I'm not reading, I'm re-stocking my cognitive reserve.
The YOU docs have the following to say about reading:
On cognitive tests, book lovers outperform people with lower reading levels. No surprise there. But the big news is that people who read regularly may develop a "cognitive reserve." What’s that mean? That they’ve got extra brainpower to keep the mind rolling when brain cells are under attack. In a study of factory workers, the brains of the big readers functioned just fine on cognitive tasks, despite on-the-job exposure to toxic substances, like lead.
So next time I feel guilty for reading instead of cleaning the bathroom, I'll just remind myself that my cognitive reserve might be running low and I should stock up. Besides, do you have any idea how toxic those bathroom cleansers really are?