Bookmans promotes literacy in part because we really, really like learning things. “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young,” said Henry Ford. New research shows he was right. In an earlier article we explored the relationship between puzzles and brain health. This time we take the idea a little further. Additional studies show the connection between learning and protecting brain health. The basic idea is simple. If you want a healthy brain, use it!

Protecting Brain Health with Nonfiction

The Washington Post reported on a study that discovered yet another link between your every day life and your neurology–your job. The study of 1,054 adults 75 and older showed that those who had spent most of their working life in jobs that involve a high level of mentally demanding tasks (e.g., scheduling, strategic development and conflict resolution) had better cognitive function than those who had not held such jobs. Great news for those who hold such positions!

Bookmans’ overflowing selection of non-fiction titles for every conceivable interest can fill the gap for those who want to add a little brain challenge to their day. Publishers know that laypeople are interested in a variety of subjects formerly reserved for “professionals” and are producing works written with the beginner in mind. These books start with the basics and use accessible language and concepts, gently guiding readers to the intellectual big leagues.

There are too many book options to cover in one post of any reasonable length, so here are a few of our favorites. Uprising by John Nichols covers how Wisconsin renewed the politics of protest. Beginning with the rapid growth of the Occupy Wall Street movement Nichols covers a renewal in social protest. Ralph Helfer’s Modoc tells the true story of “the greatest elephant that ever lived”. This touching story covers seven decades and three continents where a young German boy and his elephant form a life-long bond. What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly answers some of our questions about technology, giving us an original way to think about this indelible force in our modern lives. Red Sky at Morning by James Gustave Speth takes a look at the ongoing crisis of our global environment and Philip Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect explores psychology of why people choose to do bad things. The Serpent and the Rainbow is a Harvard scientist’s journey into the secret societies of Haitian voodoo, zombies and magic. Freud for Beginners is an overview of one of history’s most famous thinkers. Get a grip on cloning with Gina Kolata’s Clone. Kolata covers this much debated and fascinating scientific breakthrough.

You can learn something, keep your brain strong and have fun all at the same time. Nonfiction has changed in the 21st century. These titles will have you laughing, crying and “OOHing” and “AAHing”. Stretch your brain further by reading out loud. Exercise your brain that much more by applying what you learn in your daily life. Stop by Bookmans and head to our nonfiction shelves. A world of brain health awaits.

* Bookmans is your store to explore. We can’t guarantee stock so if you are interested in a nonfiction title to assist in protecting brain health, please give us a call and we’ll check our orange shelves for you. Otherwise, we hope you will come and browse.