Reading is one of the best things you can do for your brain; it improves concentration, reduces stress, and slows aging-related cognitive decline. While these benefits are associated with reading regardless of the books you’re drawn to, reading non-fiction in particular has its own benefits – especially when it comes to memory.
As a senior living community providing specialized memory care services, Melrose Gardens understands the power of reading in strengthening and protecting the brain. In this article, we explore the benefits of reading non-fiction for the brain and memory.
The Pursuit of Knowledge
Non-fiction is a broad category that encompasses memoirs, true crime, spirituality, self-help, history, science, and many more. Yet despite the variety in subject matter, what all non-fiction categories have in common is that they encourage curiosity and learning – both of which help strengthen the memory. No matter what type of non-fiction you enjoy, you’ll finish a non-fiction book with a greater understanding of the world you live in.
The Power of Storytelling
Though it may not be a story in the traditional sense, non-fiction books still involve storytelling. After all, without storytelling, a history book would just be a list of facts on a page. Storytelling brings everything together and presents it in a cohesive and relatable narrative. These stories stimulate the imagination and the mind just as effectively as any fiction novel. They also engage the reader, making it easier to process and absorb the information on the page.
Building Empathy and Critical Thinking
While the typical non-fiction book is filled with well-researched facts, non-fiction also includes subjective books such as collections of opinion essays. This type of non-fiction still contributes to learning something new – but instead of facts, it allows the reader to adopt a new perspective. Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes builds empathy, expands your horizons, and enhances both your analytical and critical thinking skills. Like lifting weights, these cognitive activities exercise your brain and strengthen your working memory.
Whether you enjoy fiction, non-fiction, or both, reading is an incredibly mentally stimulating activity that helps strengthen memory and protect against cognitive decline. Non-fiction is an especially effective choice as it results in learning and retaining new information, increasing memory capacity, and empathizing with different perspectives.
Memory Care in Los Angeles, CA
Melrose Gardens is a retirement community in Los Angeles providing specialized memory care services. Our memory care programs include a wide variety of stimulating activities that are personalized to support every resident’s unique needs. To learn more about our senior living community,