Reader's Digest Asia Pacific
Reading Builds Brain Power
BACK IN THE LATTER PART of the last century, when I was approaching the final years of high school, and essay writing became a regular part of my life, I discovered a wonderful thing – Roget’s Thesaurus. Thanks to this reference book I explored the wonder of words. I’d always been a hungry reader of fiction, but Roget’s became my study companion and over time – and many essays – its white pages turned grey from my pencil-stained fingers. Roget’s – and a love of reading – combined to give me the confidence to craft ideas and arguments and build the career I enjoy today. In this month’s cover article, ‘Why It Pays to Increase Your Word Power’ (page 54), regular contributor Brandon Specktor investigates the benefits that reading has on our brain health. Deep reading, the type you enjoy when reading a novel, forces your brain to think critically and make connections between chapters. This connectivity is the lifeblood of our brains – helping forge healthy neuropathways, which in turn protects against cognitive decay.
Another lovely read that I’m sure you’ll enjoy is about one of my favourite topics – dogs. We mere humans know that gratitude is a virtue. But it took the Roman philosopher Cicero to first point out that above all other animals, dogs can openly express gratitude. In ‘A Dog’s Gratitude’ (page 91), ecologist Peter Wohlleben argues that just like people, dogs reciprocate gratitude for the joy and security they experience. That is, after all, why dogs were given tails.
I hope you enjoy this month’s magazine.