Study found that continuous reading has the same benefit as repeated reading in improving fluency and reading comprehension.
The 2007 study conducted a study having
- Students repeatedly reading each page of text 3 times for 15 min and three times per week for 14 weeks;
- Students continuous reading pages of text for 15 min and three times per week for 14 weeks; and
- Reader in a control group.
What is the benefit of continuous reading? Continuous reading is a natural and more fun way of reading, engaging readers to learn a wider range of vocabulary. Reading unique text each time also forces a reader to pay attention to each written words since it is unique each time.
Here are 10 surprising benefits of continuous reading does to your brain.
1. Brain workout
Reading is one of many workouts for your brain. Reading is mentally stimulating which can help protect memory and thinking skills, especially with age. Reading slows down the rate of cognitive decline, which keeps the brain healthier and higher functioning for longer, which slows the progress and even prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
2. Reduces stress and cortisol levels
Reading is a high-intensity mental activity. While reading, your brain is actually working hard trying to focus on words in the book, allowing you to lose yourself in a great story. Hence allowing the release of tension in your muscles and allowing you to relax.
3. Knowledge is power
‘Knowledge is wealth that cannot be stolen.’ Whenever you fill your head with new bits of information, this new knowledge might come in handy – create new conversations, helping someone out, etc. Knowledge acquired is like mini stepping stones to help you to tackle future challenges.
4. Expand vocabulary in your dictionary
The more you read, the better you can articulate your thoughts – both written and spoken. According to researchers at the Emory University’s Center for Neuropolicy, reading narratives cause changes in the brain both in the activity and in resting-state as well. When we engage in reading, the connection between the left temporal cortex of the brain – an area associated with language reception – is heightened.
5. Improve memory capacity
A good novel has an assortment of characters, history, background as well as sub-plots throughout the entire plot. However, the brain is so marvelous to be able to remember these things with ease. Every new memory that is forged creates new brain pathways while strengthening existing ones, assisting in short-term memory recall.
6. Increases analytical skills
Analytical thinking skills are developed by consistently reading more books. As reading stimulates the brain, it allows you to think in new and more creative ways. In comparison to other forms of communication, reading allows the flexibility of time where you would be able to pause to comprehend, reflect, and take note of new ideas.
7. Let your imagination run wild
Novels transport you to different places, times, and worlds. Exercising imagination would improve your ability to visualize these new worlds, characters, and perspectives. The opening of the mind to new ideas and possibilities would also allow you to be more creative and empathetic.
8. Increases concentration and resilience
According to a study conducted by Microsoft, the average attention span is about 8 seconds today. A consistent reading habit will strengthen the attention span as you need to focus all your attention on the words on the page. Hence through constant practice, you will be able to enhance your mental concentration.
9. Read at the speed of light
You will be able to plow through large quantities of magazines, newspapers, and books with ease in comparison to your peers. The ability to pick out useful information in the current generation of ‘information overload’ is essential. Hence through continuous reading, one can train the eyes and brain to pick out the relevant information.
10. Sleep better, feel better
Reading as a bedtime ritual will reduce stress and train your brain to associate reading with sleep. Smartphones, computer screens, and television emits blue light with disrupts the internal clock and negatively impacts the quality of sleep. Try to avoid reading on a screen and read a physical book instead.
Do remember that reading is not about getting from cover to cover, but rather it is about the long term benefits that it would bring to your body!
- Ellis, S. K., Walczyk, J. J., Buboltz, W., & Felix, V. (2014). The relationship between self-reported sleep quality and reading comprehension skills. Sleep Science, 7(4), 189-196.
- Frey, A., & Bosse, M. L. (2018). Perceptual span, visual span, and visual attention span: Three potential ways to quantify limits on visual processing during reading. Visual Cognition, 26(6), 412-429.
- Global Cloud-Based Communications and PR Solutions Leader. (2018, January 22). Retrieved November 29, 2020, from https://www.cision.com/us/2018/01/declining-attention-killing-content-marketing-strategy/
- Harris, T. L., & Hodges, R. E. (1995). The literacy dictionary: The vocabulary of reading and writing. Order Department, International Reading Association, 800 Barksdale Road, PO Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714-8139 (Book No. 138: $25 members, $35 non-members)
- Patterson, K., & Hodges, J. R. (1992). Deterioration of word meaning: Implications for reading. Neuropsychologia, 30(12), 1025-1040.
- Rizzolo, D., Zipp, G. P., Stiskal, D., & Simpkins, S. (2009). Stress management strategies for students: The immediate effects of yoga, humor, and reading on stress. Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC), 6(8).
- Sumara, D. J. (2002). Why reading literature in school still matters Imagination, interpretation, insight. Routledge.