Why Your Brain Needs To Read Every Single Day: Critical Linking, August 20, 2017

Sponsored by Flatiron Books


To understand why and what each of us can do to get the most out of our words, start by asking the same question the Yale team did: What is it about reading books in particular that boosts our brain power whereas reading newspapers and magazines doesn’t? For one, the researchers posit, chapter books encourage “deep reading.” Unlike, say, skimming a page of headlines, reading a book (of any genre) forces your brain to think critically and make connections from one chapter to another, and to the outside world. When you make connections, so does your brain, literally forging new pathways between regions in all four lobes and both hemispheres. Over time, these neural networks can promote quicker thinking and may provide a greater defense against the worst effects of cognitive decay.

Reading is good for you, and here’s some of the science

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“Books about inspirational women have been a welcome and much needed addition to our bookshelves,” says Waterstones children’s buyer Florentyna Martin, praising Pankhurst’s book, which has remained a bestseller for the chain since it was published last year, as well as Good Night Stories. “It’s important to recognise that these titles are shaping a sustainable area of children’s books and not just ‘bestsellers for the moment’. These books are required, to inspire younger generations for years to come … and the older ones too.”

I’ve certainly noticed this trend of books for children focusing on badass women. I don’t remember ever seeing similar titles growing up. 

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Psych scholars from San Diego State and U Georgia used Google Books to systematically explore the growth of swear-words in published American literature: they conclude that books are getting swearier and that this is a bellwether for a growth in the value of individualism: “Due to the greater valuation of the rights of the individual self, individualistic cultures favor more self-expression in general (Kim & Sherman, 2007) and allow more expression of personal anger in particular (Safdar et al., 2009). Thus, a more individualistic culture should be one with a higher frequency of swear word use.”

Books are getting more sweary and to that I say hell yes. There’s some psychology behind it, too

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Nine underrated summer YA books to pile onto your TBR. I’ve read a couple of them and def think they deserve more eyes upon them. 

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Heritage Hills Riding Center of Ishpeming brought three of their ponies to the school to be reading partners for students. This was part of their Horse Powered Reading Camp.

Staff from Heritage Hills provided educational games from the kids that incorporated the horses. One activity was “vocabulary soccer,” where kids get to play a little ball with the ponies while learning some new uses for words.

Y’all, I’ve heard of reading to dogs, but playing reading games with ponies? I need to know more. 

 

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