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Reading for pleasure sparks empathy, companionship, emotional stimulation

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Multiple studies show reading helps our brain function in many ways. It reduces the risk of dementia, staves off Alzheimer’s disease and sharpens memory skills. 

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But evidence suggests there’s much more to it. Reading helps us emotionally. Whether it’s being part of a book club or feeling close to characters in a novel, evidence shows reading brings pleasure of companionship and can increase a person’s sense of empathy.

In a report by the National Research and Development Centre and Institute of Education, University of London, author Dr. Sam Duncan says, “Through this engagement with other lives, emotions and possibilities comes community both physically in the form of reading circles … and non-physically in the form of the ‘solace’ we get from the characters we read about.”

So, whether you’re looking to prevent cognitive decline or create connections, make sure to carve out time each day to curl up with a good book.

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