Reading fiction doesn’t just boost emotional intelligence, concentration, and critical thinking. It also helps prevent memory loss.
By Jessica Stillman, May 1, 2023
If you’re a busy entrepreneur, sitting down with a novel might seem like nothing more than a light and enjoyable way to unwind. But science suggests fiction offers our brains a lot more than just distraction and stress relief. Research suggests that deep, concentrated reading–the kind we do when we sink deeply into a great novel–builds key mental skills like focus and empathy as well as the ability to sift through complicated information and analyze conflicting arguments.
Reading doesn’t just fill our brains with images and ideas. It actually rewires how we think about them. All of which adds up to a good argument for why you may want to join super-achievers like Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and Jeff Bezos and make more time for fiction in your schedule. But if you’re still struggling to make time for literature, perhaps Richard Restak, a neurologist and the author of 20 books on the brain, can convince you. Restak insists novels have one more undersung brain benefit–they also help keep our memories sharp as we age.