I’ve been collecting research for an article I proposed on the value of reading. I found some fascinating stuff that might be of benefit to many of my readers, so I’m sharing it here:
Reading for pleasure has immense benefits to your brain, including improved creativity, improved ability to retain information, better critical thinking, increased ability to concentrate, and a lower incidence of mental disorders. There’s an article with links to the research here: “Your Brain on Books: 20 Proven Benefits of Being an Avid Reader.”
Low levels of literacy in children and teens are correlated with aggressive antisocial behavior, juvenile delinquency, and gang membership in teenagers.
Reading difficulties are found in 50% of youth with a history of substance abuse:
Sixteen-year-olds who read for pleasure do better in math (yes, math!), have larger vocabularies, and spell better than their non-pleasure-reading counterparts.
Girls with below average reading levels are two and a half times more likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
Edit 5/20/14: Here’s another useful article on what reading does for your brain, pointed out to me by Janet Spaulding (Thanks, Janet!)
Edit 9/13/14: Interesting infographic on the health benefits of reading.
Edit 8/5/16: A newly published study shows an association between reading and longer life. Yep, readers live longer.
Any other interesting reading facts you’ve found? Let me know in the comments, please.