Reading is not what it seems! It’s not just sitting in a comfy armchair with a piece of paper in one’s hand. It’s not boring and passive, nor useless.
Finding time for reading a book or a long, informative article can be difficult. We tend to value things that offer us immediate results and benefits. But reading does offer us results and benefits and this, sadly, is being forgotten. It offers an adventure and opportunity to develop on so many different levels.
A book is a vehicle that might take you for a long journey. It’s a friend to be found, a potential mentor, an inspiration. It’s a training device you can use to exercise your mind. It’s also a lesson, perhaps a very practical one, providing you with concrete information, or a philosophical one, opening your mind to new ideas. There are plenty of benefits daily reading might give you. A few of them, a small encouragement, you’ll find listed below.
First of all, reading is fun. With the large variety of genres, there’s something for everyone. Fancy some action? A drama in which you can find characters to identify with, because you feel sad and lonely? Something more down-to-earth, like a reportage about a country or a historical period you’re interested in? Just find the right shelf at the library.
2. It’s free
Of course, you can go to a bookshop and spend a fortune, but it’s not a necessity. People complain so much about how hard it is to find free entertainment in this world of expensive luxurious gyms, fancy restaurants and clubs, while libraries are waiting with their doors wide open. If there isn’t a good one in your town, you can always search online and download some free ebooks. We have previously uploaded a list of over 100 places online where you can find free books.
3. A workout for your brain
Your body needs movement. That means your brain needs movement, too. And I don’t mean it needs to be moved from your house to your workplace every morning, together with the rest of your body. Moving your head in space is not enough. All that is inside of it needs to be shaken a bit too. It has been proven that reading has a significant effect on our brains. It’s demanding in the neurological way, requires concentration and intellectual activity. Mental stimulation can slow down the progress of Dementia and Alzheimer, as many studies have shown, starting with the one made by Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) in 2006. Reading is healthy, just like orange juice or a morning run, so try to find time for it.
3. Unforgettable moments
I am not only talking about the moments spent with a book. As you read, you memorize many things. You try to store in your mind all the facts you find while reading. You follow the plots, get to know the characters, remember the details. All of that is a great exercise for your memory. Memory is not like a plastic bag. It’s not limited and won’t overflow once you put enough things inside of it. The more stuff you place there, the bigger it becomes. When you add a new memory to your collection, new synapses are being created, and the old ones get stronger. It has a positive affect on short-memory recall.
4. New words
While reading, you come across new words. The more you read, the more words you add to your vocabulary. The ability to speak in a correct and attractive way makes life easier. It’s extremely useful at work, especially when it comes to making a good impression on partners, clients or employers. Knowing you are well-spoken affects your self-confidence. Being able to express yourself in an accurate way is helpful in personal relationships, too. Using the right words in the right moments can prevent conflicts and misunderstandings.
According to scientists one of the things that attracts potential romantic partners is indeed a decent vocabulary.
Books and articles can also be used while studying new languages. It’s a fun way not only to learn new words, but also whole phrases and grammar.
Personality is not something you are born and blessed or cursed with forever, till the end of your days. Yes, there are tendencies hard to get rid of, patterns being repeated, mistakes we just can’t help, but making all over again. But can’t we, really?
Through working on ourselves, we can change things. One of the methods is reading. According to studies made by researchers from the University of Toronto, reading can change some personality traits. Romance novels, for example, are likely to promote empathy. Not only romance novels though. Reading any artistic literature can make people more empathetic and understanding, because the process itself is like a conversation, getting to know a person. It also encourages readers to examine their own emotions and behaviors and makes them more open to new experiences.
6. Effect on relationships
Through reading, we get to know countless characters. We get inside of their lives, follow their stories, see the places they have seen, experience what they have experienced. Articles on people from faraway countries makes you more tolerant towards other cultures, psychological novels- more understanding in the contacts with people from your environment. A reader won’t judge another person easily. A reader knows there’s always more to people than what the first page shows.
If used well, reading can also help you in developing your expressiveness. By accompanying characters in their lives, you get familiar with their feelings and emotions and see it’s not such a shame to have them. That makes it easier to speak freely.
Moreover, hobbies get people together. Books or magazines you read equip you with subjects to discuss when meeting people. Visiting book clubs and libraries, joining online communities, even reading on trams or buses gives you a chance to make new friends and share this interest with them.
Reading is learning. Whatever you read, whether it’s a melodramatic harlequin or a series of scientific articles, you always obtain new information. One day it can turn out to be fruitful. Besides, being well-read, working on your knowledge and intellectual capacities also makes you more self-confident…and totally badass.
8. Analytical skills
Analyzing the story, making an effort to understand the behavior of characters, trying to solve puzzles and uncover mysteries – all of that engages and develops your critical and analytical thinking.
We spend our days doing so many things at the same time. Laptop in front of your eyes with an adorable cat jumping all around the screen, messages from friends popping out from different places – emails, chats, Skype, perhaps a phone too, a coworker speaking on the other side of the room, all the papers on your desk glancing at you and reminding they need to be filled in… Reading requires concentration. You do one thing only. Many people, even if they want to, can’t concentrate anymore. Reading is a great way to work on your ability to concentrate, which increases productivity.
Have you ever felt so tense to the point you dreamt of escaping your life for a while? Surprise: you actually can. You don’t even need a one-way ticket to the other side of the globe. A gripping novel can take you all the way to another dimension. A good article might focus all your attention and allow you to forget your troubles for a moment. Many people overthink their problems, while what they need is a break, so that they could go back to searching for a solution with a clear, relaxed mind.
11. Something to do on a bus
Yes, that’s a very practical advantage of reading. You can do it on a bus, on a tram, airplane, even while you’re lined up at the DMV or bank – and make these necessary, often boring activities amusing.
Fictional characters can be a source of inspiration just like people met in the real life. You can learn from them, get influenced by their words and actions. Same with places, events and facts described in what you read. Let’s say you come across a book on Japanese culture or a novel with a main character who is a carpenter. Next day you might find yourself studying Japanese or making wooden chairs for your kitchen.
13. Saving the world
Sounds too much? It isn’t. What this world needs the most are educated, open-minded, self-aware people, inspired and full of ideas. Reading surely creates such people, especially when it’s done in a varied way, with openness for different topics and concepts.
Reading is pleasant, just search for something you would enjoy. It’s useful, too. And so sexy! Go grab a book now, it won’t bite, in fact it will make you even more awesome than you are!
Know any more reasons to read daily? Share them with us in the comment section.