Why Read Other Books?

August 26, 2019 at 10:57 am | Posted in Q&A | 1 Comment
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Question: I read my Bible. What does it matter if I read other books or not?

Answer: I agree that if you are only going to read one book, read the Bible. That’s the most important book. However, one reason adults – especially Christian adults – should read other things, too, is that the ability to read is a great gift from God, and a great way to acquire information and knowledge about areas where the Bible gives principles, but might not go into a lot of detail. Also, I’m concerned about our brains. The part of your brain intended for reading comprehension will get atrophied (like a muscle that never gets any exercise) if it is not used. The result will be a decreased ability to understand concepts, to apply information or knowledge to circumstances (wisdom), a poor vocabulary, and a failure to be able to properly explain what you are trying to say when it might be important.

Also, I’m concerned about how social media and television have come to replace reading. These activities are far more mentally passive, and they don’t use the same part of your brain. Also, they are addictive in a bad way. According to studies, when you get attention on social media or achieve a goal on a video game or app, your brain releases dopamine which creates a sensation of pleasure. However, you soon develop a higher tolerance level, and you need to feed the unconscious craving for dopamine more and more, so you spend an inordinate amount of (mostly wasted) time playing silly games or checking your status for “likes,” hoping to keep your dopamine receptor engaged. It’s just not mentally healthy the way reading is.

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