Guest Feature – Madelyn Griffith – Haynie on The Power of Reading

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Guest Featured Author

 

 I am excited today to feature ADD and Executive Brain Functioning Coach, Madelyn Griffith-Haynie.

 

I’ve had the good fortune to become good friends with Madelyn this past year when I began following her uber informative and always entertaining blog articles about everything brain related. It’s no surprise that Madelyn has a huge following, but it was to my delighted surprise when I invited Madelyn to my blog, asking if she’d like to be featured here as a guest, and she was eager and happy to accept.

 

Madelyn has written a fantastic article on the importance of reading books and explains in her post, just how far the information we retain from reading can help us relate to others, how reading benefits us as we age, the beneficial impact reading has on warding off Alzheimer’s disease, and much more!

 

 Welcome Madelyn!

 

Reading a book has the power to reshape your brain
and improve your ability to relate to others

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Executive Functioning Series

Reading more but enjoying it less?

Thanks to our ability to scroll through endless words on our computers, tablets and smart phones, more people are reading than ever before.

Still, while the act of reading itself has increased, there is a significant difference between reading anything and reading a book that pulls you into the mind of the author as you take a mental vacation.

Even hours of reading on FaceBook, or skipping from blog to blog reading multiple articles on various subjects, does not seem to have the same positive effect as reading a novel, a memoir or a carefully curated collection of short-stories.

And the more time we spend online, the less time we have for reading those wonderful books on our TBR lists (“To Be Read”).

That’s a real shame, too, because reading a good book is not only an enjoyable, affordable “vacation” that broadens our perspective, it turns out that science has discovered that it actually improves our brain functioning in ways that translate to improved thinking, mood, functional intelligence, more positive and productive connections in our lives, and so-much-MORE.

The impact of a BOOK

Reading a book not only gives us access to someone else’s mindset and world view, it also seems to increase our ability to empathize with people in our day to day lives.

I’m sure that most of us who are avid readers are well acquainted with the feeling of stepping into another world while we read.  Most of us also find that our view of our “real” world changes for days afterwards, even when we are not actively thinking about the story-line, the subject matter or the characters.

In my own experience, for example, after spending an evening with a character I could see clearly in my mind’s eye, for a few days following I have often felt like I was reacting as they might have. Sometimes I have the almost eerie sensation that I have taken on that character’s mannerisms.

Science has discovered that there’s a brain-based reason for that experience.

“We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.” ~ neuroscientist Professor Gregory Berns

Being captured by the world of a book with a strong narrative can trigger measurable changes in the brain — changes that linger for at least five days after reading.

Reading books and changing brain function

Research from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (published in the journal Brain Connectivity) found that reading a book can increase neural connectivity in a manner that mimics muscle memory.

Study changes were registered in two key areas of the brain:

  1. the left temporal cortex, an area associated with  language receptivity, as well as, surprisingly,
  2. the brain’s primary sensory motor region, the central sulcus, associated with sensations and movement.

Neurons of the second region have been associated with tricking the mind into thinking it is actually doing something by merely thinking yourself through the activity.

Referred to as “grounded cognition,” that is the explanation given for the effectiveness of the practice of mental rehearsal used effectively by many athletes.

Thanks to the phenomenon of  grounded cognition, it seems that merely thinking about the specifics of an athletic activity can activate the neurons associated with the physical doingof that activity.

In some cases, practicing mentally has been reported to improve performance almost as much as if the athletes had strained and sweated their way through an actual practice session.

Who knew that the same areas could be activated by narrative reading?

“The anterior [front] bank of the sulcus contains neurons that control movement of parts of the body,” Berns, lead author of the study above explained. He went on to say that the posterior [back] region contains neurons that receive sensory input from various parts of the body.

The enhanced connectivity in the posterior region suggests that the act of reading “transports” the reader into the body of the protagonist.  Amazing, right?

About the Study

21 students took part initially. All participants read the same book –  Pompeii, a 2003 thriller by Robert Harris.

“The story follows a protagonist, who is outside the city of Pompeii and notices steam and strange things happening around the volcano,”explained Berns. “It depicts true events in a fictional and dramatic way. It was important to us that the book had a strong narrative line.”

For 19 days the students read an assigned portion of the book in the evening. They underwent fMRI scans the following morning. Once the book was finished, the study continued for an additional five days as their brains were scanned daily.

“Even though the participants were not actually reading the novel while they were in the scanner, they retained this heightened connectivity,”noted Berns. “We call that a ‘shadow activity,’ almost like a muscle memory.”

The changes could not only be seen on the scans during the days when they were reading, they remained evident for the five days once the subjects had finished the book.  This finding seems to prove that the impact was not just an immediate reaction but one that has a lasting effect – likely to last longer than the five additional days that were part of the study design.

But wait!  There’s more . . .

More effects from bookish vacations

Linguistics studies like the ones included in a fascinating book by reading expert Maryanne Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid, tell us that our brain changes substantially as the result of learning to read.

Later research has shown that
those beneficial changes continue AS we read.

One effect, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, is that losing yourself in a narrative book is highly likely to increase your sense of empathy across the board.

Netherlands researchers designed two experiments that showed that people who were “emotionally transported” experienced an increase in their ability to understand and identify with the feelings of others.  And it happens quickly, too.

“In two experimental studies, we were able to show that self-reported empathic skills significantly changed over the course of one week for readers of a fictional story by fiction authors Arthur Conan Doyle or José Saramago,” they wrote in their findings.

“More specifically, highly transported readers of Doyle became more empathic, while non-transported readers of both Doyle and Saramago became less empathic.”

Not only that, evidence is continually emerging that reading “content-dense” material (i.e., books not tweets) is what the science field refers to as “neuro-protective,” increasing the likelihood that we will remain mentally sharp as we age and decreasing our chances of developing one of the dementias.

Related posts on ADDandSoMuchMORE.com:
You don’t HAVE to lose it as you age
Good news on brain-aging from The Nun Study

Another Mental Aging Study

According to a study of 294 participants over an average of 5.8 years of annual cognitive function testing and an average age of death at 89, the news is great for readers – not so great for those who lounge around texting or watching television.

Published in the online issue of the journal Neurology, they reported that those who engaged throughout their lives in mentally stimulating activities like reading experienced slower memory decline compared to those who did not.

In addition, individuals who exercised their minds later in life had a 32% lower rate of mental decline compared to their peers with average mental activity. The average rate of decline in the group with infrequent mental activity was 48% faster than the average group.

“Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as these across a person’s lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age,” study author Robert. S. Wilson of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago said in an interview.

“Based on [our findings], we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves and our parents or grandparents.

Warding off Alzheimer’s disease?

According to research published in 2001 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [PNAS], adults who engage in hobbies like reading seem less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Lead author Dr. Robert P. Friedland, a University of Louisville clinical and research neurologist devoted to the study of brain disorders associated with aging, told USA Today in an interview:

“The brain is an organ just like every other organ in the body. It ages in regard to how it is used. Just as physical activity strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, intellectual activity strengthens the brain against disease.”

It’s important to note that the researchers identified only an association, not a clear cause-and-effect relationship.

“These findings may be because inactivity is a risk factor for the disease or because inactivity is a reflection of very early subclinical effects of the disease, or both,” they admitted in their study.

Read more about the study in the article from USA Today

TONS of other benefits

In further articles I will explore some of these benefits in more detail, but reading a book also has been shown to have positive effects in a great many other arenas, only a few listed below:

  • Lifting depression & stress management (in only 6 minutes, by the way)
  • Stronger and more reliable memory formation
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Improved “receptive” vocabulary
    (the number of words that an individual recognizes & understands)
  • Faster foreign language learning
    (even when you only read books in your native tongue)
  • Enhanced creativity & increased emotional intelligence, and
  • Increased impetus to make a difference in the world we share

So what are you waiting for?

Grab one of those books you’ve been meaning to get around to reading, get comfortable and get to it. It turns out that relaxing on the couch is some of the most effective exercise you can get — but it only works when you are relaxing AS YOU READ a BOOK!

©Mysticartdesign – Creative Commons – Found HERE

© 2017, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)


After saying goodbye to her first career as an actor/director, award-winning ADD Poster Girl Madelyn Griffith-Haynie founded the ADD/EFD Coach Training field and co-founded the ADD Coaching field.

She now works with and supports, privately and in her comprehensive brain-based blog articles, individuals with all sorts of Executive Functioning challenges (prioritizing & planning, organization & follow-through, time, task & mood management and so-much-MORE).  She has been coaching folks to “learn to drive the very brain they were born with” for over 25 years.


You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on her site and elsewhere.

Related articles on ADDandSoMuchMore.com

Related Articles ’round the net

BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

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133 Comments

Add a Comment
  1. Great post! I totally agree and love to read properly Too!!! And Madelyn is wonderful!

    1. Thanks so much Ritu. I’m so glad you enjoyed this. <3

      1. My nose is forever in a book… if I’m not writing, working or being mum!

        1. I hear you girl! 🙂 x

    2. What a dear comment, Ritu. Thank you.
      xx, mgh

      1. All true Madelyn! <3

        1. You are a darling! Thank you.
          xx,
          mgh

  2. Fantastic post! Thanks, Debby and Madelyn!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Olga. As keepers of the big fat TBRs we can well appreciate. <3

    2. Your very welcome, Olga. Thank YOU for reading and taking the time to comment.
      xx,
      mgh

  3. Hi Debby and Madelyn – gosh what a comprehensive post … and one I will definitely be back to read through properly again … what a great set of resources you’ve given us – thank you so much … cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary. Thank you so much for visiting and glad to hear this article has grabbed your attention. 🙂 x

    2. Thanks so much, Hilary. I’m glad you like the resources. Not everybody has time to check them out, of course, but I like to include them – to blogs of others who have written about the same thing as well as links to the studies themselves.
      xx,
      mgh

  4. Fascinating article. I do think of the brain as a muscle. Use it or lose it. It takes far too many calories to run to NOT be a muscle!

    1. Great analogy Jacqui. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂 x

    2. Thanks, Jacqui. Your analogy is right in line with what more than a few neuroscientists have said. I only quoted one.

      What seems to be most true is “use it or lose it!” I think those of us who follow Deb’s great blog – whether we write our own books or not – are definitely in the “use it” camp! lol
      xx, mgh

  5. A long list of wonderful reasons to read. We knew it all along, but it’s nice to have science backing us up. Thanks to Madelyn for the informative post and to Debby for hosting! <3

    1. And thank you Diana for taking the time to read and joining the conversation. 🙂 xx

    2. Thank you, Diana. This post here is almost Coals to Newcastle, huh? But now we all have links to the brain-benefits to share with anyone who ever says, “Are you planning to read ALL DAY?” 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      1. Ah, to read all day! That would be wonderful. 🙂

        1. When I read, that’s generally how I have to do it. I am a total grouch if I don’t get to finish the book in one sitting. I try to give myself a weekend day for reading.
          xx,
          mgh

          1. I love that you devote a whole day or two to a book. What a joy!

          2. Ahh, what a luxury that would be eh Diana? 🙂 xx

          3. The best vacation, yes? When I read non-fiction (science or self-help), I can take it in slices, but something with a narrative I want to zoom straight through. When I know it will be impossible, I usually wait to begin.
            xx,
            mgh

  6. Debby, I am truly touched by your generosity, honored that you invited me to write something to be featured here. I loved doing the research once I hit on a topic. My challenge was deciding which benefits to feature and which to merely list. I could easily have written thousands more words — lol 🙂

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to share the news with your community — readers ALL! We’ll be sharp as tacks for decades to come – still blogging and adding to our TBR lists, no doubt.
    xx,
    mgh

    1. Lol, you make me laugh M. I’m so glad that both of us were happy for the opportunity for you to post here. I just wanted you to come over and share your wonderful brain with us and you’ve done a brilliant job! <3 xx

      1. ::blushing to my hairline:: What a terrific comment to make a girl’s day!
        xx,
        mgh

        1. Blush on my beautiful friend. 🙂 xx

  7. When I taught college composition and assigned essays for class discussion, I would spend a good deal of time teaching the difference between active and passive reading. It was time well spent in order to get students more apt to really dig into the themes and craft of the essay, rather than just reading for “entertainment.”

    1. Thanks for contributing here Jeri. Truly, I don’t understand people who don’t read. And I know lots of them. 🙂 x

    2. Good point, Jeri. The great thing is that, once taught and practiced so the neuro-connections are developed and strengthened, even reading for entertainment becomes “active.” Amazing, right? You did more than you knew for those students.
      xx,
      mgh

  8. A wonderful article on the benefits of reading, Debby. I love Madelyn’s posts.

    1. Thanks Robbie. I was just thrilled when she accepted my offer to guest here. 🙂 x

      1. Not as thrilled as I was to be invited, Deb.
        xx, mgh

        1. Hmm, that’s a toughie. 🙂 😉

          1. No it isn’t — I win!
            xx,
            mgh

          2. LOLLLLLLLLLLL 🙂 🙂 xx

    2. Thanks, Robbie – right back atcha’ (I could have used your baking expertise as I was working, too, keeping my energy up with the world’s driest brownies – and no, I didn’t overbake)
      xx,
      mgh

  9. What a magnificent post: Reading is like breathing to me. I always have a stack of books by my bedside and I collect quotes about books too. Here is one of my favorites: “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
    Go throw your TV set away,
    And in its place you can install
    A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
    Then fill the shelves with lots of books.”
    ― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Thank you, thank you, Debby and Madelyn!

    1. Thanks for sharing that most prolific quote Marian. Welcome back! 🙂

    2. I really love this quote. I threw my own TV away over 25 years ago, Marian – and I’ve run out of walls for more bookshelves – really! Recently watched “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” on Hulu, btw — probably the last person on the planet who hadn’t seen it. 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading and ringing in.
      xx,
      mgh

  10. Brilliant of course.. and perhaps we should include the key words in our book marketing.. Brain Health… thanks Madelyn and I will reblog on Saturday morning over at my place.♥

    1. Thank you so much Sal for all you give and do <3

    2. WOW, Sally. I will add a link there from my “reblog” for Deb — the minute I am awake after it goes live. You are a doll. And yeah, add that key word – science supports it!
      xx,
      mgh

  11. This is a super post! There is nothing better than that ‘lost in a story’ feeling you get from a good book! It can definitely last for days after finishing, but as well as euphoria, there can also be a sense of grieving that the book is over. Sometimes I feel a bit disorientated after, as if something really important is missing from my life! ? But I had no idea that science had actually identified and explained all This, or that reading could do so much more for you than providing entertainment, particularly in later life… what great news!

    1. Isn’t it brilliant? A lot to think about here and process. Madelyn is good like that. 🙂 Thanks for visiting Ali <3

    2. Ali – I could have written your comment – before I researched this post, anyway. I start feeling a bit strange as I reach the final few chapters of a book I’m loving. I want to know how it turns out, of course, but I’m sad that it’s almost over.

      In any case, we are doing GREAT things for our brains when we read. The science guys say so! 🙂 Thanks for ringing in.
      xx,
      mgh

  12. This is a wonderful post, Madelyn. It confirms many of the reasons I love to read – that I didn’t understand until reading this post! Thanks for hosting Madelyn, Debby!

    1. Hi John. Makes sense right? 🙂 Thanks for visiting. 🙂

    2. I always knew that reading was an instant feel good when I was feeling down – even before I read the science. And I have always said that reading “scratches my brain” — as satisfying as scratching a bug-bite.

      Until I did the research I always thought of it more as a metaphor. Now I’m not so sure. I wonder if those of us who love to read somehow feel the good things we are doing for our brains – maybe part of the reason we love reading?

      Thanks for taking the time to ring in on BOTH blogs, John – and for reblogging. You’re a doll!
      xx,
      mgh

  13. I love Madelyn’s blog, it’s such a rich source of information. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for visiting my friend. Rich indeed! 🙂 <3

    2. Thank you so much, Chrisoph! I love yours too (and Tink sends woofs to the adorable puppy in your gravitar). Your comment reminds me that I haven’t been over to your patch for a while. I must check to see if the WordPress Gremlins have been playing with my follow list again and rectify post haste!
      xx,
      mgh

  14. Oohh, love this post. Everything I’ve thought intuitively about the value of reading, is validated here by Madelyn through her scientific research/links. In so many ways, it just makes sense that if we read and enter the world of a character, following her highs and lows, her struggles and her joys, we would gain empathy and understanding. This is why I’m always leery of people who don’t read books. Non-readers’ minds are narrowed and smaller just by the fact that they haven’t reached other countries, people of other skin colors and faiths, other religions, perhaps even other universes, by not reading. Great great post. Thank you Madelyn, and thank you Debby for bringing her to us in your blog.

    1. Thank you Pam for your lovely contribution here. I loved your comment and you hit the nail on the head when you said that people who don’t read minds are narrowed that is so true! Hard to hold object opinions even if our minds aren’t opened up by possibilities instead of only what we see daily. 🙂 x

    2. Oohh, love this comment, Pam! It DOES make sense, psychologically – and isn’t it great to have some validation from the science guys that it makes sense *neuro-logically* as well?

      I was especially struck by this finding: “… highly transported readers … became *more* empathic, while non-transported readers … became LESS empathic.”

      That indicated to me that not only do their minds fail to expand, they are actually constricted. It’s not “proven,” of course, but it seems highly likely that empathy is a necessary component for ongoing brain “expansion” – making new connections which are, of course, what keeps us brain-healthy as we age.

      Thank you so much taking the time to read and comment, and especially for underscoring this important point.
      xx,
      mgh

  15. Hi Debbie and Madelyn,

    It is such a beautiful endeavor when as authors we support each other’s work. When I joined what I like to call the WordPress group, I found nothing but open and accepting individuals willing to help and promote newbies like myself. I have learned and continue to learn so much from so many individuals. Each in their own way. This post is demonstrative of the support and caring that goes on each day. Thank you both for your leadership in our writers’ group here on WordPress. HUGS.

    1. Chuck, thank you for your beautiful comment. It is so true – it takes a village. We write in solitude but and it’s the community that is there for us who supports us and who often pick us up in those times when we need a little bit of a voice from others who only understand a writer’s life. <3

    2. Great comment, Chuck – underscoring the main reason most of us blog, IMHO. I, too, have found the writers who blog on WordPress the most supportive and uplifting folks on the planet. Like keeps attracting like.

      btw- My “Getting beyond PTSD Triggers” post is still queued (first Monday in Sept. I think) – it begins by acknowledging your contribution to the idea, with links to your blog and to your original comment on a prior article. See you then (if not before). 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to read and leave this lovely comment.
      xx,
      mgh

  16. As always, Madelyn thoroughly covers the topic! These benefits are awesome and as an avid reader I’m very happy to know them 🙂 My grandma read books until the very end of her life at age 100 so I’m thinking it helped her considerably. Along with the cups of tea we shared, perhaps <3 Now excuse me while I go read a book 😉 Love you, Debby and Madelyn!

    1. Wow! Isn’t that fantastic about your grandma’s longevity! May it carry on to you dear Christy! Love you too sweet girl! <3

    2. Your comments always light me up, Christy. I am grinning like a Halloween pumpkin over this one – especially reading that you seem to have won the longevity gene lottery. I’m sure the tea and your loving attention made a difference in addition to the fact that she was a life-long reader (science-backed, btw).

      If your posts are any indication, you are doing so many great things for your brain you may live even longer than your dear grandma — sharp as a tack! 🙂 Thanks for reading here and taking the time to leave your thoughts.
      xx,
      mgh

  17. Wonderful and informative post. I began reading early in life and its made me who I am today. I love reading, so it’s wonderful to see all the benefits it has on us. Great resources. Thank you Debby and Madelyn! <3 xx

    1. Thanks so much Vashti. Those must have been inspirational reads because it’s made you a beautiful soul. <3

      1. Aw, thank you. Some of them were. 🙂

    2. Thank you for reading and commenting, Vashti. My mother read to me as a child — and I’m sure that’s one reason that I learned to read quite early as well. I absolutely loved everything about it, and happily took over the task of reading to my siblings (probably where my love of acting got its start).

      I was so proud to read “above grade level” and gravitated toward the “BIG books” for my own reading because it made me feel so grown up to be able to read them. I’m sure I missed as much as I caught about the greater themes in those early days, but I think my early exposure made me who I am today as well. It certainly cemented my love of books.
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      1. That’s wonderful, Madelyn. Parents should be made aware the importance of reading to their children.

        1. One of the most important things you can do for brain development, Vashti – and NOT just for the obvious, like reading readiness, language & syntax awareness and the connection between words and visuals.
          xx,
          mgh

    1. Thanks so much Sal. xo

  18. Wow…What a wonderful post I have sat here for the last half hour just clicking through links..I always knew the brain was amazing and I love Melanie’s way of talking through a subject in language I understand ( no jargon) My hubbie who had probably hardly read a book in his life…now retired and there is no stopping him..but who am I am to do that I now don’t get the look that says how can you read and stir a pot..you can…lol..but he understands my passion now…Only took him 40 plus years… Great guest post Debby Hugs 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Carol, for stopping by and reading Madelyn’s great post. Lol, I hear you on the husband not reading thing. Kudos to you for converting your husband to a reader, something I’m still working on with mine, lol. 🙂 xx

      1. Ha ha ..never say never….It made a lovely change from recipes and it was enlightening interesting and I really liked it… Have a lovely weekend Debby xx

    2. Men are from Mars, right? 🙂 I’m not sure where women are from, but I do know it takes a while for us to learn each others’ native tongue (40 years sounds about right). I’ve usually been in relationships with men that were either readers themselves or HUGE sports fans, so at least I had lots of uninterrupted time to poke my nose into a book or several.

      Thanks so much for reading this article and taking the time to add to the conversation, Carol. I’m glad to know I was able to keep the science-speak down to a dull roar! Always a challenge.

      xx,
      mgh

      1. Ha ha Venus according book…lol… and I never did finish reading it alll those years ago..lol A dull roar suits me fine although it was never dull..Just perfect for me .Thank you Madelyn…Enjoy your week and I look for ward to being wowed by more of your posts 🙂

        1. What a wonderful response! Can’t seem to remember much about that book either — beyond the title (thanks to you. 🙂 I look forward to digging into more of your thoughts on your blog too.
          xx,
          mgh

  19. Madelyn, it’s lovely to ‘meet’ you here and I’m fascinated by your post. I’ve always believed in the power and positive benefits of reading but this detailed analysis on so many levels is a resounding endorsement to read…and how true that one must be relaxed! Sometimes I’m rushing to finish a book and I’m more stressed than ever and haven’t enjoyed the experience at all.

    1. Thank you so much for chiming in here Annika. 🙂 x

    2. Nice to “meet” you too, Annika, and funny you should say that, I just responded to a comment recommending The Goldfinch (almost 800 pages!). I had recently read it, but I had to rush through it in only two days before a book club discussion. You described my experience perfectly! I can only read for pleasure when I have the time to savor it. Truth to tell, I don’t rush well period! 🙂
      xx,

      You aren’t related to Jay Perry by any chance?
      mgh

      1. Madelyn, ditto on the not having to rush!! I read The Goldfinch a while back and whilst the writing was superb, in m opinion it was overlong…I’d love to be part of your book club discussing this. Oh, now I’m intrigued. Jay Perry? No relation that I know of…is it another blogger?

        1. No, Jay’s a “life” coach that started with me in the group that began the field, thanks to the visionary leadership of the late Thomas Leonard – another of the first 7 original TeleClass leaders back in the day.

          VERY funny guy, and I’ve lost track of him in the intervening years. I’d love to know what he has been doing since.

          I would have cut out a lot of the research detail included in the Goldfinch – just used it as background. Apparently her editor and she were on the same page, and hated to cut much of anything. I’ll never know what I might have thought if I could have read it at a more leisurely pace, but I do agree with you: overlong.
          xx,
          mgh

  20. Madelyn you are incredible. Reading is something we could do all day and night if it weren’t for the chores of life getting in the way.

    1. So true! 🙂

    2. Thanks guys – I’m with you about reading all day and night – but given all the travel adventures you share on your blog, I have a feeling that it’s more than chores that keep you both busy! Thanks for taking a moment to ring in here.
      xx,
      mgh

      1. LOL. Don’t you just love being busy though. But believe us when we say we make time everyday for that all important quiet time to reflect and give thanks. Seems like when we make that a priority everything else falls nicely into place!

        1. Amazing how that works, huh? Plus, when we become little more than human doings, our stress levels are off the charts. None of us get much done when we work in that state – no matter HOW hard we work.
          xx,
          mgh

          1. Amen to this!!!!!!!

  21. Thanks so much for sharing on Blogger’s Pitstop #87! This is a great post and so informative. I have included a link on PainPalsBlog regular feature Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You! and as an avid reader (& occasional reviewer)so pleased to have found & follow you, Claire

    1. Thank you so much Claire for visiting and sharing. Madelyn is a fantastic Executive Mind thinker and it was a treat to have her post here about the many benefits of reading. 🙂

      1. Great blog to visit and Madelyn has left me a lovely note too – looking forward to exploring her site too. I am so pleased to have found you both xxx

        1. Fantastic! We’re are both thrilled to have you aboard! <3

        2. Thanks again, Clair, for helping to spread the word – you are a doll. Your blog is now on MY “tbr list” (lol – for blogs, distinct from my “TBR List” for books). I’m looking forward to reading more from you, since some of my neuro-diverse followers deal with chronic pain as well. Whenever I tackle that topic on my blog, get ready for a few pings! I know JUST where to start my research.
          xx,
          mgh

  22. As if we needed any convincing! But what a great article. Thank you Debby and Madelyn! It’s always good to know that our beliefs are backed up by science. 🙂 Time to grab another book to read!

    1. Thanks so much Norah for reading, I’m glad you found this interesting. 🙂

    2. LOL – “as if” indeed, Norah! I so appreciate your taking the time to read the article and to leave such a fun comment. THANKS!
      xx,
      mgh

  23. Fantastic post. I knew some of these benefits but not all. So interesting…though I’m not surprised. One thing I love that you pointed out is reading online (popping around from one blog to another) does not have the same positive effect as reading a book. Yet another reason to make more time for our TBR lists! ? Thanks for sharing this, Debby and Madelyn.

    1. Thanks for visiting Sarah. So glad you found this article interesting. Madelyn is a wealth of information. 🙂 xx

      1. Thanks, Deb, for the lovely compliment.
        xx,
        mgh

        1. Just sayin’ my friend. 🙂 <3 xx

          1. Woohoo! 🙂 🙂 xx

      2. Thank YOU for sharing, Debby. This is awesome. (BTW, am I nutty or did you add “like” buttons to your comments? Were they always there? Hmm… Anyway, I really “like” them.)

        1. Glad you enjoyed this Sarah. Lol, you are nutty, in a lovable kind of way 🙂 I’ve always had ‘like’ buttons. 🙂 🙂 <3

    2. I’m with you, Sarah. I knew quite a few of the benefits already, but was really surprised by the one I featured. (6 minutes to move a depressed mind to a new place was a surprise too). I especially loved the scientific reasoning behind why we feel like we are transported into the characters as we read – because our brain seems to believe we ARE – lol!

      I love you for underscoring that reading a BOOK (i.e., something narrative that really takes us to a different place) is different from reading itself – at least according to the latest studies.

      Thank YOU for taking time from your own TBR list to read the article and leave a comment.
      xx,
      mgh

      1. I’ve bookmarked this, Madelyn. I love this. I’ve also been to your blog and am blown away by all the info. I have to pull myself away and read a book. You know… For my health. 😉

        (Agreed…moving a depressed mind to a new place is fascinating!)

        1. Thanks so much Sarah. <3

        2. Thanks, Sarah — I’m beaming.

          I have a stack of books screaming at me to get off the computer and read them too (not to mention the ones in my Kindle). 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

  24. Absolutely fascinating, particularly the part about grounded cognition, which is something I work with a lot when coaching my sports clients – something I have found extremely successful myself when competing. The extension to a reader’s experience is not something I’d considered before.
    Thanks for this excellent feature ladies 😀

    1. Thanks so much for dropping by Deb. I’m glad you found Madelyn’s article informative and helpful for your own business. 🙂 xx

    2. Great comment, Deborah – especially since you already understand the benefits of grounded cognition because you USE it yourself and with your clients. Now you have a few new words to help explain it to them as you coach them.

      Even the scientists were surprised to discover that reading activated the “grounded” area in the brain. So far they’ve only found it with narratives (i.e., not reading instructions, etc. – the reader seems to have to identify with a character or the voice in which the piece is written).

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and ring in. May you win the competitions you enter! What’s your sport?
      xx,
      mgh

      1. I always love to learn more about the psychology underlying performance, though my degree is in physiology, not psychology – I just find it fascinating, and now its useful in both work and in developing characters for my books. Great to see how it affect readers too.
        I am a professional dressage rider and coach, working at top National level and with a couple of International riders – I’ve ridden Internationally myself. I so love my sport! Nothing quite like discovering how to mesh human and horse psyches to produce living art.

        1. WOW – congratulations – and what a lovely description. I have no personal experience with horses but I was once engaged to a man whose daughter trained TN. Walkers before she decided to go to nursing school. One of my coaches trained “carriage ponies” (her term) to work with the disabled. I imagine the glow in your eyes when you even think about it is similar to theirs. Lovely – thanks for sharing.

          Were you aware that horse and rider share what they call peripersonal space?
          xx,
          mgh

          1. No, I wasn’t. I just had to go and look that up – fascinating! Makes me think perhaps when we ride we become more centaur than we realise 😉

          2. As a double Sagittarius, I love that metaphor! It would make for a fascinating blog article that every rider would be sure to love – but better with your expertise behind it than mine.
            xx,
            mgh

          3. I’m a Sagittarius also, guess that’s where the passions for riding and performance combine. ?

          4. November or December? I’m a late November Sag (11/29).
            xx,
            mgh

          5. December 17th, though I came early, I was scheduled to be a Capricorn, but I’m happy to be a Saggi 🙂

          6. My Mars is in Capricorn – a very practical sign that adds a bit of get-it-done balance to my double Sag “seeker” energy (both Sun and Rising), or so I like to believe.
            xx,
            mgh

  25. My Dear Madelyn, Thank You for being there and for Your kind support. Went through Your post, and, er, having already been an avid reader, certainly concur with all that You say, though frankly, have very little time to read nowadays! 🙁 …The graphics You have used are simply SUPERB! Kudos on that too. Love and Regards. 🙂

  26. You are intense, and wonderful!

    1. Thanks for dropping by Resa 🙂

  27. Wow, great study. I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time as much as I read.

    1. Thank you. Reading is never a waste of time, we’re always learning.:)

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