Reading can take you on a whole new adventure that cuts through the mundane, everyday life you may or may not lead. From Middle-earth to Indiana to Paris to Avalon, reading fiction can bring you to places you might never otherwise see with your own eyes or during your life time.
So what are the effects of reading? Well, a study that was published in December called “Short- and Long-term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain,” published in Brain Connectivity, suggests that, according to an article on Psychology Today, that “reading fiction was found to improve the reader’s ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes and flex the imagination in a way that is similar to visualization of muscle memory in sports.”
This is actually pretty neat once you think about it: your brain uses muscle memory for things such as riding a bike, driving a car, using a pencil, and other tasks you can do on a day to day basis. That same muscle can be used to put your imagination on a “joyride” through the eyes of the main character of the story.
But have you thought about reading daily? It can seem like in our busy lives that we barely have time to use the bathroom, let alone read. If you set time for reading ten minutes a day, then you’ll be using that same muscle suggested in the study (the sulcus) to possibly change the way your brain works.
Not only will it effect your brain, but it can also effect your speech and the way you look at your day to day tasks. I have a friend who has been a part of several Shakespeare plays, including “Hamlet,” and she can sometimes be found to be quoting and speaking in Shakespearean lingo. It can be entertaining, but then again, it can be difficult to understand what she’s saying sometimes.
If you read daily, though, you can open new worlds in your mind – and frankly, staying in those worlds is a lot more fun than real life.
Imagine being able to stay in a world where you can be friends with Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters from John Green‘s novel, “The Fault in Our Stars.” Though the story has a sad turn of events in it, the characters themselves are quite fun individuals and I know I would personally want to be friends with them.
When a novel is able to grab your attention and pull you in, it can be a thrilling moment and you just want more. I know that when I read something that I enjoy I am easily taken to that world and can relate very easily to the main character, experiencing their emotions, actions, speech, etc. I love that feeling because it’s something that’s out of the mundane and out of the norm.
If you read daily, you can experience that euphoria often and enjoy the world the author conveys in their story. Take the time out of your day to read – just ten to fifteen minutes a day, or longer if you have the time. It can be both rewarding and fun. Just make sure to pick something you know you’ll enjoy or it’ll be all for naught!