Reading is a multi-dimensional cognitive process of decoding symbols for the purpose of deriving meaning (reading comprehension) and/or constructing meaning. Written information is received by the retina, processed by the primary visual cortex, and interpreted in Wernicke's area.
Reading is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas.
Readers use a variety of reading strategies to assist with decoding (to translate symbols into sounds or visual representations of language), and comprehension. Readers may use morpheme, semantics, syntax and context cues to identify the meaning of unknown words. Readers integrate the words they have read into their existing framework of knowledge or schema (schemata theory).
Other types of reading may not be text-based, such as music notation or pictograms.
Reading text is now an important way for the general population in many societies to access information and make meaning.
Reading is good for the brain because it is a complex activity. It envolves seeing (you look at the words), it envolves recognition (you recognise the words), it envolves understanding (you have to understand what you are reading), it envolves memory (you memorize what you read and store it in your brain so that further on you recognise the word you've read), it envolves hearing and speaking (because when you read you always associate what you read to a voice), it envolves emotion (you feel something when you read)... and so on. It's complex and the more you read, the more your brain will develop. It is a good activity for brain stimulation. :)