Skip to content

Does Reading Books Increase Your IQ?

Who doesn’t want to read books? I think everyone loves that. Well, many not everyone, but a lot of people… The creativity of the author, the imagery used, the different scenarios employed by the writer, the justice is given to the character, the in-depth stories/settings, and the plot twists are entertaining, thought-provoking, and fun.

More than the level of excitement and thrill, reading books can improve one’s intelligence, according to experts. The more you read, the more things you’ll know. Devoting your time reading a good book opens up a whole world of knowledge. Exposure to vocabulary, through reading, results in a higher scores on any reading test and general tests of intelligence. More stable reading skills ensure higher intelligence during adulthood, too. 

Now, let’s dive into the effects of reading to our intelligence deeply, discover some helpful books, and learn the best reading tips to improve your IQ. So, without further ado, let’s start! Read on for more information! 

Reading Takes Your Intelligence to A Different Level According to Science 

silhouette of man 247899

Why do you read? What’s your main purpose when reading a novel, poems, or short stories? Many would answer it’s for entertainment. But did you know that reading improves your intelligence according to experts? Yes, you read it right! 

While you’re getting thrilled, your cognitive function improves. You would digest texts more efficiently and quickly. You could read between the lines. You could imagine what the authors wanted to imply within a second or two. Despite the complexity of the language used, you could understand every line perfectly. 

A study, participated by adults who began reading at a young age, individuals who learned to read as adults, and people who were illiterate, showed that readers have a more developed occipital lobe (the brain’s visual processing center). That means the readers could process any visual information effectively. This could result in enhanced creativity skills. A person with a developed occipital lobe could make a decision with confidence. 

Aside from the occipital lobe, the study found that parietal lobes were strengthened. While the occipital lobe is responsible for visual processing, the parietal lobes play a crucial role in reading comprehension and writing as well. 

  • The study also indicated that reading helps the brain process information verbally and visually. People, who can’t read, on the other hand, encounter some trouble when processing any verbal info. 
  • Another study showed that continuous reading enhanced communication between different areas of the brain. In other words, the brain could function at its best cognitively. 
  • Recent studies also found that staying mentally stimulated can reduce the risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Let’s say; you avoid performing any workout routine. Over time, you would start to get fat. Your mobility would decline. Every time you move, you get exhausted after a few minutes. 

The failure to read is no exception. Without challenging your brain, its neural pathways would decrease after some time. Then, connections would be completely lost. This increases your risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other mental impairments. 

Research offers support for the correlation between vocabulary and word-reading skills. Science confirms the effects of reading to vocabulary acquisition in kids, adolescents, and adults. The more you read, the more words you would encounter. 

When we read, our brain does not only decipher words on a page. In fact, it performs a lot of activities. Disparate parts of our brain work together. These include associative learning, vision, and language. 

Reading and other mental stimulation can also protect our thinking and memory skills as we get older according to research. Everyday reading can slow down cognitive decline associated with age the authors say. 

In other studies, this type of mental stimulation reduces memory deterioration. 

Experts from the University of California found that reading can decrease beta-amyloid. What is it really? The beta-amyloid is a brain protein found in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. 

One study identified that reading novels improves the resting-state connectivity and function of our brain. More specifically, we can put ourselves in another’s shoes. Then, we can imagine in a manner similar to the visualization of a muscle memory in volleyball, basketball, football, and other sports. 

Also check out this video by The Children of the Code Project:

What Kind of Books to Read? 

assorted books 1122870
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Generally, you can read any book. From novels, short stories, dictionary books, poems to biographies, everything could help. You would be exposed to new words, imagery, expressions, interesting stuff, and more. 

Have you done some research online or asked some of your closest friends for recommendations? How was the experience? Of course, there are many books to pick from. But honestly speaking, it’s hard to know what to choose. 

Worry no more! I have also gathered a few of the best books that could level up your cognitive faculties. Keep reading for further details! Enjoy! 

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman 

While there are multiple options to consider, I highly recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow, written by Daniel Kahneman. What is the book about? Well, the Nobel prize-winning economist discusses the mind, including its two systems in more detail. Kahneman also tackles about the benefits of slow thinking and intuition. 

Readers say the book is easy to read with some lines that could challenge your mind. Also, it preserves the logic and evidence found in Kahneman’s academic works.

2. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari 

For our second most recommended book, is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, written by Yuval Noah Harari. As an interesting exploration of human history, this book digs into the evolution of human species, from Homo Sapiens to contemporary humans. That’s not all! It explains the three great revolutions that changed the course of humankind. It also includes the cultures developed and changed over the years. 

If you want to travel in the past, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind will be your best bet. But it could not be a good choice for those who don’t love history.

3. Train Your Brain: 60 Days to A Better Brain – Dr. Ryuta Kawashima 

Another book that you shouldn’t miss is the Train Your Brain: 60 Days to A Better Brain by Ryuta Kawashima. 

Intended to stimulate the brain, this short book can help prevent loss of mental capabilities and aging. It is divided into a series of spreadsheets with different mental exercises. 

When you have been searching for ways to stimulate the mind, don’t look further than Train Your Brain: 60 Days to A Better Brain today. Also, it is a bestseller book in Japan and other parts of the world. 

4. Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass – Frederick Douglass 

Probably, you have heard about the Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass but don’t know much about it. As an inspiring account of the power of reading and learning, the book tells something about how slavery denigrates slaves and slaveowners. If you’re a fan of Frederick Douglass, this book can complete your collection. 

5. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do – Amy Morin 

Another book is 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin. It offers actionable and practical advice tailored to stimulating emotional intelligence. All information is based on her experience as a clinical social worker. It also tackles her own journey. 

6. The Art of War – Sun Tzu 

The Art of War, written by Sun Tzu, is another bestseller book you should consider. While it looks like a manual for military purposes, every page composes of ideas and tactics that readers of any requirements can apply in real-life. Whether you want to create a more intelligent or effective strategy for a business and other real-life situations, The Art of War is a worth-it investment you can ever have. 

7. The Greatest Secret in the World – Og Mandino

Written years ago, the Greatest Secret in the World stood out the test of time. In fact, it remains one of the most sought-after books by people from all walks of life. Og Mandino describes transformational processes in the book, enabling readers to improve relationships with other people. 

8. The Courage to Write – Ralph Keyes 

To be a successful writer, one must be a good reader. If you dream of becoming a writer, take your time to read The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes. A comprehensive manual, the Courage to Write, is a how-to book that will help aspiring writers take their skills to a different level. The information consists of grammar, structure, style, and tone. 

9. Cosmos – Carl Sagan 

Cosmos by Carl Sagan has been creating popularity across the globe. It’s no surprise as it is well-written and fun to read. Sagan covers different areas, including science, religion, philosophy, culture, history, and other important aspects. Of course, you want to be well-rounded. But it is easier said than done. Cosmos makes the process simpler and more stress-free. 

10. You Are Not Your Brain – Jeffrey Schwarz 

We need to exercise greater discipline in how we act and think. Let You Are Not Your Brain by Jeffrey Schwarz be part of your journey. The book covers tips on how to control the mind and manage impulses that affect overall success. Available at a competitive rate, the book is of good quality and interesting as well. 


Want to be flexible and productive? Becoming engrossed with different types of books should be on top of your list. You’re not only entertained, but your cognitive skills also improve. You really cannot give what you don’t have, remember.