Does Reading Make You Smarter?

Being a complete book work, I’ve frequently wondered whether reading makes people smarter. Popular belief is that TV makes you stupid, and reading a book makes you smart. I don’t quite belief it’s that simple, but apparently there is some truth in it.

does reading make you smarterNew scientific research discovered that reading fiction books, actually changes your brain waves to allow you to “live” the life of the protagonist. This means your brain actually changes so you can experience the book to its full glory. This is incredible news and explains why you tend to get lost in your own little world when you read a good book.

This also supports the theory that reading makes us smarter. Take for example the scientific study that shows our brain changing depending on the story we’re reading. The study does point out that this is a short term effect, so whether it makes you smarter in the long terms isn’t clear at all. What is clear though is that this constant effort makes our brains more powerful. Whether it is enough to convince people to start reading, I don’t know. For me personally, it’s just an added bonus.

Interestingly, lately I’ve been experimenting with various brain exercises and brain supplements to make me smarter. So reading this research came at just the right time. If you’re interested in finding out more about brain pills, I’m currently using a nootropic after reading a CILTEP review. I’ll update all of you on the results when I have something to share with all of you.

Here’s a great and entertaining video explaining the scientific study and giving you some more explanations on whether reading boosts our brain.

Leave a comment below to let me know what you think? Do you think  that reading books has made you a smarter person?

How to read faster (with less effort)

I like to think I read a lot. But honestly, I have a lot of unread books. I struggle to find the time and energy to read every day. Which leaves me slightly frustrated. So I went on a lookout for a speed reading course. I found a few, tried one, and got incredibly disappointing results …

… so I looked for another alternative. That brought me to audio books.

audio bookWhy audio books?

Listening to a book is easier than actually reading one from my experience. I now listen to a book on my way to work, in the gym or when traveling. It’s great. It’s fun. And best of a all, it’s easy.

Honestly, for fiction books, I still prefer a good old paperback. However for non-fiction books, listening to the audio version is a huge time saver.

Where to buy audio books?

There’s plenty of places. I prefer Amazon. They have, which has one of the largest collections of audio books, and it won’t actually cost you more than the actual paperback or even eBook. In many cases, you’ll actually save money. Just download it to your phone, and you’re good to go. It’s really that easy, cheap and simple.

You could always google it and see what other vendors come up. There’s a few I have used, but it depends where you live and what kind of books you’re looking for. Some do a deal, such as a monthly subscription. So it also depends on how much you will reading (or listing if we want to be more accurate).

There are a few drawbacks however. You can miss half a book, as you’re prone to not concentrating when walking around. You can’t really highlight and take notes on an audio book either. But the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

So stop making excuses for not reading. Get downloading, and save time while getting smarter fast.

Let me know what your thoughts are on audio books and whether you listen or read to your books.

Developing Psychic Powers Through Reading

I’m part of a book club where we have some very intellectually stimulating conversations. One of the discussions we had recently was about spirituality and the possibility of psychic powers. Some books we’ve read talk about the idea that there is a force greater than all of us. Science has shown that this is true, but no one has ever pinpointed what this force really is. Still, many scientists still disagree and believe there is no such thing as spirituality.

are tarot readings realWe decided to do our own test, and perform an experiment. We gave each member of the book club a book to study and share the information they learn with the group. Each book was related to psychic and higher powers, but about different ideas and different research that was performed. Interestingly, we all came back to the discussion believing that there is some truth in psychic readings, astrology and clairvoyance in general. While there are plenty of scams and fraudsters in the world clairvoyance and mediums, we decided to each have a psychic reading and report back on what we learned and experienced. I personally never had a psychic reading before, so was curious, skeptical and excited at the same time.

The first thing I did was do some research. I had no idea where I could even get a psychic reading from. From doing a simple online search, I came across a website called Keen Psychic, which offers a free psychic reading online. This is where it became even more confusing – should I have a tarot card reading, an astrology reading or a personalized horoscope? I never realized just how many choices these networks give you; which I guess is a good thing.

Following some more research, I found some Psychic Source reviews which convinced me that Psychic Source was the best place to get a psychic reading online. I found a medium that had plenty of experience, and phoned them up. I was absolutely shocked at how easy it was to talk to the adviser, and even more shocked at some of the intuitive questions she was asking me. All of this made me believe in “something greater”. I have to be honest, while I am still somewhat skeptical that all of this is real, it was a very moving experience. The session really helped me, and gave me a clearer insight into my own life. In my opinion, whether psychic readings are real and accurate is almost irrelevant. What I do know is that they have helped me tremendously, and I’m tempted to try it a second time, maybe this time I’ll give Keen Psychic a try.

What’s even more remarkable, is that most of us in the book club had a great experience. Some didn’t enjoy it, and called it a big scam. But most of us came back saying it was a very valuable and spiritual experience. This is remarkable, since we are all highly educated people, who generally don’t get involved in things like this. We’re so fascinated by the concept that this might all be real, that we all went out and did some more research on the topic.

In fact, next week we’re meeting up to share our latest findings, and we’ll try to figure out whether one is born with these powers or whether we can develop this special intuition either by learning from a real medium or maybe even studying the art of fortune telling from books.


5 things that will happen when you start reading everyday

benefits of readingA few months ago I decided to accept a challenge. A challenge that unknowingly at the time, would change my life completely. I decided to read for half an hour every single day. That means at least 30 minutes a day, seven days a week. No excuses, and no days off from this challenge.

I was curious to see what happens, but I honestly didn’t think too much would really happen. However, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to go ahead and try it for 30 days. I called it the “30 30 literary challenge”. Catchy right?

Below I will list some of the benefits I start feeling after doing this challenge for a week or so. The benefits listed below grew every single day and I decided to extend the challenge by another month and highly encourage anyone reading this post to accept the challenge themselves. You’ll thank me in a month’s time!

1. Stress Reduction

I was happy to notice a serious reduction in my stress levels, and didn’t quite understand why. It turns out that there is a very obvious reason to this stress reduction I was experiencing. A novel for example can take you away to a different world, while a more intellectual piece of writing can distract you from your problems in real life. This was really one of the major benefits of this challenge, albeit somewhat unexpected.

2. Increased Vocabulary

Studies have shown that an increased vocabulary makes you sound smarter. Within weeks I was receiving compliments about the words I was using. People needed a dictionary to talk to me. I was using words I’d never heard of before I began this reading challenge. As we’ll see below, reading can actually make you smarter; but even if it does not, it will make you sound smarter.

3. Mental Stimulation

According to an ABC news article, reading is classified as an intellectual hobby that may prevent Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study that was published. This means that engaging in mentally challenging activities such as reading can help you keep your mind active. Interestingly enough, passive activities such as TV can actually have the opposite effect. So turn off the TV and grab a book.

4. Improve Memory

Every time you create a new memory, a new brain connection is made. Reading will increase the uptake of such connections and indeed make you smarter. The more you read, the better your memory will become. The biggest impact is on the short-term memory, so get reading if you’re feeling somewhat forgetful. The more challenging the literature, the bigger the improvement.

5. Improved Concentration

I’m very easy to distract. I find it incredibly hard not to look around and focus on just one thing. I’ve found my concentration to be improving the more I read. I’m guessing this is as a result of being engrossed in a book for at least half an hour a day.

While we live in an ADD life with things distracting us at all times, reading a book is one of the few activities that requires all of our attention. This focus is incredibly useful to your ability to concentrate on other tasks.

As you’ll see these five benefits are reason enough to start reading. Let me know if you decide to accept this reading challenge.

If these reasons don’t excite you enough, I found a video where James Patterson talks about some of the importance of reading:

The importance of starting to read at a young age

I have always loved reading books. I devoured book after book when I was young. My favorite trip out was to the library. I know that not many children are like that, but I’m sure my parents had something to do with it. I come from a family of teachers who all love to read. I was lead by example. But this made me wonder just how important reading can really be for the development of a child. To answer that question, I went out and did some research.


Why read from a young age?

According to PBS, reading is actually essential for a child’s success. This is a big statement to make, but one I completely agree with. Academic studies have shown time and time again that the later a person starts the habit of reading, the harder it will be. Children at a young age are much more adaptable, and if shown at a very young age that reading is fun, can create a life-long habit that is conducive to academic success, and increased intelligence.

In addition to just academic success, reading can increase creativity, problem solving skills and provide a larger vocabulary. All these are essential in life, especially career wise as an adult.

For very young children, you could even use technology. There are plenty of websites and videos online that will help your children to read, such as this one:

Why it matters to parents?

Too many parents leave the task of educating their kids to teachers. This is a big mistake! The most important educators in a child’s life are its parents. Take charge to ensure your child is either being read to, or reading by themselves (depending on their age) to develop the habit of learning and reading. By taking just a little bit of time out of your day, you can set your child up for an easier life, by increasing their academic capabilities.

Like I suggested before, children also learn by example. So make sure you read yourself. Pick up a good book, and make sure your children see you reading regularly. This will tell them that reading is important and is more likely to encourage them to pick up a book themselves. It doesn’t matter too much what kind of book they are reading. An educational book is better, but to really gain pleasure from reading, kids should also read for fun. There are many incredibly short stories you can buy that will prove reading is in fact very entertaining. Alternatively, you could introduce your children to well-known books by authors such as Roald Dahl. These are true timeless classics, which will give you something to discuss as well at a more intellectual level.

I hope this article has encouraged some parents to pick up a book themselves, and will encourage even more parents to take charge of their child’s education by introducing them to reading for fun at home.