This is something I've been mulling over for a bit. Would like your two cents. I don't think reading or writing can make you a genius. Perhaps it won't even elevate your IQ (but maybe it can). Do you guys think that reading and writing, every day, can make you "smarter?" I think that by reading you can: exercise your imagination, expand your vocabulary (provided you look up every word you don't know and you should already be doing that), lengthen your attention span, and hone your abilities of analysis and scrutiny. For instance, I'm reading Lolita right now. I have to be very wary of what Humbert Humbert tells me, because he's such an unreliable narrator, and I keep picking up on all these subtle patterns that give me glimpses into his mind. It can generate new ideas, and put your train of thought on whole new tracks. I can't tell you how much I loved Fahrenheit 451, and how much it made me think about today's society, the trend for things to be flashier, of a shorter-duration, and for people to eschew learning. (Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those decriers of modern society that thinks each successive generation is more and more degenerate). As for writing, similar things apply. You need a good attention span to write for any long duration. Your memory gets a workout, by remembering words, plots, characters, settings, etc. By doing this everyday (and a writer should write everyday, in my opinion), this becomes more and more engrained into your mind. And might not all this constant mental exertion spur the growth of your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex? If all learning results in the development of new neural networks (neuroplasticity), the strengthening of old networks, and an acceleration of the speed of which transmissions are carried along these networks, and we are learning by reading, and by writing, for I've always thought writing stuffs the mind as much as empties pent-up idas, then wouldn't that mean we have to be getting smarter? I don't think results would be drastic. You won't be doing calculus at the drop of a hat. You won't become a chessmaster. But, I think, you will become more thoughtful, more perceptive, and your memory and attention span will increase, opening up vistas to further learning.