This helps you to test your comprehension and give your brain a chance to assimilate the information before you continue reading. The post goes on to quote Daniel Coyle’s advice for retaining the information we read:
Does Reading Make You Smarter? How Books Make Us More Intelligent
Reading isn’t for everyone. But maybe reading should be universal because of all of the benefits it bestows. Statistics show that over 24 percent of American adults went through the past year without reading a single book.
There’s no doubt that reading is important but does reading make you smarter? Are those who take the time to flick through the pages of their favorite novel or nonfiction genre more intellectual?
Yes, reading makes you smarter. Our intelligence level goes up when we learn something and reading is a great way to learn. Reading a book enhances our emotional intelligence and comprehension of things which helps us make smarter decisions.
Since there are different ways of interpreting what smarter is and is not, we are going to take a closer look at some of the studies. We will also find out if it has benefits for the brain in other ways as well.
I’m one of those people who feels bad if I miss anything (sometimes known as ‘fear of missing out‘). When it comes to reading, I definitely feel this. If something further ahead catches my eye, I can’t keep reading until I go back and catch up on the parts I missed.
I’ve actually realized recently that there is a kind of freedom in giving up that feeling of needing to see everything. Sometimes, it’s okay to skip parts. Especially if they’re not relevant to you. Readers on the web skim for a reason. In fact it has almost become our default way of reading, as this eye-tracking study shows:
When we’re reading on the web, we’ll often find handy stuff to help us do this, like subheadings or bold text. These can help us skim through and get the gist of an article quickly, so we can decide whether to go back and reread the parts we skipped.
A short bonus regarding long reads: in case of doubt, skip to the conclusion. If it’s worthy of understanding how the author got there, read it all. If not, congratulations. You just avoided wasting time.
One of the benefits of skipping over sections is that you’re not overloading your brain with irrelevant information, so the info that is going in can be processed more easily. Hopefully, this method can help us to remember more of what we read!
All the information we have available only increases our stress levels and diminishes available time. We consume much more than we create, we read much more than we think, and it should be the other way around. We have to make sure we consume the things that truly matter to us, but only so that we have time to create something that matters to someone else. – Roberto Estreitinho
Exercises to improve writing skills
1. Write every day
This is the best writing tip for beginners. Write like it’s your job. Practicing every day is key to learning how to write good. It helps you stretch those writing muscles and learn from doing. Keeping a journal with you at all times also means you can write whenever inspiration strikes, like when you’re walking your fave four-legged friend.
Write every day, and you’ll turn it into a habit. That doesn’t mean you have to write ten thousand words every day, as the author of the children’s novel, See You in the Cosmos, Jack Cheng says:
“When mastery is the goal, spending an exorbitant number of hours in one sitting will likely lead to burnout. We don’t go to the gym expecting to put on 20 pounds of muscle in a single, day-long workout. Instead, we do several short workouts a week, spread out over months.”
2. Turn long paragraphs into bullet points
Want to learn how to write better sentences? Sentences that are easy to read and get to the point right away? Practice the art of brevity by chopping up hard-to-read paragraphs into succinct bullets.
This is especially useful for business writing because your readers are likely short on time. They want you to get to the point fast! And they want easy to digest information.
There is a place for long sentences in your work though, especially when it comes to creative writing. Writology has a great guide on this full of ace writing tips for beginners.
3. Change passive voice into active voice
A little recap on passive and active voice: Active voice is when the sentence starts with the subject acting on the verb. Passive voice is when the subject is a recipient of the verb’s action. Active voice is more engaging because it takes less processing time from the reader, and also gives the impression that the action is happening now, not in the past.
Use an AI writing assistant tool like Writer to spot unengaging instances of passive voice and transform them into the active voice. This will help you draw readers in and make your writing easier to read.
Benefits of Reading
1. Mental Stimulation For Your Brain
As per a study, one of the prime benefits of reading books is slowing down mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia  It happens since reading stimulates the brain and keeps it active, which allows it to retain its power and capacity.
Every part of our body needs exercise to stay healthy, and the same goes for our brain. Reading gives it regular exercise and keeps it healthy and sound.
2. Good Habit For Stress Reduction
Everyday concerns will keep bothering you unless you do something to divert your mind. Reading gives you that mental space to occupy yourself with something more interesting.
When you read a great story, all your stress seems to slip away and relax you since you tend to travel mentally in a different realm. Sometimes while reading, you come across valuable advice or solutions to your problems.
Since the onset of civilization, we have grown and developed mentally. Many learned scholars give credit to the erudite tomes written by our predecessors for our knowledge. The importance of reading books is now more than ever since. Not everything is available in digitalized form.
There are numerous ways to learn more about life, from self-help books to reading fiction. Even when you feel demotivated, you can read an inspirational biography to lift your mood. One of the great benefits of reading books is that the knowledge you gain from them can never be taken away from you. Unlike worldly possessions, your knowledge will stay with you till the end of time.
4. Vocabulary Expansion
If you are not yet convinced on why reading books is important, this might interest you. When you develop the habit of reading, you enhance your vocabulary. Reading any type of book can improve your vocabulary to an impressive extent.
A Guide to Becoming a Better Writer: 15 Practical Tips
If you’ve always dreamed of being the next Hemingway or Vonnegut (or even Grisham), or perhaps if you just want to write better essays for school or posts for your blog … you need to sharpen those writing skills.
It takes hard work. But it’s worth the effort. And if it seems like an insurmountable task, there are some concrete things you can do today that will get you on the road to improvement.
Personally, I’ve been a fiction, newspaper, magazine and blog writer for 17 years now, writing for a variety of publications … and I’m still trying to improve. Every writer can get better, and no writer is perfect. I think I’ve grown tremendously as a writer over the last couple of decades, but it has been a painful journey. Let me share some of what I’ve learned.
No matter what level of writer you are, there should be a suggestion or twelve here that will help.
1. Read great writers. This may sound obvious, but it has to be said. This is the place to start. If you don’t read great writing, you won’t know how to do it. Everyone starts by learning from the masters, by emulating them, and then through them, you find your own voice. Read a lot. As much as possible. Pay close attention to style and mechanics in addition to content.
2. Write a lot. Try to write every day, or multiple times a day if possible. The more you write, the better you’ll get. Writing is a skill, and like any other skill, you have to practice it to get better. Write stuff for yourself, write for a blog, write for other publications. Write just to write, and have a blast doing it. It gets easier after awhile if you practice a lot.
3. Write down ideas, all the time. Keep a little notebook handy (Nabokov carried around index cards) and write down ideas for stories or articles or novels or characters. Write down snippets of conversation that you hear. Write down plot twists and visual details and fragments of song lyrics or poems that move you. Having these ideas written down helps, because they can inspire you or actually go directly into your writing. I like to keep a list of post ideas for my blog, and I continually add to it.