Articles

Reading Rewires Your Brain

11/1/21

John Stonestreet

Kasey Leander

Media theorist Marshall McLuhan famously said: “We shape our tools, and thereafter, our tools shape us.” 

That’s certainly true of books, one of humanity’s oldest tools. New research confirms –yet again—just how good it is for us to read books. Reading doesn’t simply teach new facts, it wires various functions of the brain. 

A recent study out of the University of Rochester confirms that reading fiction measurably boosts emotional intelligence. Stories about playing tennis, for example, light up the same part of the brain used in actually playing tennis. Extended reading sessions also sharpen the ability to focus and grasp complex ideas. 

The same studies also suggest a related effect, that the less one reads, the more those skills dissipate. And, to be clear, scrolling on smartphones doesn’t count as reading. 

Of course, Christians should read books, not only because of how God made our brains but because God chose to reveal Himself in Word. Apparently, He really wants us to know who He is.

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