Reading Changes your Brain: Understanding the Power of Books and the Idea Maze


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 31, 2023

4 min read


Reading Changes your Brain: Understanding the Power of Books and the Idea Maze


In a world dominated by short attention spans and instant gratification, the act of reading often gets pushed aside. However, reading is a powerful tool that has the ability to change our brains and expand our horizons in ways that other forms of media cannot. By diving beneath the surface of words, we can tap into the deeper meaning and emotions that lie within a story. This not only enhances our ability to empathize with others but also improves our cognitive functions. Furthermore, understanding the concept of the "idea maze" can help us navigate the complex world of startups and entrepreneurship. In this article, we will explore how reading changes our brains and the importance of navigating the idea maze.

Reading Enhances Empathy and Cognitive Skills:

When we read fiction, we embark on an emotional journey with the characters. This allows us to develop a deeper understanding of their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. According to a study, individuals who regularly read have an increased ability to empathize with others. This empathy extends beyond the fictional world and translates into real-life interactions. By immersing ourselves in different narratives, we broaden our perspectives and become more open-minded.

Additionally, reading has been shown to improve our ability to process visual and verbal information. Through brain imaging, researchers have found that reading enhances visual processing, which in turn boosts creativity and imagination. On the other hand, improving verbal processing allows us to think and communicate with more clarity. By exercising these cognitive skills, reading becomes a powerful tool for personal and intellectual growth.

The Power of Reading Well:

In recognition of the benefits of reading, the National Health Service has implemented a scheme called Reading Well. Under this program, doctors have the ability to prescribe self-help books to patients struggling with depression. The therapeutic effects of reading have been well-documented, and this initiative aims to harness the healing power of books. By prescribing specific titles, doctors can provide patients with a valuable resource to manage their mental health.

The Idea Maze and the Path to Entrepreneurial Success:

In the world of startups and entrepreneurship, the concept of the "idea maze" is crucial. Balaji Srinivasan describes the idea maze as a complex network of paths, where a good founder can anticipate which turns lead to success and which lead to failure. The key is to have a deep understanding of the industry, its history, and the technologies that shape it. This knowledge allows entrepreneurs to make well-informed decisions and avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

To navigate the idea maze effectively, one must consider various factors:

  • 1. Learn from History: Almost all good ideas have been tried before. By studying the successes and failures of previous attempts, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insights that inform their own strategies. The benefits of learning from history far outweigh the risks of having your idea stolen. Understanding the maze's landscape gives you a competitive advantage.
  • 2. Build Analogies: Drawing analogies to similar businesses can help entrepreneurs create their own maze. By analyzing the paths taken by successful companies in related industries, one can adapt and apply those strategies to their own venture. This approach allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the market and potential opportunities.
  • 3. Gain Direct Experience: Putting oneself in interesting mazes and giving enough time to figure out the puzzle is crucial. By immersing oneself in the industry, entrepreneurs can gain firsthand experience and insights that cannot be learned through mere observation. This direct experience can lead to unique perspectives and innovative solutions.


Reading has the power to change our brains, enhance our empathy, and improve our cognitive skills. By delving into the world of books, we can unlock new realms of understanding and personal growth. Additionally, the idea maze serves as a guide for entrepreneurs looking to navigate the complex landscape of startups. By learning from history, building analogies, and gaining direct experience, founders can increase their chances of success and avoid wasting precious time on the wrong path.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Dedicate at least 30 minutes before bed to reading. This not only helps you wind down but also ensures that you make progress in consuming valuable content.
  • 2. Explore different genres and authors. By broadening your reading repertoire, you expose yourself to diverse perspectives and ideas that can spark your creativity and expand your knowledge.
  • 3. Engage in discussions and book clubs. Sharing your thoughts and insights with others who have read the same book can deepen your understanding and provide new perspectives. It also helps in building a community of like-minded individuals who can support and inspire you on your reading journey.

In conclusion, reading has the power to change our brains and enhance our cognitive abilities. It allows us to explore new worlds, empathize with others, and expand our knowledge. Furthermore, understanding the idea maze can help entrepreneurs navigate the challenging path of startups and increase their chances of success. So, pick up a book, dive into its pages, and let your brain embark on a transformative journey.

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