Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Reading Improves Critical Thinking, Brain Function


Pushpa Priya


Reading skills refers to specific abilities that enable a person to read freely and interact with the message. What has intrigued me to pick up this issue is- today’s young generation sticks to the modern gadgets for a long period of time ignoring the habit of reading books, magazines, newspaper etc.
According to the research, reading is a process that helps negotiate the meaning between the text and its reader. It involves three stages, that is, pre-reading, during reading and after reading. Pre-reading stage allows the reader to activate background knowledge, preview the text, and develop a purpose for reading by listing all the information that comes to the mind regarding the topic.
The second stage is during reading where the reader makes predictions and confirms the predictions after reading. The final stage occurs after reading that allows the reader to retell the story in his/her own words, answer questions and compare it to another text. Reading has magical benefits to the reader especially through cognitive stimulation.
Reading helps us develop our thoughts and provide us with knowledge by keeping the mind active. In addition to this, it is a timeless form of entertainment. Reading benefits can be perceived in many different ways-such as improving memory, sharpening the mind, imagination and writing skills. It helps reader receive information about different things. The more knowledge helps to encounter any problematic situation with solution.
For satiate one’s reading requirements one can select any topics from wide ranges. Engaging in reading for hours helps one gain exposure to many words, that is, vocabulary expansion which results in speaking confidently by boosting self-esteem.
It can also help the reader motivate to explain and motivate the people to their subject of interest because of tremendous capacity to articulate their thoughts in different ways, helping him her enhance creative skills too.
According to Dr. Duffy, books do open a child’s imagination into discovering his/her own world. Dr Duffy says she reads to her three young boys every night to stimulate their thoughts and awaken their intellect.
In order to broaden your child’s imagination, it is better to turn off TV and gadgets and to read any good book having moral theme, to sharpen your child’s imaginative faculty.
The imagination is a powerful tool that can be used in all aspects of life. Heavy readers will know the feeling of losing themselves in the worlds of novels and it is indeed a wonderful feeling.
Moreover, reading books, magazines, articles also sharpen memory function. Just like with physical exercise, it is a form of mental exercise. While reading, one’s brain is consistently observing the set of information about any text and due to this, the point of the brain that controls the memory power is stimulated and it results in improved memory.
Reading is a luxury for the people of all ages and all walks of life. Studies have shown reading slows the progress of dementia. Reading has a mental stimulation power as regular reading habits keeps brain active and prevents brain from losing memory power. Like our body, mind requires exercise too. One can enhance its effectiveness through reading books for cognitive stimulation.
A well-written literary genre like poetry, prose, drama and novel can take the reader to other realms by letting tensions drain away and allowing maintaining peaceful state of mind.
Reading the contents immediately take your brain to different worlds with different characters surrounding it. By doing this, you can allow yourself to be at a peaceful stage. In this way, literary genres can make you feel both mentally and physically relaxed.
Depression can easily be swept away by imbibing reading habits. The feelings of happiness that comes from reading stories can brighten your mood.
Books boosts sleep too; books are best friends at night before one go to bed. Reading good books enables one to relax and de-stress by calming the body and mind, especially after a long stressful day and that can help in peaceful sleep.
Furthermore, reading book, magazines, newspaper etc broadens the mind of the reader too as it allows too see various matters, issues and things from different perspectives. For instance, reading about different cultures helps you know the cultural differences in terms of values, beliefs and assumptions. Books gives us new ideas and helps us see the things in a new light, allowing us to let go of the notions of “correct” or “incorrect”.
And it also helps in avoiding any misunderstanding and conflicts between two different cultures if you are well acquainted with different cultures through your reading.
In addition, reading does not just help with critical thinking but it also improves brain function; like muscle grows stronger with work on muscle every day, reading works the same to sharpen the mind. It strengthens the separate parts of the brain and control our thinking and analysing skills. With so many advantages, reading about anything should be an everyday occurrence.

( Pushpa Priya is an English lecturer )