Does reading make one smarter? Or is that an old principle that doesn’t work anymore? Here, in this article, we will tell you 9 ways reading can make you smarter.
Being a reader does not necessarily make you smart, you may say. But it helps you become smarter. Ask how!
From the definition of reading according to Englishclub – Reading is the process of looking at a series of written symbols and getting meaning from them. It takes your eyes, ears, mind, and intellect to perform this task.
When you read, even for fun, you’ll realize that you are assimilating alphabets and words, following arrangements, and getting meaning out of it. All these simultaneous activities boost your brain muscles.
After our research, we have brought out 9 exact ways reading makes you smarter. We’re also going to give you extra information on how to get the best out of a book.
9 Ways Reading Makes You Smarter with Quotes
Research has shown that reading any book improves your intelligence by enhancing your memory, vocabulary, and brain connectivity.
Here are 9 exact ways reading makes you smarter, with quotes on reading from successful individuals who can not tell their stories without involving active reading.
Reading Improves your problem-solving skills
The part of your brain which helps you solve problems is the frontal lobe. It is the sit of judgment, thinking, and decision-making. When you read, the frontal lobe also helps you to articulate and understand.
Someone who reads regularly strengthens his frontal lobe, which will prepare him to be a better decision-maker.
Another side to this is that, in reading, you get a good picture of what is obtainable in society. You become conversant with different situations in life and know how best to react.
One favourite reading quote from Gordon B. Hinckley is: “[F]rom the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.”
It expands your knowledge
If you read a book right now, you just added to your knowledge, whether it is fiction, politics, personal development books or DIY books.
The great philosopher Socrates writes: “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have laboured hard for.”
If two people had the same background and opportunities and one person read, the person who reads will have more knowledge about things than the other who is just limited to the information available in his society.
Reading helps you understand other people’s culture
One of the reasons readers are smarter people is because reading gives you a bigger idea about how people think, feel, and understand things differently.
Here’s what Descartes says: “The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.”
Another quote; That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” – Jhumpa Lahiri.
In reading, you discover other people’s culture or mentality, and then you can understand and respect the opinions of others even though it doesn’t appeal to you.
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Give you a wider view of things happening around you
Many people like to trash newspapers or old magazines. Some people are nonchalant about their history (which can seldom be gotten any other place but in books)
Jim Rohn said, “Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”
And it’s true. If you want to get complete and reliable information about events, you’ll certainly find one in books. That is why people who read can understand their environment from a wider perspective.
Reading builds your memory
The brain is a muscle the more you exercise it, the better it becomes. When you read, you engage your brain in the active work of collecting, analysing, and storing information.
You don’t have to do it consciously. Without thinking about it, new words, ideas, phrases, and spellings stick to your brain when you’re reading. When these things keep sticking to your brain, you exercise your brain even without knowing.
Reading Improves vocabulary and communication skills
Anytime you pick a book to read, your eyes scan through the words. If they are new words, your brain identifies them, tries to understand them according to their context, and then stores them.
If they are older words, your brain helps you remember them, gives their meanings, and familiarizes you with how they are supposed to be used.
By getting familiar with words and their meaning, you improve your vocabulary, and when you use these words to express yourself rightly, you develop good communication skills.
Little wonder Maya Angelou, American writer and civil rights activist, credits her success to books, and she says
“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” – Maya Angelou.
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It Strengthens your brain connectivity and health
Again the brain is like a muscle, and apart from the all-around benefits one can get from reading. One beautiful thing is that reading keeps your brain vibrant and healthy.
Reading strengthens your optical lobe, which is the part of the brain that processes visual information. It also makes use of your parietal lobe, which turns letters and words into images in your head.
Reading also affects other parts of the brain like the Medial Prefrontal Cortex, Lateral temporal cortex, Posterior cingulate cortex, and other parts. In reading, all these parts of your brain work simultaneously, thereby increasing brain capacity.
Read this aloud
“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelt out is a spark.” – Victor Hugo.
Retain mental capacity
The more you read, the better your brain becomes. Dr. Stanislas Dehaene a neuroscientist, says, “Mental stimulation will increase brain function” he conducted research and found out that as one reads, new brain neurons are produced.
“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
No matter how old a person is, with reading, his mental capacity can be retained or better still developed.
It Improves Self Awareness
Someone who doesn’t know about his past will certainly screw up the future. Reading can help you understand your reason for existence and how your people came to be where they are.
A quote by Ray Bradbury – “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
Anyone that reads from strong beliefs on culture or religion asks intelligent questions about his past and knows where he is going.
Other Powerful Quotes on Reading
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald.
“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling.
“Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day.” – Voltaire.
“If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books.” – Roald Dahl.
“That perfect tranquillity of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend and a good library.” – Aphra Behn
“The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.” – Mark Twain.
“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.” – Abraham Lincoln.
“I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.” – C.S. Lewis.
“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.” – Benjamin Franklin.
“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” – Harper Lee
“Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.” – Boris Pasternak
“I love the solitude of reading. I love the deep dive into someone else’s story, the delicious ache of a last page.” – Naomi Shihab Nye
“The world belongs to those who read.” – Rick Holland
“He that loves reading has everything within his reach.” – William Godwin
“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” – Harry Truman
“The importance of reading, for me, is that it allows you to dream. Reading not only educates but is relaxing and allows you to feed your imagination – creating beautiful pictures from carefully chosen words.” – Chef Eric Ripert
How to read a book and Get the Best of it.
It’s okay to read a book, but it is even better when you actively read it and get the most benefits from the time spent reading.
Here are some tips to read a book and get the best of it.
- Read actively. This means while you are reading, make sure you are not just going through groups of words.
- If you don’t understand a line go through it again
- Read during early hours
- Reduce other needless activity time and increase reading time
- You can read as many books as possible at the same time
- Commit to finishing every book you begin
- Set deadlines on when you want to finish a book
- Take notes, read aloud or mouth along while reading.
- Share what you’ve read with someone
- Join a book club
Reading is always a beautiful activity to engage in. He who reads has every knowledge at his disposal, for no knowledge is written in a book.