National Reading Campaign

Benefits of Reading and Its Psychology Effect

Benefits of Reading and Its Psychology Effect

In today’s digital age, where screens and technology dominate our lives, the act of reading remains an enduring and valuable activity. This article aims to explore the benefits of reading, delve into the psychology behind it, highlight the advantages of reading storybooks, compare audiobooks to traditional reading, discuss the influence of psychological books, and provide strategies for encouraging a reading habit in children.

Benefits of Reading

Unpacking the Benefits of Reading

Reading offers a multitude of benefits that contribute to personal growth and well-being. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2019, 84% of adults in the United States believe that reading books has a positive impact on their lives. This indicates a widespread recognition of the benefits of reading.

Mental Stimulation

Engaging in regular reading exercises the brain and promotes mental stimulation. Research conducted by the University of California, Berkeley found that reading can increase connectivity in the brain and improve overall brain function. It stimulates neural pathways and enhances cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and problem-solving abilities.

Emotional Well-being

Reading has a significant impact on emotional well-being. A study published in the journal Emotion in 2016 found that reading fiction can increase empathy and understanding of others’ emotions. Additionally, a study conducted by the University of Sussex in 2009 revealed that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68%.

Building Knowledge and Vocabulary

One of the fundamental advantages of reading is its educational value. Reading exposes individuals to a wealth of information and ideas, expanding their knowledge on various subjects. According to a study published in the journal Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, individuals who engage in regular reading have higher levels of educational attainment and vocabulary skills compared to non-readers.

Psychology Behind Reading

Neuroscience research has demonstrated that reading has a profound impact on the brain. According to a study published in the journal Brain Connectivity, reading activates multiple regions of the brain, including those responsible for language processing, visual imagery, and comprehension. These neurological effects contribute to the cognitive benefits associated with reading.

Reading enhances perception and critical thinking skills by challenging readers to interpret and analyze written information. According to a study published in the Journal of Research in Reading, reading comprehension skills are strongly associated with higher levels of critical thinking ability. Reading encourages readers to think critically, evaluate different perspectives, and form their own opinions, thereby improving overall cognitive abilities.

Psychology Behind Reading

Regular reading exercises the brain’s memory and concentration abilities. When reading, individuals must remember characters, plotlines, and details, improving their working memory. According to a study published in the journal Memory, reading has a positive effect on memory retention. Additionally, reading requires sustained focus and concentration, which can help individuals develop better attention spans.

Advantages of Reading Story Books

Storybooks, including fiction, provide unique advantages compared to other forms of reading material. They transport readers to different worlds, allowing them to escape reality and engage in imaginative experiences. According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, reading literary fiction specifically has been associated with increased empathy and social perception.

Reading fiction nurtures emotional intelligence by exposing readers to various characters and their emotional journeys. According to a study conducted by psychologists at The New School in New York, reading literary fiction can enhance individuals’ ability to understand others’ mental states and emotions. Additionally, fiction stimulates creativity and encourages imaginative thinking, allowing readers to explore new ideas and perspectives.

Introducing children to reading at an early age has numerous cognitive and developmental benefits. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, children who are read too frequently during their early years have better language skills and perform better in school. Reading also fuels imagination, allowing children to explore new ideas, cultures, and possibilities.

Pleasure Reading Survey and Its Highlights

A recent survey conducted by the Environics Research Group for the National Reading Campaign revealed interesting insights into Canadians’ reading habits for pleasure. The survey found that books were the preferred choice among readers, with 70% favoring them over magazines, newspapers, and blogs. Education level influenced reading frequency, while income level did not significantly impact reading habits. Additionally, the survey identified a decline in pleasurable reading, with 12% of Canadians reporting a decrease compared to the previous year, and 5% admitting to no longer reading for pleasure at all.

However, it was encouraging to note that 82% of Canadians either maintained or increased their reading for pleasure. The survey also highlighted the growing popularity of electronic publications, with 45% of Canadians reporting higher consumption, particularly among men. Furthermore, urban centers showed higher library usage, with almost half of the respondents utilizing library services in the past year. Overall, the survey findings reinforce the well-documented benefits of reading for pleasure, including improved life satisfaction, higher incomes, healthier relationships, and enhanced mental well-being.

For more detailed analysis, please refer to the Environics – National Reading Campaign – Survey report.

Audiobooks Vs. Traditional Reading

Audiobooks and traditional reading offer distinct approaches to consuming written content. While traditional reading involves visually processing text, audiobooks rely on auditory comprehension. According to a survey conducted by Edison Research in 2020, audiobook listening has been steadily increasing in popularity, with 55% of Americans having listened to an audiobook.

Research suggests that listening to audiobooks engages similar cognitive processes as traditional reading. According to a study published in the journal Reading Research Quarterly, audiobooks can improve listening comprehension skills and enhance vocabulary development. However, some research indicates that the level of comprehension and retention may differ between audiobooks and traditional reading.

The choice between audiobooks and traditional reading depends on individual preferences and learning styles. Some individuals may prefer audiobooks for their convenience and accessibility, especially for multitasking or individuals with visual impairments. However, for deep engagement and focused comprehension, traditional reading may be more beneficial. Matching the approach to the learner’s preferences can optimize the reading experience.

Influence of Psychological Books

Psychology books play a crucial role in promoting self-understanding, personal growth, and mental well-being. They provide insights into human behaviour, emotions, and mental processes, helping readers navigate their own lives and relationships.

Psychological books offer valuable tools and perspectives for self-reflection and self-improvement. They present theories, case studies, and practical strategies that readers can apply to gain a better understanding of themselves and others. According to a survey conducted by Goodreads in 2020, 72% of readers reported that reading self-help or psychology books had a positive impact on their lives.

Recommendations for Essential Psychology Books

For individuals interested in exploring psychology literature, here are some essential book recommendations:

  • “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl
  • “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
  • “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman
  • “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini
  • “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg

Encouraging a Reading Habit in Children

Developing a reading habit in children has long-lasting benefits for their cognitive, emotional, and academic development. According to a report by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, reading aloud to young children promotes language development, early literacy skills, and positive parent-child interactions.

To encourage children to read, several strategies can be employed. These include creating a reading-friendly environment at home, setting aside dedicated reading time, providing a variety of books to choose from, and engaging in shared reading activities. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, parental involvement in reading activities positively impacts children’s reading habits and motivation.

Recommendations for Children’s Books

Here are some popular and highly recommended children’s books across different age groups:

  • “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown (Ages 0-3)
  • “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis (Ages 7-12)
  • “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling (Ages 8-12)
  • “The Giver” by Lois Lowry (Ages 12 and up)
  • “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Ages 12 and up)


How does reading impact cognition?

Reading has a positive impact on cognition by stimulating various cognitive processes. It enhances memory, attention, and problem-solving abilities. Regular reading exercises the brain, leading to improved cognitive function and mental agility.

Why is reading good for you?

Reading offers numerous benefits for individuals. It promotes mental stimulation, expands knowledge and vocabulary, enhances critical thinking skills, and fosters emotional well-being. Reading is also linked to improved cognitive function, increased empathy, reduced stress levels, and better academic performance.

How do audio books relate to psychology?

Audiobooks provide an alternative format for consuming psychological literature. Listening to audiobooks can be an effective way to engage with psychological content, enhance listening comprehension skills, and gain insights into human behaviour and mental processes. Audiobooks offer convenience and accessibility for individuals who prefer auditory learning.

Can audiobooks provide the same benefits as traditional reading?

Audiobooks can offer similar benefits to traditional reading, although the experience may differ. While audiobooks provide convenience and allow for multitasking, traditional reading offers a more immersive and focused engagement with the text. Both methods can enhance language skills, knowledge acquisition, and cognitive development, but individual preferences may vary.