I was listening to an interview of Dr. Sandra Chapman. She is an neuroscientist and the author of a new book titled Make Your Brain Smarter. The book explains how much of what the layperson has been told about the brain, and memory, and aging is misleading. In the interview, one question Dr. Chapman answered was: "How about reading? Can it really help to make us smarter?"
Dr. Chapman's response was that it depends. She went on to explain that if you are reading carefully, thinking deeply about the materials, and discussing the work from a variety of angles, then yes. If you are reading so many books a year that you can't tell someone the name of the last thing you read or anything about the characters, then no.
The interview brought up a lot of questions. How many books is a good number to read in a year? How does one really think deeply and read carefully while all the rest of life is going on? Is a book club required or at least some kind of group discussion? Is pure mindless entertain really harmful to your brain or does it have a place somewhere in all of this?
While I was contemplating those things there was a lot of snow that fell. I've been in blizzards before, but I've never been somewhere when all the roads in an entire state were shut down. It's given me more time to read than I can remember having in a long time. I appreciate that. Time is always too short in supply.
While I haven't finished anything yet, my Kindle and my Kobo app tell me I've definitely made progress on that second volume of In Search of Lost Time as well as Agnes Grey. (It seems I've finally realized how much I've been transitioning away from phyical books for a while now, but that's a topic for another time).
I'm only about 20 pages away from finishing Gone Girl. I'm sure that one will make for a lively discussion at the book club. I look forward to strengthening my frontal lobe.