Can Reading Too Much Damage The Brain?

Every person that does a lot of reading, at one point or another wonders whether or not reading too much is healthy.

So, let’s talk about it.

Let’s face it we all like to read and sometimes we read obsessively to the point where we ignore time and before we know it, a whole day has gone by.

This is not only true for the average casual reader but students too.

Students faced with the plight of exams will go through thick books like they were 5 paged books.

So then, you may be wondering what all this actually means.

Can too much reading damage the brain?

Too much reading won’t physically damage the brain but it can mentally alter your behaviour. It can also make comprehension very difficult because your brain can only absorb so much information. Many people that tend to read a lot also tend to have trouble sleeping which is not a good thing.

Some other downsides to over-reading include, eye strain, back pain, and headaches. If you experience these symptoms it’s wise to consider taking a break from it.

The effects of over-reading

The brain stands to benefit from reading but too much reading has its downsides and it’s worth it knowing about them.


Most people are only familiar with physical exhaustion because it is a lot more apparent than mental exhaustion. In reality, all physical exhaustion is a result of mental exhaustion.

Our bodies weren’t meant to function like a machine. We have limitations; we can only work for a certain amount before needing rest.

Mind you, we use our brains all the time, even when we are asleep.

Therefore, over pushing ourselves to do things exhausts our brains.

Over reading or too much reading may seem like a harmless activity and thanks to every Internet outlet we may see at as being “super-productive”. The fact is reading too much is detrimental for you.

Your brain is meant to assume only a limited amount of information and effectively process it to be stored in your memory.

When you read for prolonged hours you’ll suffer mental exhaustion and the price for this will be lack of comprehension or poor comprehension.

You’ll find it difficult to continue and keep reading because even the simple stuff will seem so complex.

This is a serious downside especially for a student that may think over reading is their fast track to getting straight A’s.

My advices is; read for an hour and take a break, anything more than an hour is usually torture for the mind. You’ll end up tiring quickly whilst retaining only a small percentage of what you read.

You may of course not suffer any physical damage to your brain because of too much reading but the negative effects of overloading it with information are the detriments that come with it.

Poor comprehension

Poor comprehension is a result of your brain being overloaded. You feed it too much information that before it can process what came in an hour ago; it has to process what is coming in at every moment.

The whole purpose of reading is to understand what you read, but if you over read you won’t understand much.

You’re not only causing your brain to overwork but you’re literally wasting your time when you read too much.

Comprehension is very tricky and while you may be fooled with short term memory that you actually understand everything. The reality is that only a small portion of an extensive reading session will be remembered.

The effects of only remembering a small portion will usually result in self-doubt and self-loathing which can be two very detrimental motions to have. You may start feeling demotivated to read because you aren’t sure just how much of it you’ll actually remember.

If this happens to you then you probably read too much and you should consider only reading a few hours a day and allowing your brain to rest.

Unhealthy dependence

There’s a certain level of reassurance that books give readers. This is why people have a list of their favourite books.

Too much reading however, makes you a student that never graduates to become the master.

What I mean is that, if you always rely on books for information, you’ll never stop to think for yourself.

Reading is a two part process.

You read the thoughts of the author as the first part and use your mind to justify and rationalise what you’ve read as the second part.

Too much reading means you’re not taking the time out to actually sit with information, review it, fact check it and build your own rationale from it.

Reality distortion

The more you’re buried in a book, the more reality moves to a distance.

Reading addiction is usually a result of your mind creating a barrier between you and reality to the point where it is used as an escape.

Too much reading can distort your view of the world and may make you start living like the character out of a book.

Book dependence in such situations can turn what should be real life into a dream.

Such a reality distortion can create deep fundamental problems in your life if it is not handled well.

It’s therefore important to be cautious and give the brain a good balance between reality and non-reality.


An unhealthy attachment to reading can quickly grow to become an addiction.

This can make reality a hard pill to swallow which could allow depression to creep into your life.

People naturally seek relief that is the reason why they do drugs.

It’s not because of the high; it’s because of their need to shield themselves from reality.

Too much reading can prove to be a detriment to those that step away from everyday life to find solace in written material.

In as much as the brain won’t suffer physical damage from too much reading, effects such as depression, mental exhaustion are the reason why it’s unhealthy to read too much.