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- By: Andrew E. Budson, MD, Contributor
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There is reading, and then there is reading. A lot of reading is very passive, but some involves a great deal of mental activity.
Thanks for this: as a 67-year old retiree, what to do to make my 70s and 80s more fun is my main concern right now. (As an avid dilettante, the idea that a multiplicity of things helps is seriously good news.)
Your article doesn’t mention second language learning or bilingualism. I wonder if reading in one’s second language helps more than reading in one’s native language?
Reading in a second language has not been studied in this context. If, however, the reading was challenging it would count as a “mentally stimulating activity.” So, paradoxically, the worse you are at your second language, the more reading in it is likely to help you!
I think “reading books” is too general. Some non-fiction is clearly mentally stimulating and requires a lot of effort to comprehend. There’s a big difference between reading a generic mystery and reading a book reviewing the science behind, let’s say, global warming.
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