Does Reading Make You Smarter? (and other FAQs about reading)

BookSummaryClub Blog Does Reading Make You Smarter? (and other FAQs about reading)

Okay, even though we all know the benefits of reading, I know that reading isn’t exactly for everyone.

For some, it stems from reading being made a chore in early school years. While others don’t consider themselves to be active readers, which stops them from reading more.

There are a lot of questions regarding reading. In this article, we’ll look at some of the more frequently asked questions about reading, such as ‘does reading make you smarter?’

You can read the entire post, or search for your chosen question in the table of contents below.

Does reading make you smarter?

The short answer is yes. Reading does make you smarter.

However, intelligence is quite a hard thing to measure. Sure, we have IQ tests and whatnot, but that’s hardly gospel in regards to knowledge.

This is backed up by studies too. Anne E.Cunningham from the University of Berkeley wrote the paper, What Reading Does For The Mind, showing the discoveries on reading.

Cunningham says that the amount that young people read made a big difference to vocabulary, general knowledge, spelling, and verbal language skills.

Reading also links directly to academic success. Research has found that students who lack the desired reading ability by the 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of school.

How does reading make you smarter?

So we know reading makes you smarter, but why?

Well, consistent reading improves vocabulary, creates connections with prior knowledge, develops emotional intelligence and empathy, improves creativity, and helps you focus.

So, as you can see, reading has multiple benefits when it comes to improving intelligence.

Does reading fiction make you smarter?

Does reading newspapers make you smarter?

Reading newspapers (depending on the paper), will open your eyes to current affairs and what is happening around the world.

Also, when you read newspapers, you’ll make new connections between new information and information you already know.

Other FAQs about reading

Does reading burn calories?

Our brain uses about 20% of our daily calories. Which, when you consider it is about 2% of our body weight, it is a gas-guzzling Hummer of an organ.

Your brain does, indeed burn more calories when it stays active. So, yes, you can burn calories by reading.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You can ‘read yourself thin,’ but substituting watching late-night Netflix with a good book will help keep your brain active.

Does reading improve memory?

It is shown that reading does improve memory.

This is because when you read, you are exercising your neural networks. These are creating new memories and strengthening the ones you already have.

Does reading prevent Alzheimer’s or Dementia?

The impact that reading has on memory also has long-term effects. It is being said that the strengthening of neural passages and connection can prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Does reading help you fall asleep?

Reading before bed can help you sleep in several ways.

Mainly, reading has a calming effect on the brain and is a way to ‘switch off’ from what’s around you.

Also, when you’re reading a book, you’re not on a device or looking at a screen. The blue light from many phones and tablets almost tricks your eyes to believe it is daylight.

Does reading make you a better writer?

Reading definitely makes you a better writer.

If you’re looking to write a book, for example, you should read some of the works in the genre you’re looking at writing for.

You’ll pick up tropes from the genre, as well as writing styles that you can use for inspiration.

Does reading in the dark damage eyes?

Whenever I was reading in the lounge room, Dad would always open the windows, saying I’d go blind if I read in bad light.

However, while reading poor lighting can strain your eyes, you won’t do any long-lasting damage.

Your vision will weaken over time, regardless, and your genetics will play a much more significant role in long-term eye health.

Does reading improve speech?

Reading aloud can certainly improve speech patterns.

You’ll improve your expression, which can carry on to your speaking.

If you struggle public speaking or get anxious at social situations, read aloud frequently, and get used to the sound of your own voice.

Does reading help with anxiety?

Reading isn’t a ‘cure for anxiety.’ However, there are some ways reading can help if you’re feeling anxious.

Six minutes of reading reduces stress by up to 60 percent.

That’s 68% better more effective than listening to music, 100% more beneficial than drinking tea, and is three-times better than going for a walk.

Does reading make you happier?

Reading can make you happier!

As mentioned, reading does help with anxious feelings. This can lead to being happier.

Reading is also an escape from what’s around you.

The University of Liverpool spoke to 4,164 adults and found some differences between people who read people who don’t.

Those who read were less stressed, less depressed, had higher levels of self-esteem, and a more exceptional ability to cope with challenges.

This may come from the fact that a lot of adults who struggle with reading let it impact their self-confidence and perception of themselves.

Does reading cause headaches?

Reading as a task is not supposed to cause headaches.

If you are experiencing headaches from reading, you may be reading in poor light, causing strain on the eyes.

If you continuously are experiencing headaches when reading, it is best to get your eyes checked from an optometrist.

Does reading cause vertigo?

Vertigo can be caused by many things. However, reading isn’t one of them. Vertigo is mostly caused by inner ear infection or disease.

Does reading help you poop?

Okay, stop laughing. I’m being serious…

The relaxation you get from reading must help you in the bathroom. In fact, 74 percent of people read on the toilet, according to Quilted Northern’s 2004 Bathroom Confidential Study.

To me, that just shows that 26 percent of people are dirty liars.

Regardless, reading has even been prescribed by doctors to patients with fecal incontinence.

Does reading to unborn baby help?

Reading to an unborn baby can help.

A fetus can hear distinct sounds at 18 weeks. They can even react to voices and noises from the 24-week mark.

Infants can even learn to distinguish their mother’s voice while still in the womb. So while reading to an unborn baby won’t help intelligence, it does help create a bond between parents and infants.

Does reading to your child make a difference?

Reading to children can make a massive difference in the development of children and young learners.

Pediatricians have always recommended parents routinely read aloud to their young children.

Not only do children experience elements of a story, they learn new words, use their creativity, train their mind’s eye, increase their vocabulary and get the same benefits of reading that any adult can have.

Does reading help dyslexia?

There is no ‘cure’ for Dyslexia, only strategies to deal with it.

According to the University of Michigan, Dyslexics require explicit and systematic instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, and spelling patterns and rules to help with Dyslexia.

Additionally, someone with Dyslexia may need tactics for vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing.

So, while reading doesn’t help with Dyslexia, someone with Dyslexia may need strategies to read more efficiently.

How does reading improve vocabulary?

Reading is probably the most significant factor in increasing your vocabulary.

When you read, you’ll encounter words you haven’t seen or read before. Your brain will then look for connections involving the words you do know to try and discover context and meaning for the new word.

As opposed to reading a dictionary and hoping to increase your vocabulary, when you read books, you see the word used naturally and in context to a conversation or story.

Does reading count as a hobby?

Yes, reading does count as a hobby.

It may not be the most active or social hobby if you read alone, but reading is certainly a hobby.

Don’t be afraid to tell people you’re a reader!

Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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