What You Read Absolutely Matters!


There is a lot of argument over whether or not the type of fiction or non-fiction you choose to read matters in some way. There will be those willing to proclaim for all to hear that literary fiction and non-fiction is far superior to the more popcorn-style “genre” fiction. Others, however, will insist that all reading is equal, and that reading for pleasure is just as important as reading to educate and instruct. I’d like to take a look at both sides of this argument, and to prove once and for all that both parties are right, just in different ways than they might imagine.
Read for Education’s Sake
What you read does matter, because it has a direct impact on your brain.
A 2016 study proved that reading certain types of fiction and non-fiction proved more effective at enhancing intellectual capacity than others. In the study, the students who read more “educational” content—including academic journals, general non-fiction, and literary fiction—had better writing skills and showed more syntactic complexity than those who read genre fiction or web-based content.
That shouldn’t be any huge surprise there—after all, the sort of “educational content” mentioned above is always more complex than the easy reading that is so popular in genre fiction. It’s a given that reading educational content will do precisely as it’s intended to: educate. People who read for education’s sake typically show a higher intellectual level than those who read primarily for entertainment’s sake, simply due to the nature of what they’re reading.
But—and I love that there is a “but” to this—educational content isn’t the only kind of writing that leads to higher intellectual capacity.
Deep Reading Helps You Learn
Deep reading—reading that is “slow, immersive, rich in sensory detail and emotional and moral complexity”—exercises the brain effectively. More importantly, however, it also engages our empathy, encourages reflection, and adds personal subtext to the content that is being read.
Deep reading also activates the brain’s sensory areas, engaging our speech, hearing, and vision centers in order to help us better communicate. It engages the part of the brain that is responsible for perceiving subtext and rhythm, the part of the brain that controls how we perceive words and their meaning, and the part of the brain which controls our perception of language. All of these parts of the brain are connected, and they are all activated when we are drawn into a book.
So, what kind of books can you read to immerse yourself in deep reading? Here’s the fun bit: it’s not only the “educational” content...

Read the entire article in the November 2020 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

You can just click on the magazine image on the left hand side of our home page to open and enjoy!


If you would like to receive the magazine every month (for FREE!) , just sign up on our home page. Once you do, an e-mail validation notice will be sent directly to you. Just open and click the link and you're in - forever!  Each month the magazine will be delivered directly to your inbox to downlad and read!