Image via Serge the Concierge
An article from Open Education Database has been making the rounds of the local library's inboxes and therefore our Facebook pages as well, counting out the 10 things that happen to our minds when we read.
Any book lover can tell you: diving into a great novel is an immersive experience that can make your brain come alive with imagery and emotions and even turn on your senses. It sounds romantic, but there's real, hard evidence that supports these things happening to your brain when you read books. In reading, we can actually physically change our brain structure, become more empathetic, and even trick our brains into thinking we've experienced what we've only read in novels.
Sadly, #3 insures that I cannot maintain my strict Kinsey 6:
3. Reading about experiences is almost the same as living it:
Have your ever felt so connected to a story that it's as if you experienced it in real life? There's a good reason why: your brain actually believes that you have experienced it. When we read, the brain does not make a real distinction between reading about an experience and actually living it. Whether reading or experiencing it, the same neurological regions are stimulated. Novels are able to enter into our thoughts and feelings. While you can certainly hop into a VR game at the mall and have a great time, it seems that reading is the original virtual reality experience, at least for your brain.
Thusly, I've had way more straight sex than I could ever hope to have actual, in-real-time gay sex. So I guess also thanks to some of my Dad's reading matter, when I was a teen, I've experienced a gang bang in a Turkish prison and a Tijuana donkey show. Yikes!