How does reading benefit the brain?

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For most of my life I have been a fan of reading and I can always remember being told that it was good for me. Are there any reasons besides acquiring knowledge that it is beneficial for the brain?

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I would say it is the reason my *inner voice* formed, definitely my brain changed because of it because at some point I could read a good book and directly imagine the action. Googling *benefits of reading* gives some other interesting info too.

You need to keep track of characters in a story so it trains your memory, you learn new words, new ways to use words in sentences.

It’s a allround workout for your brain. It uses a lot of “parts” of your brain.

Using context clues to figure out words you don’t understand, helps practicing recognizing patterns, activates memory, practice empathy with the characters, learn social behaviors.

This is a completely personal and anecdotal answer, but I feel like reading is an active process for my brain. As opposed to watching TV or scrolling social media where my brain is passively receiving information, reading requires my engagement in order to remember things and imagine/visualize the scenarios described.

It feels like I’m exercising the brain because if I spend too long being “passive”, I actually can get pretty depressed or anxious.

Reading, writing, speaking, and thinking are slightly different versions of language use. Practicing any of these improves them all.