A study published in December 2013 has demonstrated that reading increases brain activity. 17 students were asked to read a novel and had an MRI every morning. “On the days after the reading, significant increases in connectivity were discovered on hubs in the brain…”
Reading is good for school achievement. In 2012, Nick Gibb, the UK School Minister, said that “Reading books for just half an hour a day could be worth up to 12 months’ extra schooling by the age of 15“. In New Zealand, a study carried out in 2006 had linked academic success and reading: “High performers were more likely to read widely, use a library, have access to a range of books in their home, and enjoy reading” (page 158).
Reading is good for social skills. A new research published in October found that “Reading literary fiction improves empathy“. In this study, the choice of book is important. In short, easy reads, whether thrillers or romance, are written to entertain the reader; little thinking is involved. Literary works on the contrary, engages the reader to imagine the unsaid or to elaborate characters, therefore sharpen the ability to understand others’ emotions.
Reading reduces stress levels. In 2009, a research compared the heart rates and muscle tension of participants involved in different ways to relax. Reading was the most effective way to overcome stress, more effective than listening to music, having a cup of tea, or even going for a walk!
Reading is good for your sleep! A study from the National Sleep Foundation conducted in 2004 concludes that reading as part of the bedtime routine will ensure a better sleep.
Studies have also shown that reading throughout life is good for older people, even reduces the Alzheimer risk but I doubt I can convince teenagers to read using this reason!