A New Zealand literacy chief says if you want to get brainier, the Christmas break is the time to do it.
Jo Cribb, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Book Council says if people put aside their screens and read something in hard copy – research says – their brains will grow.
“The summer holidays are often a time when we want to sit back and think. New research is starting to show that if you really want to do some thinking and get immersed in something – you’ll get a better outcome reading from paper.”
“We live in a world with endless access to information anywhere, anytime and we love to skim, but to really concentrate and get engaged you need to read off paper. “
Dr Cribb says we are learning more and more about reading online and some of the most recent research, from the New Zealand Council of Education, has shown that people learn more when they read on paper rather than screen.
“There is nothing wrong with reading online, but the research shows its more physically tiring than paper-based reading and more difficult to engage in a deep and focused way. Once you get tired your concentration fades and your attention wanders.
That coupled with the fact that the Internet is a ‘rabbit warren’ of information that tempts you to bounce between screens, click on to videos and play audio is another reason you can’t concentrate.”
The New Zealand Book Council is currently running a campaign called Read to Succeed to encourage more New Zealanders to read. A number of high profile New Zealanders including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have spoken on video about the importance of reading to them.
Dr Cribb says the effect of reading will also have a positive impact on children.
“If children see you reading – they are more likely to want to read themselves and if they get into the habit of reading they are much more likely to be successful. We want our kids to be brainy too.”
“’I’m not saying don’t read on your digital devices but, while you’ve got a bit of time, pull out a book, grow your brain and be a good role model to your children – it’s a no brainer really.”
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