I am always astonished at the persistence of the conceptual disconnect that is revealed by questions like the title of this article. What else can reading a novel do BUT change your brain? What other possible explanation can there be for the emotions, memories, and perceptions that are triggered by reading text but changes occurring somewhere in the brain, particularly changes in synaptic strengths? The actual question is whether we can finally SEE the changes experimentally. Anyways, the best reason for reading is that it enriches your life. And it certainly enriches your children’s lives. Kids who are avid readers read better, write better, concentrate better, and do better in all of their subjects, across the board. As an essay writer I've been writing about the issue a lot, and found that it didn’t even matter much what my students read, as long as they had a love and habit of reading. Many of my best readers, as kids, read comic books, fantasy and romance and mystery series, and much popular fiction. A love of reading is the best educational gift you can give to your children.