Here are two facts that probably won't surprise you: Reading makes you smarter, and the more reading you do, the better.
Why this is so and how the magic happens, though, is quite interesting.
In a paper called What Reading Does for the Mind, Anne E. Cunningham, associate professor of cognition and development at the University of California, Berkeley, makes the case that reading:
increases vocabulary more than talking or direct teaching;
substantially boosts general knowledge while decreasing the likelihood that misinformation will be absorbed; and
helps keep our memory and reasoning abilities intact as we age.