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7 Potential Health Benefits of Reading Books

While you may have been taught the importance of reading at a young age, the fact is more Americans are reading fewer books overall, raising questions about the possible health impacts.

According to a survey conducted in 2021 by the Pew Research Center, 23 percent of American adults reportedly did not read any part of a book in either paper or electronic form over the previous 12 months. This trend also holds true among children: The Pew Research Center reports that the number of children and adolescents ages 9 to 13 who read “for fun” is the lowest it’s ever been.

Also, while reading of any form can be beneficial, research suggests that reading traditional paper books over digital forms may be superior due to readers’ abilities to more effectively recall events and the overall timeline in a given story. Researchers also note, however, that understanding may be similar across both formats. Additionally, according to Harvard Business Review, while nonfiction offers opportunities for language development and learning, literary fiction may offer even more benefits, including empathy, critical thinking skills, and more.

Due to an increasingly fast-paced lifestyle and seemingly endless responsibilities, reading may be at the bottom of your list of priorities. But that may be worth reconsidering.

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