עמוד:12

THIRD PAPER PART I : ACCESS TO INFORMATION FROM WRITTEN TEXTS ( 70 points ) Read the report and answer questions 1-8 . THE BENEFITS OF READING When was the last time you read a book ? Do you only have time to read text messages , Facebook updates and news headlines ? If you aren’t reading books , you should start now . According to the latest research , reading books or short stories regularly is very good for your brain and your mental health . In 2009 , researchers at the University of Sussex in England found that just six minutes of reading a day can lower stress by 68 % . Reading can reduce stress in two different ways . First , some books help us relax and escape our problems by giving us something else to think about . Second , reading books about people and their problems can help us deal with our own problems more easily and with less stress . Another benefit of reading is that it helps develop thinking skills . This is why it’s so important for parents to read to young children . Scientist Susan Greenfield explains that reading improves children’s ability to concentrate and to organize their ideas . She says , “ Stories have a beginning , a middle and an end – a structure that encourages our brains to think in sequence . ” Reading can also help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease . Dr . Robert Friedland studied elderly people who have been readers since they were young . He discovered that they have less chance of getting Alzheimer’s than people who don’t read . “ The brain is an organ just like every other organ in the body , ” he explains . “ Just as physical activity strengthens the heart , muscles and bones , intellectual activity strengthens the brain against disease . ” This means that the more you use your brain , the healthier it is . Therefore , if you want to do something nice for your brain , pick up a book and start enjoying the benefits of reading .

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