4 Scientific Reasons Why Reading Actual Books Is Good for You

4 Scientific Reasons Why Reading Actual Books Is Good for You
Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

Every year on April 23, readers of all stripes come together to celebrate the simple love of the written word. World Book Day, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is now in its 18th year, and it's just as important as ever.

In honor of World Book Day and to celebrate reading, here are four reasons you should ditch the e-readers and iPads and pick up a pages-and-ink book today.

Reading print books assists building comprehension skills. As a 2014 study found, Kindle users retained less of what they read than expected. Reading books is much better for developing up the skills one needs to understand and process better. In short: Print is good for your brain.

It'll help bring back what some said was a dead form. There was a boom not too many years ago in the number of e-books being purchased and read. But sales for e-readers have dropped significantly in recent years. Meanwhile, in 2014, sales for print books outpaced sales for e-books. Buying and reading more physical books is just another way one can help print publication trend again.

Those who read books are more empathetic. Reading, in general, is good for your heart, as it turns out. A 2013 study out of Emory University had good news for fiction readers. Fiction readers are more able to place themselves into other people's shoes, the study showed, which makes them better communicators and better at developing good friendships.

There's plenty you can read on the fly. In case you need suggestions of what to read, you're still covered. Plenty of authors have produced short-form writing perfect for your commute, your lunch hour or as a final activity before bed. So if you want to be smarter, more empathetic and an ally in the fight to keep print on top, you'll have plenty of quick options today and every day.

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Kevin O'Keeffe

Kevin is the arts editor at Mic, writing about inclusion and representation in pop culture. He is based in New York and can be reached at kevin@mic.com.

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