According to the Journal of Neuropsychiatry, and Clinical Neurosciences Research people who read for pleasure are 52% less likely than non-readers to develop dementia. As yet the scientists aren’t sure why but the theory is that “reading activates neural pathways that would otherwise languish with age.” (Statistics quoted in Better Homes and Gardens, August 2012, pg. 160)
Other benefits have been discovered as well. Maryanne Wolfe in her book, Proust and the Squid suggests that as you imagine the story and organize the details, you enhance critical thinking. What’s more, according to a study from the University at Buffalo in New York, bookworms tend to be compassionate. By putting themselves in the shoes of fictional characters, readers enhance their perspectives. (Ibid. pg. 160)
I’ll add another benefit. Sharing and discussing books with friends adds to sociability which science has also concluded boosts good health.
So pull out my book, Gothic Spring or works by authors I’ve previously recommended: The Timber Beast, by Susan Stoner; The Copper-Handles Affair by John Legry; Gone West, by Carola Dunn; Dead in a Ditch by Jody Seay. Any of them will give your brain a treat. Or, if you crave sterner stuff, I recommend Lincoln’s Speeches Reconsidered, by John Channing Briggs, professor of English at the University of California, Riverside (and a former student of mine.)
(Courtesy of www.hawaiireaders.com)