Articles about reading

The many benefits of reading

Dec 2023

One of our favourite hobbies here at Kumon is reading. We love all sorts of books and have found some rather wonderful reasons why reading is very good for you!

Here are five great benefits of reading:

Reading makes you smarter
According to a study by education Professor Anne E Cunningham, not only does reading help you retain knowledge, it fills your brain with new information. She also found that people who start reading when young are likely to read more over time and become smarter because of it!

Reading improves your memory
The brain is like a muscle and needs to be exercised. Reading is more challenging to your brain than most other activities. Discussing what you have read can also improve your memory as you are drawing on what you have just read. Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD states this can help strengthen your brain's frontal lobe function.

"The frontal lobe is the last region of the brain to develop, but the first to decline with age. To strengthen the function of the frontal lobe, engage in deeper-level thinking activities such as interpreting what you read in a book, discussing the 'larger messages' in the book and pushing to see how many meanings you can derive from it."

Reading improves your vocabulary
The written word provides an opportunity you to improve your creative lexicon! The more you encounter words you are not familiar with, the more words you will be able to learn and begin to use yourself. Anne E Cunningham's study also demonstrated that there are more rare words used in children's literature than in most prime-time adult television.

Reading increases your emotional intelligence
A study by David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano found that reading literary fiction increases empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence. Because this type of literature leaves more to the imagination, it encourages readers to make inferences about characters and their feelings or motives.

Reading boosts your analytical thinking skills
Reading helps you recognise patterns that occur in writing. It also helps you consider the underlying meaning in the text and to think more deeply about what the author is telling you.

Aside from all of these things, reading is a great way to relax and an excellent way to escape to another world. So what are you waiting for?

Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.
Napoléon Bonaparte, Emperor of France