Read any good books lately?

I have been invited to Guest Post TODAY!
The Power of Reading BOOKS
hosted by blogger Debby Gies [author D.G.Kaye]

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Reblog with Intro from the Executive Functioning Series

Although she is in Toronto, Canada and I am “down south” in Cincinnati, Ohio, the miracle that is the blogging community has allowed us to develop a warm and wonderful virtual friendship.

For those who don’t already know her, Debby is a generous, popular and prolific blogger who is well-known for her memoirs filled with both heartfelt and humorous reflections on her own journey through life.

Uplifting and encouraging, each is written to offer positive support to anyone struggling with anything similar to the topics she tackles.

She is currently readying her next book for publication.

She asked me to give her a bit of time to focus on polishing the upcoming gem I’m sure it will be, honoring me by featuring something I would write especially for her regular Tuesday post.

So, of course, I chose to focus on what science has discovered about
the amazing brain-based benefits of reading a BOOK!

I’ll get you started below, and then send you over to read the entire article on her site. (or you can CLICK HERE to read the entire article over there right now)

I’ll respond to comments on either site – or both, if you choose.

I’ll bet most of you will be surprised to learn what science has discovered about the many great things book-readers are doing for their mental and physical health — simply by lounging on the couch reading a book!

If you are not already following Debby, click around while you’re there and get to know her and her books. You’ll be mighty glad you did.

Reading a book has the power to reshape your brain
and improve your ability to relate to others

Reading more but enjoying it less?

Thanks to our ability to scroll through endless words on our computers, tablets and smart phones, more people are reading than ever before.

Still, while the act of reading itself has increased, there is a significant difference between reading anything and reading a book that pulls you into the mind of the author as you take a mental vacation.

Even hours of reading on FaceBook, or skipping from blog to blog reading multiple articles on various subjects, does not seem to have the same positive effect as reading a novel, a memoir or a carefully curated collection of short-stories.

And the more time we spend online, the less time we have for reading those wonderful books on our TBR lists (“To Be Read”).

That’s a real shame, too, because reading a good book is not only an enjoyable, affordable “vacation” that broadens our perspective, it turns out that science has discovered that it actually improves our brain functioning in ways that translate to improved thinking, mood, functional intelligence, more positive and productive connections in our lives, and so-much-MORE.

The impact of a BOOK

Reading a book not only gives us access to someone else’s mindset and world view, it also seems to increase our ability to empathize with people in our day to day lives.

I’m sure that most of us who are avid readers are well acquainted with the feeling of stepping into another world while we read. Most of us also find that our view of our “real” world changes for days afterwards, even when we are not actively thinking about the story-line, the subject matter or the characters.

In my own experience, for example, after spending an evening with a character I could see clearly in my mind’s eye, for a few days following I have often felt like I was reacting as they might have. Sometimes I have the almost eerie sensation that I have taken on that character’s mannerisms.

Science has discovered that there’s a brain-based reason for that experience.

“We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.” ~ neuroscientist Professor Gregory Berns

Being captured by the world of a book with a strong narrative can trigger measurable changes in the brain — changes that linger for at least five days after reading.

Reading books and changing brain cells

Research from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (published in the journal Brain Connectivity) found that reading a book can increase neural connectivity in a manner that mimics muscle memory.

Study changes were registered in two key areas of the brain:

  1. the left temporal cortex, an area associated with language receptivity, as well as, surprisingly,
  2. the brain’s primary sensory motor region, the central sulcus, associated with sensations and movement.

Neurons of the second region have been associated with tricking the mind into thinking it is actually doing something by merely thinking yourself through the activity.

Referred to as “grounded cognition,” that is the explanation given for the effectiveness of the practice of mental rehearsal used effectively by many athletes.

Thanks to the phenomenon of grounded cognition, it seems that merely thinking about the specifics of an athletic activity can activate the neurons associated with the physical doing of that activity.

In some cases, practicing mentally has been reported to improve performance almost as much as if the athletes had strained and sweated their way through an actual practice session.

Who knew that the same areas could be activated by narrative reading?

“The anterior [front] bank of the sulcus contains neurons that control movement of parts of the body,” Berns, lead author of the study above explained. He went on to say that the posterior [back] region contains neurons that receive sensory input from various parts of the body.

The enhanced connectivity in the posterior region suggests that the act of reading “transports” the reader into the body of the protagonist. Amazing, right?

But wait! There’s more . . . (click HERE to read all about it)

Book Fountain, Cincinnati Public Library (symbolizing the free flow of information) | © Creative Commons, 2012 Jean-François Schmitz | Found HERE

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Featured on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday Aug. 18th 2017

Thanks so much to blogger, author and publisher Sally Cronin  . . .

…for featuring this post on her Smorgasbord Blogger Daily — alongside a stellar line-up of fabulous bloggers: Tony Riches/Wendy Janes, D.G. Kaye, Dan Alatorre/ Heather Kindt, and Christy Birmingham.

If you missed it (or are not already following Sally’s truly excellent Smorgasbord of delights on a great many topics), go take a look and click around.  TONS of good stuff over there.

Thanks ALSO to some fabulous bloggers who shared this post with their communities:

Mr. Militant Negro on The Militant Negro™
Michael from
OIKOS™-Redaktion  on Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung – Aus und über Eslarn, sowie die bayerisch-tschechische Region!
Rae Longest on blogging807.
John Fioravanti on Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti
DC Gilbert on Patriot Warrior

© 2017, all rights reserved
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(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

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IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

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(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

133 Responses to Read any good books lately?

  1. Pingback: D.G. Kaye on growing self-esteem | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Pingback: Ageism cuts both ways: Don’t Discount the Kids | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  3. This is a great post!!!!!! Congrats on the book! And wish you the best for the second!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dgkaye says:

    Just popped by to share this again and thank you again. This post was a big hit over at my blog, not surprisingly my friend. The comments are still coming. ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Deb. Did you notice that I added links to the reblogs from this “half” of the article at the bottom? Easier to get to them from there if you choose to visit – vs. scrolling down looking for them among the other comments.

      I’m currently time-slicing between my comment drop-down and Live Help with WordPress – so I’ll jump over to respond to any new comments when she’s done with me. (The only comments I can see and respond to from the drop-down are those that “reply” – not any new ones.)

      I’m truly THRILLED with the response to this article, and I want to make sure everyone who commented (here or on your site) knows how much I appreciate their support as well as YOURS for being the hostess with the mostest. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        Fabulous M, yes, I did notice, you da bomb girl! And no worries at all about comments, I can tell you, WP has been acting weird with comments on many blogs. You know I always say, “We get there, when we get there.” I only mentioned exactly because WP doesn’t always show notifications 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • I truly appreciate your telling me about new comments, Deb – always. Thank you. The notices, even when they are shown, can easy to miss when you have to be away from WordPress for a bit – especially when there are a lot of “likes” mixed in. (NOT complaining – just explaining).

          I spent quite a bit of time with Live Help last night (or whatever that chat/help feature is called). Time well spent, tho’ — they were extremely helpful with an ongoing problem that I’ve been having to work around, really slowing me down.

          We *finally* figured out that it was a Pinterest button (direct from Pinterest itself!) that was causing a crazy problem with my edits. When I disabled it, my WPress problem stopped but I couldn’t pin without a bunch of time-consuming extra steps I was unlikely to do.

          I then spent another hour or more on the Firefox site finding a different Pinterest button that still facilitates pinning. It seems okay for now, cross fingers.

          Sharing for anyone else with bizarre problems
          Disable all add-ons to your browser, then add them back one by one as you test. It takes more time than you want it to, but it may turn out to be well worth it. Then find a different add-on that doesn’t cause the problem.

          Developers are uploading new add-ons all the time, and the reviewers are a pretty good guide as to what to try next. It does take time and patience, however. I have new respect for those Happiness Engineers – I could never do that job!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the mention Madelyn. An excellent post as always.. xxxxhugs


  6. Harlon says:

    I agree, reading is great therapy, a chance to escape and imagine another world. Sometimes I get caught up in self-help books and they have their value, but I’ve always thought if I don’t completely finish a self-help book, then I am on my way. However, in terms of fiction, if you are ready for a challenge, Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is brilliant. Another world, no better than ours, but different. xo Harlon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Super therapy, Harlon, and thanks for ringing in – we’re of one mind about the joys and benefits of reading! I, too, skip around in self-help — only a few I’ve read from cover to cover. Fiction, however, is a different animal.

      As for The Goldfinch, everyone but me seems to love that book and I wish I could say I did too — but I’m sure I didn’t give it a fair shot. For one unusual reason after another it took seemingly forever for me to obtain a copy, and I ended up having to read it all in only two days before a bookclub discussion. (Wasn’t able to do much else for two solid days – as I’m sure you can imagine – lol). Tackling a book that size in only two days was way too much like cramming for an exam back in my college days for me to have truly have appreciated it.

      Had I had been able to read it over even a couple of weekends – or had the book NOT been 780-something pages long – I’d probably feel a lot more kindly toward it. lol. I read fairly quickly, but the finishing pressure was punishing.

      I’ll say this for Donna – she certainly does her research! (And she seems to want to use every single word of it.) 🙂 In any case, I have actually been to most of the locations in the book, and she was spot on.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. There is so much to absorb in this article. We found it interesting how reading books changes brain cells and memory muscle. The human mind is incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. noelleg44 says:

    Great post – hopefully it will convince people to read and to get their children reading. My parents were huge readers – I was reading when I was four, and haven’t stopped. Lots of books out there and I read a lot – some of them for Rosie’s Book Reviews. Just finished a grabber called Speed Bump Himalayas. Review will be up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Noelle. I started reading about four as well – and Laina commented that she began reading as early as THREE! What we all have in common is that we were read TO from the time we were quite small. Other brain-benefits for kids who are read to as well. You’d probably find Proust and the Squid fascinating.

      Looking forward to your review – I could use a real page-turner to get me past the worst of the summer. I’m planning to tackle INSIDE activities for the next month!


  9. dgkaye says:

    Hi M. It was a pleasure having you guest feature at my blog. And thank you for the most lovely intro here, I’m truly humbled. 🙂 I just made it over here and found this post. A lovely surprise. ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh wow!! 😍😍. My husband and I were *just* talking about this. You inspired me to search for reading stats and fun-facts, and they’re *staggering*! I’ve always been a reader. My mom figured out that I knew how to read when I was 3, but I remember long before that and I don’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. Always had a pretty good library lol. I have a couple reading lists in the archives of my Kitty blog that you might like. These days, I’m reading “Plum Island” by Nelson DeMille out loud to my husband, who, because of his legal blindness, finds it physically tough to read. He starts to hurt pretty quickly, getting stiff in his neck, but he enjoys the stories, so that’s one of our new pastimes 😁💚💙

    As always, thank you so much for your in-depth and uplifting information! You never cease to amaze me, my friend 👍🏼👏🏼💜🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    • You must be an uber genius – reading at 3 is *unusually* young! I think I was 4-ish, and only with simple children’s books for a few years, beginning with the ability to recognize a few words at a time.

      How wonderful that your husband has you to “be his eyes” — willing to read aloud. How sad it would be for him to lose touch with the world of books as well as so much of his eyesight. I have noted that I am not able to read as quickly as I once did as my eyes grow older (presbyopia), simply because it is a bit of a strain, especially after a long day at the computer. Both my eyes and neck feel the effects. Interesting, huh? One of my readers says she gets migraines when she reads for long.

      I know nothing about the brain-benefits of “listening” to books, but I’m sure they are similar, even though that’s not my preference. I can read faster than any stranger can speak. 🙂 I wonder if Audible has done any studies on listening to books?

      I was once engaged to a man who used to read to me many nights right before we were ready for lights out. Nothing wrong with my eyes at that time, he just loved to do it, and he had a deep, beautiful, stage-trained voice that lulled me to sleep. It was our “thing” too – lol. Since we parted, I have always been in your role if there was any reading aloud going on – and I love it too (the ex-actor in me lol)

      These days I have little time for fiction, since I read so much non- trying to stay current and keep up with the science crowd. With every visit to the library I try to pick up an easy read as well for a little book vacation, usually from the “new acquisitions” bookshelf next to the check-out computers.

      Just finished Mary Alice Monroe’s “Beach House for Rent” — not my usual fare, but since she is a NYTimes BestSelling author, I figured I’d give her a try. A beach read, but well-written. I probably won’t read more from the series, however. I also just finished a couple of books from a couple of the authors I follow (and vice versa) downloaded to my Kindle (also not my preference).

      NOW I need to get my butt over to read what YOU have been up to lately! I always love your “in-sights.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for your kind words! Reading has always been so much fun! Age 4 is certainly young, too! Go you 😊😊👏🏼👍🏼

        Yeah my husband has naturally never been much of a reader but he’s so intelligent that I knew it would be really sad if he never got the benefit of literature 💞

        Oh yeah – there’s actually a lot of benefit to listening to books by audio as well. The brain still has to process the info and construct the concepts/visuals and all that; you’re definitely onto something there! 👏🏼👏🏼❤️

        The book-related blog posts (alas, mostly fiction but dang, they’re good, and there’s a variety 😉) are scattered few and far between in my Kitty blog, so I’m happy to provide the links to make them easier to access 😉

        THIS post contains a lot of nonfiction

        THIS one is mostly fiction, but good stuff 😉

        And THIS one has more fiction (again, the upper tier)…

        I hope you enjoy them! I had a ton of fun writing them lol 💞

        That’s so cool that your former SO read to you 😊😊

        I’m so happy that you enjoy the Kitty and the Wave! I’m honored; it means a lot coming from you, as I look up to you a lot 💚💙

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks so much for your acknowlegement, Laina – and right back atcha’!!! Sorry this has been languishing, waiting for approval. I so appreciate the links, but I had to edit your comment to keep it from landing in the spam-trash repeatedly.
          READERS: if you leave links to your posts I will certainly approve them as long as I SEE your comment to be notified that it needs to be approved!

          But, but but . . . only put ONE link in a comment (part 2, part 3 comments with a link each usually fly, btw – but Akismet snatches posts with multiple links and I usually never even see them to approve!)

          I get SO much link-spam I hardly ever have the time to dig through and rescue. (See spam counter on sidebar for what I mean by SO much!)

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I hope you know my comment was meant to read I get miagraine’s from reading. Feel free to edit? Cheers,H

    Liked by 1 person

  12. John Fioravanti says:

    Reblogged this on Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti and commented:
    This is the best article I’ve ever seen about the benefits of reading books – by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, hosted by Debby Gies. Please, read on…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great post, beautifully written!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Chuck says:

    Hi Madelyn,
    Debbie is a busy woman as well as you are. I did a post last week about my days in the funeral business. She liked it and want to put it on her site. I’ve read one of her books and want to read the one on forgiving her mother. Thanks for your support to all of us that write. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

  15. John Fioravanti says:

    Hi, Madelyn – the link to Debby’s site isn’t live.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. -Eugenia says:

    I remember enjoying a good hard backed book, but now I lean toward e-books. I read so much during my career, I grew tired of reading especially if the content is lengthy. I have downloaded a few e-books to my Kindle, which I can enjoy when I feel the need. Good post, Madelyn.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. DC Gilbert says:

    Reblogged this on Patriot Warrior and commented:
    Great post by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie on another benefit of reading. Reading really is fundamental!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. DC Gilbert says:

    Very interesting … especially since I am a voracious reader as well as an aspiring author! Reading does have such a positive influence on the brain’s development. Here is another great example of why parents should do everything they can to get their children to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. P. C. Zick says:

    I’m an avid reader. As a writer, I feel it’s essential. When I’m stalled on my writing, a good book will bring me out of my doldrums. Even a bad book can be the prod I need to write something better! Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. GP Cox says:

    I’m afraid I might be a tough one for the scientists. With all the non-fiction books I read and aggravation I get around here, I should be thin as a rail !! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Zara says:

    Love a good book! 🙂
    Actually multi tasking and taking my books with me to the gym. Its a great way to get lost in your imagination whilst working out. You don’t even realise where the time goes and the bonus is that you’re keeping fit in the process!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. My version of books these days are comics and binge watching TV. As Reading brings on images (auras which bring on migraine headaches) due to loss of some eyesight. Does this count? (She asks hopefully?)Cheers,H

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure it does in your case, Helen – as does every positive thing you do and have done to keep on keeping on. You not taking the lazy way out — you are doing what you CAN to exercise your brain since your “stroke.” That’s how neuroplasticity works it’s magic. Similar to the body when we push it through exercise, the brain responds well to a challenge – even when we struggle through it at the time.


  23. In the case of fiction, books, when well written, can perform as virtual worlds, creating adventurous paths to places and dimensions yet unimagined and bringing them to material life.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Lucy Brazier says:

    A marvellous post, and how wonderful to meet Debby. I do love how the internet allows us to makes friends from anywhere and everywhere. I wish Debby all the best with her new book!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. great picks, I have two on my wishlist now ;o) sometimes books can be like a solution…. and we suddenly see things like they are… like I saw clearly after reading bitter is the new black ;O)

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Mr. Militant Negro says:

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

    Liked by 2 people

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