Does reading for pleasure make you smarter? Many people are quite polarized about this. Some people are of the belief that reading helps you focus and learn more about the world, while others say that it makes you less ignorant, but not necessarily smarter.
I think reading, like any method of receiving information, can expand your knowledge. Does that make you smarter? Depends who you ask. Some people would say that it depends what you read. I personally feel that if you learn one new thing from a book, that is your knowledge expanded.
I think the process of reading makes life more interesting. I occasionally find myself bored and stuck in the banality of habit and want to be alone, but not feel lonely. Good writers and stories stick with me, keep me thinking and relating observations in books to my daily life. It also opens up my imagination to keep me on my toes and not get sucked in automatic thinking that I can become accustomed to when not having characters in my head.
Any amount of reading will allow you to learn the following skills;
- Organizing your thoughts
- Written communication
- Oral Communication
- Mental Stamina and Concentration (e.g. You can sit down and focus singularly on one task for several hours)
- Jeopardy skills ( Non-essential facts and tid bits of knowledge)
- Emotional maturity and compassion for individuals and circumstances that extend beyond yourself.
- Listening comprehension
What do you all think? Does reading make you smarter? Do you retain the stories after reading a book or do you simply see them as mind candy?
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.