As I’m sitting here at my desk, staring at the multiple piles of books, some business, others fiction, I’m asking myself which movie to watch tonight. Do I have your attention or do you wish to re-read that last sentence to see if your eyes have deceived you? Either way, I probably will end up watching a movie tonight, however not before I read a few chapters (chances are, even more) of one of the many books that line my shelves and my aforementioned desk.

Now, I read out of sheer love for books and how they can take your mind off of many things – whether it be your studies, work or anything even remotely stressful. However, books are great for much more than escaping reality – they can actually increase intelligence and boost empathy.

…recent scientific studies have confirmed that reading and intelligence have a relationship so close as to be symbiotic. – The Guardian

Now, while I couldn’t say for sure if that is the case, I do notice a significant difference in my vocabulary and my word choice when I am actively reading books/articles on a daily base. In terms of emotional intelligence and empathy, a study was just recently done on that as well… in short, here’s a quote from the Express:

Keith Oatley, a Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development in Canada, argues that reading or watching narratives may encourage empathy. 

He said that by exploring the inner lives of characters on the page, readers can form ideas about others’ emotions, motives, and ideas, off the page.

And don’t just keep that reading to yourself either; studies show that reading to your children can actually increase their intelligence when they grow up (some articles to further that accusation) : Medical News Today, Early Moments, TIME.

Thanks Mom and Dad, for reading to me when I was young. Although I may have not understood why the Cow goes ‘Moo’ or why buildings are so big (I still don’t) I hope that your efforts have paid off… only time will tell.

And thank you for reading this. I sincerely hope it gives you something to think about.  If you enjoyed it, please share it by using one of the services below!