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FEBRUARY 7, 2024

How Books Can Supercharge Your Critical Thinking Skills?

    Broadly speaking, thinking critically aims to make judgments through objective analysis. It involves deciding, what to believe or do, as philosopher Robert Ennis suggests. However, critical thinking goes beyond that. Improving critical thinking requires action, and one of the most effective workouts for the mind is reading. We will try to prove this statement to you in this article.

    If you are a programmer, and you have to constantly involve yourself in solving complex problems via your code, then also you must work on improving your critical thinking because that is what will help you in different aspects of your work life and your personal life.

    What is Critical Thinking?

    Broadly speaking, thinking critically aims to make judgments through objective analysis.

    It's important to note that critical thinking is highly process-oriented. Unlike trial and error or following predefined paths, it focuses on improving the quality of our thought process. Rationality, skepticism, and an unbiased lens are key for independent judgments.

    critical thinking meme

    Critical thinking can indeed lead to overthinking but you must be critical towards thinking only with a desired goal in mind. Endless and aimless thinking leads to overthinking. Critical thinking should be deployed in Decision making, analyzing some argument, etc. where you have facts to weigh and come to a conclusion based on that, be it in your personal life or professional life.

    Cognitive Benefits of Reading

    Here are some benefits of reading books regularly.

    The best way to develop a habit of reading is by picking an interesting book to read. A book that is from a genre for which you would love to watch a movie. Interesting books are a good way to grow fond of reading.

    #1. Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

    Entrepreneurs and professionals are constantly confronted with numerous decisions every single day. These decisions hold the potential for various outcomes, and their weight cannot be underestimated. One way to sharpen your critical thinking abilities and enhance your decision-making prowess is by indulging in the pleasure of reading fiction.

    #2. Improve Analytical and Leadership Skills

    Indulging in a gripping novel allows one to step into different shoes. It also enables one to explore diverse mindsets and appreciate varied perspectives, thus improving empathy and communication skills. These skills are essential traits for effective leadership.

    At any age, this promotes problem-solving skills and a sense of responsibility. The more we read, the more deeply we can look at a situation and understand what is behind it. By the way, constant reading may be easier than it seems if you have the FictionMe app at hand and several dozen unoccupied hours at any time of the day. Just take out your smartphone on public transport, open FictionMe, and start reading.

    #3. You Improve Focusing Abilities

    Recent studies indicate that as many as 70% of students come to class without completing the assigned reading on a typical day (Gooblar). Factors that hinder students from reading assigned texts are often practical, for example, prioritizing major assignments may take precedence over reading an article briefly discussed in class. Additionally, it is common for students to have the time for readings but lack the attention span necessary to complete them. Research suggests that the human attention span has been shrinking in recent years.

    When accustomed to receiving information in short bursts, it can be challenging to persevere through lengthy textbook chapters or full novels assigned in literature courses. However, students with recreational reading habits are familiar with setting aside long blocks of time to concentrate on specific texts. They have discovered conditions that facilitate comfortable reading and likely developed strategies to maintain focus.

    #4. Reading Improves Thought Processes

    When you open a book, your brain embarks on a mental workout that rivals physical exercise. Engaging various brain regions responsible for language processing, imagination, and emotional empathy, reading fiction strengthens neural connections, hones language skills, and expands cognitive horizons. Your mind processes intricate plots and vivid descriptions, while you experience a profound journey of literary exploration.

    Keeping track of logic and reasoning in storytelling is a workout for the mind. If it’s easier for you to understand the analogy with the gym, then its alternative in the book world is book clubs. You can even show other club members your book. To create it, use novel AI free - this is an advanced artificial intelligence algorithm. All you have to do is tweak the details and tweak the idea, and the AI will do the rest.

    Best Books to Develop Critical Thinking

    Start developing your critical thinking with these books:

    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman delves into the obstacles to critical thinking--biases, selective reasoning, and distortion. Kahneman brilliantly illustrates these impediments in his book, which happens to be a New York Times bestseller. Distilling a lifetime of research on cognition, Kahneman categorizes two modes of thought: emotional and instinctive, and logical and deliberative.

    • In Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, Dan Ariely, the MIT behavioral economist, uncovers the fallacy of predominantly operating via rational decision-making skills. Ariely combines research with relatable examples to showcase how emotions, expectations, and societal norms skew judgment and reasoning.

    • Essay Writing Guide. Admittedly, the Essay Writing Guide by psychology professor Jordan B. Peterson is not what you'd typically consider a book, nor is it solely focused on critical thinking. Let's not forget that knowledge and skills alone won't hold much weight if we lack meaningful substance to contemplate. Conversely, a gripping topic can ignite a spark within us, making everything else fall into place. If we embrace the phrase "writing is thinking," as suggested by the renowned psychologist, we come to understand that practicing the art of writing elevates the quality of our thought processes.


    A study in 2012 found a positive correlation between voluntary reading and high scores on critical thinking tests (Hawkins). This result isn't surprising. When you delve into a fiction book, you engage the same skills used in critical thinking. Tracking multiple characters and their relationships is essential to comprehend the plot.

    I like writing content about C/C++, DBMS, Java, Docker, general How-tos, Linux, PHP, Java, Go lang, Cloud, and Web development. I have 10 years of diverse experience in software development. Founder @ Studytonight