How Reading Books is Beneficial For the Brain


Books are the healthiest food for the brain and the soul. Reading physical books for enjoyment has been scientifically proven to “strengthen connections in the brain, reduce stress levels, and improve memory and concentration” (Insider). When students read, it expands their vocabulary, shows them how writers form stories to help better their skills, and reading serious literature gains skills in handling complex ideas. This skill set is extremely helpful for students in and out of school.

Although the benefits have been scientifically proven, many high school students are uninterested in reading books. Why? Many teens are much more interested in the fast and fascinating photos and images on their phones and on the internet. A good balance between being online and being present is crucial for a healthy lifestyle.

Alice Sullivan, a professor at University College London, conducted a study on the benefits of reading for pleasure. Reading is “linked to greater intellectual progress, both for vocabulary and mathematics.” Adolescents’ vocabulary is expanded through reading and this produces more successful students. Additionally, students who read for pleasure tend to score higher on tests.
Whether it is for enjoyment or stress relief, some students at Faith Lutheran genuinely enjoy reading books. Aly Thompson, a junior at Faith Lutheran, typically, “read(s) everyday for an hour, and on the weekends sometimes [she] reads all day.” Sophie Pastorino, another junior at Faith said she “reads a couple days a week depending on homework and activity schedules.”
Although they have busy schedules, Aly and Sophie make time during the week to read and relax.

An important part of reading is the outside environment in which someone is reading in. Some people enjoy the background music and sitting outside, others read in silence and relax on their couch. Aly prefers to “ read in silence, listening to music sometimes messes with my word comprehension,” and likes to “read outside when the weather permits.” Sophie  said, “I can not read with music on unless it is classical so sometimes I will listen to that or just read in silence. I like reading on my bed or couch. Usually, sometimes I’ll sit outside and read as well.” A peaceful reading environment is crucial to staying focused.

Finishing a good book or chapter is an enlightening feeling because it’s satisfying to have gone through the journey. “If the book or chapter is really amazing I’m happy I am reading something so entertaining, but I get sad when I finish it too,” said Aly. After finishing a good book, Sophie usually just “let(s) it sink in and really absorb the storyline and everything I’ve read. I feel so content after finishing a good book and reading something really good reminds me why I love to read.”
Reading books can lead to higher serotonin levels and a more peaceful state of mind. The imagination works in bigger ways and inspires teenagers to think more creatively.
The serenity reading brings to students is beneficial for mental and physical health. It’s highly recommended that teenagers read more books, more often.