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Improve your Brainpower: Read the Old-Fashioned Way

From the Editor's Desk
Jan 22nd, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 2 min read
  • Hummy's

    1Reading is shown to tune up brain functioning. 2A physical book encourages more precise attention. 3Experts suggest disabling wi-fi while using e-readers.
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Child opened magic book Photo Credit: conrado

We all know that reading feeds our brains with new information, but experts say that only reading “the right” way actually works to boost your brain functioning. Jessica Stillman of reports on a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal by Frida Sakaj, which explains that reading an actual physical book may be the most healthy of all types of reading.

All reading is not the same.

Many of us do most of our reading online, but Sakaj insists that online reading isn’t as beneficial as “regular” reading. In fact it may actually have some negative side effects.

“The way many of us read these days is impairing our ability to reap the amazing benefits of a good book. Crowded screens and pinging notifications encourage us to skim text and skip around, compromising our concentration and engagement and lessening the advantages of spending time absorbing the written word,” reports Sakaj.

If you only read online content, you’re dumbing down.

Studies show that if people only read online content, it is actually harmful to their ability to comprehend deeply. Sakaj offers research to support her claims,

“Reading text punctuated with links leads to weaker comprehension than reading plain text, several studies have shown.” She adds that presentations that mix “words, sounds, and moving pictures resulted in lower comprehension than reading plain text.”

The article did point out that e-readers like Kindle, Nook and iPad are considered by the experts to be acceptable substitutes with one caveat—they should not be connected to the web during use.

Set aside 30 minutes a day to read a real book or other written material.

Sakaj says we don’t have to stop our online reading altogether, but we should strike a balance. Taking time each day to read the old-fashioned way, has been shown to improved brain function and reduce stress. So, it’s important to find time in a busy day to unplug from the computer and devices.

Make it a habit to treat yourself daily to a good read—grab a book and find a quiet place to unwind and rediscover the joy of reading for pleasure—the old-fashioned way.

Unplug and enjoy!

To view the original article in its entirety, please visit

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From the Editor's Desk

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