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withlovewen.com-Brain-Books-Benefits-of-ReadingThe positive benefits of reading are too many to list in a single post. As they say, reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Honestly, I am not talking about daily reading from a tweet, Instagram post, a text message from a friend or any other social media posts. I am not speaking about an “express” reading, but about the reading considered part of a pleasure time or enjoyment. The reading that gets you acquaintance with a book. Connect you with a single story; its plots and characters since the moment you opened the first page.

Benefits of Reading:

Cognitive Stimulation:

True story: Several years ago, I got terribly sick, and my memory was the most affected. I could not function normally; therefore, I became obsessed with my cognitive recovery. I once had a neurologist who told me that the best thing I could do for my brain was never to stop reading. Staying mentally active can help repair the brain. Companies like Lumosity or CogniFit (which I used at the time), are online programs and applications for brain exercises and have become favorites using such facts. The brain is also a muscle; exercise is needed to keep it healthy. Besides reading, If you want to learn more about improving your mind in natural ways, then you got to watch these TEDx Talks from Psychiatrists Daniel Amen. Based on his book – Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.

Minimize Stress:

It does not matter how much chaos you have in your life; it all just disappears when you find yourself concentrated reading a great story. A good book will make you fantasize and keep you entertained. It will take your mind away from the present and help you to relax. My favorite “Me, Myself and I” moment is when I sit holding a cup of tea (Matcha, anyone?), while lost on a good book story.

Like some of my recent favorites: Paris Time Capsule or A Paris Apartment, both based on the true story of a beautiful apartment abandoned in Paris for seventy years. When the apartment got open for the first time, after all those years of being closed, then it was discovered that it used to belong to a Parisian Belle Epoque courtesan. She left her secrets, a story of romance, history, and mysteries hidden inside that apartment. I devoured both stories in a couple of days. These books were incredibly fun to read. Great stories!

Knowledge:

Reading is often, feeding the brain with brand new data and information. The more useful information you put in there, the more active the mind is to confront and handle upcoming new challenges (be selective with your reading choices!). There is real evidence that book lovers can make their brain come alive with emotions and senses. A similar benefit for those that enjoy listening to a good book let’s say through Audible.com. The brain gets to light up when you hear an interesting narrated story. The central part of the brain which process language, gets activated. Reading makes you connect to real-life experiences; the mind believes that you have lived and experienced the story.

Memory & Focus:

Each time I read a book, I end up remembering a series of situations like location described, characters and episodes. Focusing on a single subject is important for our brains to confront modern days. Day by day, our mind is divided between several tasks, work, and assignments. Just think of yourself right now, while you are reading this from your computer or smartphone. How many more tabs do you have open? How many other apps? There is so much to read. Communication is being bombarded at us, every second from all directions, right? However, when you read through a book, what happens? You are engaged and set to a single story at that precise moment. Such solitude of attention, it is excellent and healthy to improve your memory and focus.

More Empathetic:

We learn to relate to others. It increases the capacity to deduce what others are thinking by reading into people’s feelings. As we let go of the mental chatter in the real world, in-depth reading, allows us to feel what the characters within the story are feeling. Reading makes us more empathetic and increases our awareness of others.

Fight Alzheimer:

The National Institute Of Aging stated that some factors associated with Alzheimer could be prevented. Evidence suggests that activity like reading has cognitive benefits. People who don’t exercise their brain stand a chance of losing brain power. Reading exercises the brain and prevents inactivity, which prevents the likelihood of being diagnosed with Alzheimer.

Recommended Books:

Blindness by Jose Saramago

I recently read a book called Blindness by Jose Saramago (for those who also speak Spanish, Ensayo Sobre la Ceguera), a strong fictional story about a deadly epidemic, making everyone exposed become blind. In the story, those people who became sick were collected and secluded from a hospital, to avoid spreading the disease. In the middle of that blindness, the victims started showing their real humanity and spirit; except for one single woman at the hospital, who could see and witnessed the behavior in others. It is through her eyes that we learn the whole story.

This book talks about blindness as a physical disability but also as a cultural, ethical and moral problem. Do we live in a society blind with the pain of others? This book left me speechless. I could not stop reading. Blindness is the type of book that makes you analyze, the small day by day details in life. This book got me thinking about the privilege of our senses and the many things we take for granted.

If you close your eyes, would you still identify the sound of the rain? How about the intensity of the thunders and lightning? Or the smell of the earth getting wet from the rain? And the sensation of walking in mud?

Would you recognize the particular sound of the steps of that person you love approaching you? We do so much talk throughout the whole day. We carry that egocentric habit of exposing others constantly to our words and thoughts; by doing that, we forget how to hear, how to listen to our surroundings or our bodies and others. If we go blind today; what would save us more, the way we talked or how we listened?

The Time in Between By Maria Dueñas

withlovewen.com-thetimeinbetween-readingI cannot write enough about how much I enjoyed this book called The Time in Between by Maria Dueñas. I read the original Spanish version El Tiempo Entre Costuras, but recently I bought the English version for a friend of mine. My friend became enchanted with such an amazing story.

The Time in Between is about a young woman, Sira Quiroga. She has been a seamstress since childhood. As a young woman in love, she leaves her old boyfriend, moves to another country with her lover, learns to survive being abandoned and penniless, build a reputation as a high-class seamstress and end up being a spy to prevent an upcoming war. I could not put this book down. Each new chapter was even more fascinating than the last one.

It became even more enjoyable when I recently discovered the TV series on Netflix! I rarely watch TV, but this series got me glued for days. The series has the same name as the book, The Time in Between. The actors were incredible, and each episode has a “Wao” effect, like the book. It is a very elegant story, and if that is not enough, then just wait for it, until you see the character “Ramiro” on the screen. I was drooling!withlovewen.com-thetimeinbetween-book

Note From An Introvert:

I do not leave home without a good book, in the case of “end-to-the-world” scenarios like finding myself hanging out with a group of people who are regularly enjoying gossiping about other people’s problems (kidding!). It is preferable to talk about new books, articles, people’s interest or hobbies. I prefer to be engaged in a long conversation about a good book or the latest opinion article from The New York Times. However, the conversation about what’s going on with the friend of such friend’s cousin’s next-door neighbor will make me try to run towards the nearest exit PRONTO!

Here is something that I believe: Energy and vibration are food to our souls. We must defend the person we want to become -or act against what we do not want to become- by firmly choosing between engaging or blocking. If the experience is soul-drenching, energy-sucking, contagious or forcing an involuntary participation that destroys your vibe. Then maybe -just maybe- we need to get creative with ways on how to politely say no. I do not feel bad about finding a way, to walk away from engagements that make me feel uncomfortable. I might or might not be giving you additional benefits of reading and keeping a good book handy with you at all times (joking!) You know, we the introverts.

Reading instead can help you understand other cultures, provide you with a mental replica of real-life scenarios and experiences. It allows us to create worlds in our minds. In resume, it allows us to create worlds in our minds. The benefits of reading are endless, and it is always a win-win situation.

What book would you add to the list? I’m always searching for a good book. What are you currently reading?

Thanks for reading! All opinions are my own.

With Love, Wen

withlovewen.com-Brain-Books-Benefits-of-Reading

40 Comments

  1. robin masshole mommy Reply

    I don’t read, but my husband loves it. He takes the train to and from work every day and reads like 5 or 6 books a month that way.

  2. Ah! I love reading so much! And I didn’t know a lot of those benefits so extra bonus!! I’ll have to check out your amazon picks 🙂

  3. echoesofhervoice Reply

    I love reading and I couldn’t agree with your points more. Thank you for this post!

  4. fleurdelilah Reply

    Great post! I have always enjoyed reading, but have really started getting back into it in the past year or so. Any tips for making it a consistent habit? And Kindles are heaven sent—lightweight and better for the environment!

  5. I love reading. It is a relaxing time for me, one that I don’t get to go as much now I have a baby. I didn’t know that reading was one of the best things for your brain. Good to know

  6. Also I will add here that the more you read, the better writer you become. I love spending hours just reading.

  7. People think they don’t have time to read… but I did the calculations,,, the average person watches 4 hours of tv a day,,, the avg book is 6 hours long,,, You could read 240 books a year if you cut out TV!

  8. You can never go wrong by sitting down and reading a book – Alzheimers is such a real fear for myself and my husband, I never thought reading could help! My goal this year was to read 30 books, life has gotten in the way and embarrassingly, I’ve only read one. Tonight, I’m making time.

  9. Reading is one of the biggest joys of my life. When my sister and I were younger, my mom always made it a point to buy us books instead of toys. This taught us both to love reading from a young age.

  10. I really need to get lost in a good book. Its been WAY too long since that happened. Right now I’m overloaded with a million things to do, so I cant seem to find the time. But – hope to soon!

  11. Growing up, I detested reading. It was always forced upon us in school to read boring stories that didn’t interest me. When I got out of school, that is when my love for reading grew! I love to read now. I lucked out, my oldest daughter loves to read and so does my youngest!

  12. I remember seeing pictures and hearing about the Paris time capsule apartment. I really want to read those stories! I didn’t know there were books based on it.

  13. These are all such great and important points. I stress this to my kids all the time, yet I never heed my own advice. I used to be an avid reader. But once I began reading blogs and blogging, it sort went by the wayside.

  14. thefashionableaccountant Reply

    I absolutely love reading! I’ve always been the girl with my nose buried in a book! I love to escape in the plot and the characters.

  15. Elizabeth O. Reply

    Reading has done a lot for me in the past years and until now. It remains to be an escape, a stress reliever. I’ve always liked fiction because it takes you on a whole new world.

  16. I’m a huge fan of the Book of The Month subscription. I’ve discovered so many great books that way. I’ve been slacking on reading lately because I’ve been trying to catch up on all my podcasts, but I really miss cozying up with a good read.

  17. Nothing makes me happier than reading a good book, not just to myself but my daughter too. It broadens and relaxes the mind. Being curled up on the sofa, with a cup of coffee and a great book, is true bliss.

  18. I always loved reading, and I knew it was good for you but I had no idea it could help fight off Alzheimer. That is really good to know. I will check out some of the recommendations, as I haven’t read any of them before.

  19. I am sorry to hear that you were sick, do you mind me asking what happened? You don’t have to tell me but I am pleased that books helped you with cognitive recovery. When I was a child books were the one escape I had from the abuse I was facing at home and it was seeing the beauty of words and the impact they had on our society that made me fall in love with reading/ writing/ books x

  20. My school work is all reading. I probably read 100+ pages everyday from my school books. I find it so nice and relieves stress

  21. This is such a clever and informative post (pretty rare on blogs these days, and I love reading these so much!). I love books and even though I read some of them on my Kobo there’s nothing like a real paper hardback! I have way too many of them:) x

  22. I absolutely agree with this post. I am such a lover of books and try to read a little each day. I find it good for my mind, body, and soul!

  23. I am a huge fan of curling up with a good book, and forgetting all of the stress of the day. I feel like it’s the perfect escape, and keeps my mind busy. I love how it takes you to different places and keeps you learning 🙂

  24. Minimizing stress is something that I really need to be doing right now. When you read, you can fly away to far off places or become a part of someone else’s life. I need to get a book for this weekend.

  25. I’ve been a reader all of my life .. although I wish I had a little more time as an adult. When I was growing up I’d spend long afternoons with a good book. As an adult .. it’s more 15 to 20 minute increments. Better than nothing .. but it can be a bit harder to follow the storyline. Either way .. I’m glad for the escape!

  26. I used to love to read! And then I stopped for a long time! I just picked up a new book with the hopes to get back into it!

  27. I love reading but haven’t dedicated enough time to it recently. I’m going away this weekend and plan to read lots on the train there and back!

  28. I so need to get back into reading every night instead o alwaysf working up until bedtime! It DOES help stress!

  29. I’ve loved reading ever since I was a young girl. I truly encourage everyone and anyone who wants to gain knowledge, enrich their life and just have a stressfree activity to find a genre or author they’re interested and just read. It’s so amazing.

  30. I have to start making more time for reading. I love to do it, due to the stress relief it provides. Getting away from real life and getting caught up in a story is always great!

  31. as a book reviewer, I love to read, and read at least three books a week, sometimes more – when I can find the time. Books are so cool! Thankfully my children have the same love for books. Blessings!

  32. Though I read a lot, I did not know about the “benefits” of reading. It’s incredible.

  33. I loved your post. As a writer, teacher and book reviewer, I am fortunate to be tied to reading. And thanks for recommending the book Blindness by Saramago, have now added to my tbr list.

  34. Great article! Reading is also a huge stress reliever for me, there’s nothing better than getting lost in a thrilling book.

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