Can Reading Books Make You Smarter?

The art of reading is a delicate art that we all love and care about.

It’s easy to pick up a book and get lost in the words. But often times you do get to think of the actual impact that reading is making on you.

One of the questions that come into most readers and non-readers minds is:

“Can reading make you smarter?”

This is an interesting question. I will therefore give you enough information surrounding this topic so you get a better idea of it.

With that said, can reading books actually make you smarter OR is reading a waste of time?

Reading books will certainly make you smarter and more intelligent. The reason for this is, reading books helps improve brain function as well as brain power whilst allowing you to wield a wealth of information that you can use in your daily life.

Benefits of reading books

There are quite a number of benefits that one can get from reading. Discussed below are some of these benefits…

Brain Function

Reading can help your brain function better. Reading is essentially mental stimulation which is good because it can slow down and often prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and severe memory loss.

Furthermore, as your ability to read matures, your brain essentially gets stronger which is good for you health wise.

Reading books is a great mental activity and a healthy way to exercise your brain. The more you become a better and frequent reader, the more certain portions of your brain light up. This can easily improve your intelligence as well as the overall functionality of your brain.

As you well know, the brain is the governor of your body. Keeping it healthy and fresh means well for your body.

Reading can help you do this.

Tension relief

We all lead different lives as human beings but we all have common emotions that we encounter and go through.

Some of those emotions are stress, pressure and/or tension.

Reading is a highly recommended activity for stress and tension relief. It can help you relax and help you reduce stress.

Life can sometimes be overwhelming with countless issues that we all face on a daily basis. Lucky for us, we can rely on reading to help us get lost in words and eventually stop and prevent our brains from stressing.

Reduction of stress is one benefit that you’ll get from reading.


Like I’ve mentioned in this post, reading doesn’t only help you get smarter but also helps you wield a wealth of information that you can summon when need arise.

This is one of the more commonly known benefits of reading.

The constant exposure to various information can be a great way for you to develop and have a vast knowledge base.

Everything you basically read is stored in your head as new information. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle various challenges in both your personal and professional life.

Furthermore, the knowledge you acquire from reading makes you unique because how you interpret it is different from everyone else.

So while, people may read the same books that you do….you’ll possess a unique angle of the information and that’s nothing anyone can take from you.

Better writing

Almost every writer that I’ve met in my life is a reader and appreciates the art.

If you’re a writer, reading is certainly something that will help you in your own writing.

Reading exposes you to various dynamics such as the thought process of the writer, their arguments and conclusions.

This can help you nurture your writing abilities by finding your own unique strengths inspired by how other people write and express their ideas to you.


Vocabulary expansion

Reading exposes you to a myriad of words that will improve your vocabulary.

Most well spoken and articulate people often times credit this to being exposed to a lot of writing.

So, don’t underestimate what reading more books can do for you.

I’ve found that most good books are usually difficult to read because they try to break down complex ideas into easy and understandable words.

Exposure to such kind of writings can help you not only expand your vocabulary vault but also your ability to explain things simply and a lot more clearly.



Reading books can help you improve your memory.

If you’re reader of books, you know that you have to have a memory of everything you read to be able to understand the complete plot or idea that the book is trying to convey to you.

Most of us don’t read books in one seating, we read books for days, weeks, months and for some even years.

Yet, we are somehow able to pick up where we leave off because we have stored part of the information we’ve read in the past. This is how reading books trains our memory to hold on to information.

You’ll notice that, as you become a frequent reader, you’ll read multiple books at a time and this will improve how well you can remember things even more.


Most pleasure reading is always meant to entertain the reader.

Therefore one sure benefit you’ll get from reading is entertainment and pleasure.

This is why it’s always important to begin your journey into reading with books that you actually like.

The reason is simple, for you start reading heavily you have to like what you read until you can like the art of reading itself enough to read new things of little interest to you.


Another benefit that reading offers is the power of concentration. The more books you read the more you strengthen your ability to focus.

Let’s face it, Most people find it pretty difficult to be still and just absorb information. I was once that person and I know how badly lack of concentration can affect other activities.

Which is why reading is important. It will train your mind to not only focus, but also pay attention to what is being communicated to you.

Reading is always about the reader and the words on the pages.

Reading and IQ

IQ is basically a measure of one’s intelligence based on a set of standardised tests. The fact is, reading does improve your intelligence and your IQ overall.

The reason for this is pretty simple. Reading always opens up and exposes the mind to new knowledge and diverse vocabulary that makes a positive impact on the intelligence of a person.

As you become more accustomed to frequent reading, the focus with which you read books changes which will lead up to higher intelligence. Due to the fact that much more attention is paid to what is being read and a lot more information is being consumed.

IQ is something that is said to diminish as someone gets older and the reason for this can be lack of exercise for the brain. People often overlook the fact that the brain is a muscle just like your biceps and triceps.

But…..the brain is a special kind of muscle that requires its fair amount of exercise to not only function well but also function to its full capability.

Reading helps you improve your cognitive function through the various ways in which it allows us to process information as well as visualize it.

Medical research shows that reading helps calm the mind as well as prevents and slows down diseases like Alzheimer’s.

With this, you can obviously connect the dots and actually see how powerful reading can be for your brain.

When we focus on reading information, we put our brains to work and allow them to decipher, decode and process information.

This kind of mental stimulation improves our memory as well as our concentration and focus.

It’s important to cultivate and nurture daily reading habits because that way you can exercise your brain frequently, improve your memory, improve your intelligence as well as slow down cognitive decline that is associated with age.

Books that increase intelligence

Intelligence is an interesting attribute that we all want to possess. It takes the right kind of reading material to not only help us achieve this but also sharpen our ability to concentrate.

Below are some book categories that can improve and increase intelligence.


Most people underestimate the power of fiction novels on the intelligence of a human being.

The fact is, a lot of brain power is used in reading fiction because the reader is exposed to various characters, plots, events, places, and many other things.

The reader then has to create mental images and visualisations of what the author is trying to convey.

This kind of mental stimulation will improve intelligence.


Another book type that can improve your intelligence is  science.

Science provides good explanations and gives us detailed information about the world we live in.

Reading books of science can improve your intelligence by giving you good information about our world.

You’ll then wield this information and be able to apply it in your everyday life.

Granted, not everyone is that much into science, but it doesn’t hurt to read a good book about science every now and again.


Philosophical books provide a wealth of information and will improve your overall intelligence.

Not only do they provide good entertainment, they also provide you with good arguments concerning everyday life.

Good foundational books of philosophy by great authors/philosophers such as Plato and Socrates have stood the test of time.

They are still relevant to this day because the ideas they express and explore haven’t changed much or at all since the old days.

Man still faces mortality, he still questions his existence and the overall meaning of life.

Exposure to philosophical works can be beneficial for the reader and provide them intelligent context around life.


Not everyone is a fan of math and this is a fact but it certainly does build your intelligence.

Mathematics sharpens your brain and makes you more intelligent because thinking in numbers is not easy and very few people can actually do it.

You don’t ofcourse have to dive straight into complex mathematical books, you can always just learn some basic arithmetic to give you good foundational knowledge that you can further build knowledge on.

Not all math books are created equal and your job is to find one that can explain thinking processes and ideas that transform into solvable math probelms.


Business Books are another source of intelligence. The reason for this is; most business books are written by people that have succeeded in business.

To succeed in business, one needs to be smart and knowledgeable. Which is why spending time to read business books and business biographies can not only provide you with a lot of information but can also improve your intelligence.

There are several business books out there, all offering their unique selling points. It’s up to the reader to pick the ones that resonate with them as well as appeal to their specific needs.

Books that are best for the brain

The best books that are good for the brain are ones that allow the brain to visualize and think about ideas.

These are different book types ranging from non-ficiton, spirituality, science, business, investing etc….

In my years as a reader the books that I’ve found the most useful are the ones that allowed my mind to actually think and process ideas whether complex or not.

Reading is an art and every book you read is essentially open dialogue between you and the writer. The various book categories I’ve listed are good books for your brain and mind.

So pick out a category you like and read enough of it.

Does reading sharpen the mind?

Reading lights up certain regions of your brain according to various medical studies. One of the benefits of this is that reading improves both intelligence and the sharpness of your brain.

Allocating time everyday to read a book can be good for your health and can make your brain function much better.

So definitely! reading will sharpen your mind and make you think better and clearly.

Final Thoughts

Reading books will certainly make you smarter and more intelligent and these are only a few of the benefits.

Reading books also helps improve brain function as well as brain power whilst allowing you to wield a wealth of information that you can use in various areas of your life.



8 Science-Backed Benefits of Reading a (Real) Book – Real Simple

Does Reading Make You Smarter? 7 Things to Know – Healthline

Can reading make you smarter? | Books | The Guardian

Reading books makes you smarter. Here’s why! – Times of India

9 Science-Backed Ways Reading Makes Your Smarter – Geediting

Can Reading Books Make You Smarter? –

2 science-backed ways reading fiction makes you smarter – CNBC

Does Reading Make You Smarter? Books And The Brain – Book Riot