The novel has not yet lost its letters of nobility, yet months it continues to influence the personality of the avid reader of novels. To isolate oneself, to withdraw into oneself, and to use reading as a means of escaping reality is often the image that one tends to have of a regular reader. However, studies on this subject tend to show the opposite. Indeed, it appears that reading novels develops empathy, improves social skills, and strengthens our tactile sensations! Let’s get to know together about the benefits of reading novels.
The Benefits of Reading Novels to Our Social Experience
Novels have the particularity of dealing with human beings, their interactions, and their intentions. Thus, reading stories makes it possible to simulate social interactions and to reflect on others. In other words, reading novels develops a theory of mind, that is, the ability to take another’s point of view and understand that someone may have different intentions than others. This is one aspect of empathy about putting yourself on someone else’s mind.
On the other hand, recent studies show that a reader’s brain reading a character’s adventures reacts in the same way as if he were performing his own actions. For example, if the character in the story picks up a pen to write a letter, the brain regions associated with this movement become activated. When we read a novel, we can put ourselves in the shoes of a character.
Also, when we read a novel, we understand the events of the story from the character’s point of view, and the emotions we feel are our own emotions triggered by the desires, situations, and actions … of the romantic characters. To imagine living the adventures of the heroes of the story that we read, internally experiencing what they do and feel, requires emotional empathy.
Therefore, reading novels can help us better understand others and improve our social awareness. In this vein, reading novels stimulates empathy, taking action, and having some impact on the reader’s personality.
Fictions Improve Social Skills
Unlike other readings, fictional narratives arouse a certain identification with the characters. It is precisely this identification that would contribute to the improvement of social skills.
Indeed, a work of fiction would initiate reasoning relative to reality. In fact, studies in this area show that people who read a short story score better on social reasoning tests than those who have read an essay in a magazine.
That said, fictional fiction works to develop social skills and improve our social skills.
The Benefits of Reading Novels to Our Tactile Sensations!
Studies have already shown that reading a novel stimulates empathy in addition to the language. Today, a recent study has revealed a new virtue of books. Indeed, reading literary fiction would also strengthen our tactile sensations. Thus, by entering the skin of the characters, the reader would feel the tactile and motor sensations experienced by their fictional hero.
The Benefits of Reading Novels to the Motor Areas of the Brain
In order to study how reading a novel acts on our brain, researchers have observed, on several occasions, the brain activity of many readers of novels. To do this, they employed an imaging method called functional connectivity.
And the results reveal an increase in neural connections during the reading phases. More precisely, two main neural networks are concerned: motor and sensory areas and language areas.
As for the network that supports motor and sensory commands, it is organized around three brain structures:
– the central parietal groove
– the insula
– the superior temporal gyrus
As regards the network devoted to language, it is mainly located at the level of the temporal lobe.
The Consolidation of These Neural Networks With Reading, Therefore, Makes It Possible to Experience Sensations
Let’s say that reading novel strengthens our brain’s processing of tactile sensations and motor commands. So even if these tactile and motor sensations are fictitious, they are still processed by our brains. So we feel them without actually experiencing them.
Certainly, science has not finished discovering the many benefits of reading novels! But for now, we note that reading novels influences our personality, especially in relation to our sensitivity and our emotional body.