Reading Changes your Brain, let me explain.


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 01, 2023

5 min read


Reading Changes your Brain, let me explain.

Books are the polar opposite of the fast-paced, surface-level content that dominates our digital age. In a world where information is consumed in bite-sized pieces, books force us to dive beneath the surface and truly understand the depth of a subject. But reading goes beyond just acquiring knowledge; it has a profound impact on our brain and our overall well-being.

One of my worst nightmares is losing my ability to think as I age. The thought of becoming forgetful and disconnected from the world terrifies me. But reading fiction has been shown to have a protective effect on our brain. When we read, we are transported into the emotional journey of the characters. We experience their joys, sorrows, and struggles. This emotional connection activates the empathy centers in our brain, allowing us to better understand and empathize with the feelings and beliefs of others. In fact, a study has shown that those who read have an increased ability to empathize.

But reading doesn't just improve our emotional intelligence; it also enhances our cognitive abilities. Through imaging the brain, researchers have found that reading improves our ability to process visual and verbal information. Enhancing visual processing can enhance our creativity and imagination, allowing us to see the world in new and innovative ways. Improving verbal processing, on the other hand, allows us to think and speak with more clarity and precision.

The benefits of reading are so significant that the National Health Service has even implemented a program called Reading Well. Under this scheme, doctors can prescribe self-help books to help manage depression. The power of books to heal and uplift is undeniable.

However, in our digital age, reading has taken a back seat to other forms of entertainment and information consumption. Many of us find ourselves browsing and buying books more than actually reading them. This is a problem that needs to be addressed. We need to make reading a priority in our lives once again.

One strategy that has worked for me is setting aside 30 minutes before bed to read. I commit to reading at least 10 pages every night, although I often end up reading more. This dedicated time allows me to wind down and escape into a different world. It has become a ritual that I look forward to and cherish.

But reading doesn't have to be limited to physical books. With the advent of technology, we now have tools like Glasp that make reading and note-taking on the internet a seamless experience. Before Glasp, I would have multiple windows open in my browser, juggling between an article and a note-taking app. It was cumbersome and distracting. But with Glasp, I can highlight and take notes directly in the browser window using the Glasp extension. It has transformed my reading experience and made it more efficient.

What sets Glasp apart from other read-it-later apps is its focus on the present moment. Instead of saving articles for later, Glasp encourages us to read and engage with the content now. Whenever something stands out to me while reading an article, I can simply select it, highlight it, and take notes, all within the browser. This keeps me engaged and present, rather than accumulating a backlog of articles that I may never get to.

But what makes Glasp truly unique is its social aspect. Every highlight and note I make is public on my Glasp profile. This means that anyone who follows me can see what I'm reading, what resonates with me, and what I think about it. It creates a sense of accountability and encourages me to think more critically about the content I consume. By exposing my ideas in public, I invite feedback and collaboration, leading to better ideas and insights.

Moreover, being part of the Glasp community has broadened my horizons. I am surrounded by a diverse group of people who read in different algorithmic circles than I do. This exposes me to a wide range of articles and perspectives that I wouldn't typically come across. It has made my learning journey more exciting and enriching.

As a creator, curation plays a significant role in what I do. My audience not only loves my writing but also pays attention to what I'm reading and consuming. Glasp has made it easier for me to curate and share the articles that inspire me. Instead of manually updating my website each week with the latest reads, Glasp keeps it constantly updated with the Glasp widget embedded into Notion, where I host my website. This way, my audience can not only engage with my writing but also explore the content that influences my thinking.

In conclusion, reading is not just a leisure activity; it is a transformative experience that changes our brain and enhances our overall well-being. Whether it's through physical books or tools like Glasp, we need to make reading a priority in our lives. So here are three actionable pieces of advice to incorporate reading into your routine:

  • 1. Set aside dedicated time for reading: Whether it's 30 minutes before bed or during your lunch break, commit to a specific time for reading. Make it a non-negotiable part of your daily routine.
  • 2. Use tools like Glasp to enhance your reading experience: Take advantage of technology to make reading and note-taking more seamless and efficient. Glasp allows you to highlight and take notes directly in your browser, keeping you engaged and present in the moment.
  • 3. Embrace the social aspect of reading: Share your highlights and notes publicly, invite feedback and collaboration, and join communities like Glasp to broaden your horizons. Learning becomes more fun and insightful when you can connect with like-minded people and discover new perspectives.

So go ahead, pick up a book or open your browser, and let reading change your brain and enrich your life.

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