There’s lots of talk about feeding body and soul, about being healthy and putting the right stuff in to get good stuff out, but what about feeding the brain? There have been studies to say that keeping an active mind helps one to keep sharp as they age. There are even websites like Lumosity that use games to help keep the brain working.
In 2013, Huffington Post had an article stating that a survey was presented to 1,000 adults and the results show that 28% of the population had not read a book in the past year. Another 25% only read between 1 and 5 books in the previous year. Only 8% stated they had read over 50 books in the past year.
Now I understand people are busy and not a whole lot of us have the time for 50 books in a year (ahh I miss my years of reading between 150-200 books a year…). I get TV watching is relaxing and easier for most. I’m no stranger to couch potato ways and I’m quite familiar with binge watching shows on Netflix (although I pride myself in not getting one of those “You’ve been watching for X amt of hours, are you okay?” messages…). While you can certainly learn things from television, especially if you’re watching an educational kind of show (Shark Week, anyone?) reading will work a different part of the brain.
Have you ever been excited to see one of your favorite books is being turned into a movie, but then are disappointed with the outcome? That main character looks nothing like you imagined. That town? You expected it to look more desolate and rundown. Why? Because when you read the book your brain took the author’s words and worked up an image in your mind about what those characters looked like and how that town was depicted. Your image may not exactly mirror the one the author had in mind, but that’s okay. The perk of reading is that you get to visit and visualize new worlds and people in your own way. You are using your imagination, something that many seem to forget they have once they enter the Tween years. To be imaginative is not a downfall. It’s not childish or immature. It’s creative, artistic, and good for the mind, body and soul.
Reading not only feeds your brain but gives you things to discuss and debate with other likeminded folks. It can help you turn a non-reader onto something amazing. It can inspire you to create art, fan fiction and all sorts of other projects based on the world you step into when you flip through those pages.
Newspaper and magazine articles and non-fiction books certainly feed your brain as well, but fiction allows for the imagination to spark and grow ideas and images to accompany an author’s story. If you’re going to be health conscious, be sure to feed all aspects of the body, including the all important brain!
How many books do your feed your brain with in a year?