughts To Consider?
Will reading books become an outdated thing of the past? Or will we be able to stand by the benefits of books and keep collecting them for generations to come? Only time will tell! To finish off, I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from the late, great, Dr. Seuss,
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss