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Why you should read books – 8 amazing & novel benefits

If we were to step into a time machine and journey back to ancient civilizations, one thing would remain consistent: the art of storytelling and reading. 

The ancient Egyptians had their hieroglyphics, the Sumerians their cuneiform, and, closer to our times, the Gutenberg press revolutionized how we consumed written content. 

Reading has been, and always will be, an integral part of our human experience. You can even learn how to love reading! ?

I’m reminded of a quote by the renowned British author, Neil Gaiman: “A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.” 

Think about that for a moment. A dream, encapsulated within pages, waiting to be unfurled, one word at a time.

Why you should read books

In this blog post, we’ll know the reason for what you are doing now here. The reasons why you should read books.

Reading makes you smarter

No, never kidding that reading does make you smarter. Here’s the glimpse of that ?

1. Mental Stimulation

The brain is a muscle, and like any muscle, it needs exercise. 

While physical workouts tone our bodies, reading is the ultimate cerebral workout. Neuroscientific studies have shown that reading not only keeps the brain active but also fortifies the neural pathways. It’s no wonder that frequent brain activity, like reading, can delay the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

2. Reading expands your vocabulary pocket

Ever found yourself lost in a conversation, grappling for that one word that eludes you? Reading could be your answer. With every page turned, we are introduced to new words, words that seep into our everyday vocabulary, often unknowingly. 

It’s not just about the number of words you know, but about how they shape your thoughts, how they allow you to express complex emotions and ideas. Over time, as you devour more books, you’ll find that your language skills don’t just improve – they flourish.

3. Improved Focus and Concentration

We live in a world of distractions. A ping here, a notification there, and before you know it, an hour’s gone by with fragmented attention. Reading a book is a journey, one that requires undivided attention. When you immerse yourself in a gripping tale or an enlightening piece of non-fiction, the world around you fades. This deep focus trains our brains to concentrate better in other facets of life.

4. Better Writing Skills

Have you ever read a piece so compelling that it inspires you to pen down your thoughts? Quality writing often stems from quality reading. Exposing oneself to well-structured content invariably influences one’s writing style. Over time, you begin to assimilate the techniques, the cadences, the rhythms of great writers. It’s a bit like having a conversation with the world’s best authors, every time you open a book.

5. Memory Improvement

Let’s conduct a small experiment. Think of the last book you read. Can you recall the main characters? The primary plot points? The climax? If you can, you’ve just given your memory muscles a mini workout. 

Reading forces us to remember details, to map out intricate storylines in our minds. This isn’t just anecdotal. Scientifically, this activity has been proven to bolster our memory capacities, making the act of reading not just enjoyable but beneficial.

Reading increases your emotional intelligence

1. Reading helps reducing stress

Imagine, if you will, a day filled with unending meetings, looming deadlines, and a cacophony of urban life. And then, you find a quiet corner, open a book, and are immediately transported to the serene countryside of England or the bustling streets of 19th-century Paris. 

This is the magic of reading – a portal to another realm, an escape. It’s no surprise then that numerous studies have compared reading to meditation in its ability to slow down the heartbeat and ease muscle tension. One such study by the University of Sussex found that just six minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68%. As for me, reading has been an essential escape helping me reduce tensions on my bad days.

2. Reading helps you become more empathetic

Books are mirrors to humanity’s soul. They provide us a front-row seat to the innermost feelings and lives of characters, some like us and others vastly different. By traversing through myriad experiences, perspectives, and emotions, we find ourselves forging connections with these fictional entities. 

This vicarious living cultivates a deeper understanding and empathy towards people in our real lives. When we resonate with a character’s pain, joy, or dilemmas, it broadens our emotional palette, making us more understanding and compassionate in our interactions.

3. Reading is a mood booster

The therapeutic powers of reading are often underrated. Literature has an uncanny ability to resonate with our current emotions, be it melancholy, joy, or nostalgia. There’s a profound comfort in realizing that you’re not alone in your feelings; that somewhere, someone else has felt the same. 

Moreover, tales of hope, perseverance, and victory can provide solace and motivation during trying times. Bibliotherapy – the use of books as therapy – is becoming an increasingly recognized field, reinforcing the adage that sometimes, the right book at the right time can be the best medicine.

Reading helps you acquire more knowledge

That’s no secret! Reading helps you gain more knowledge about the world, on what’s going on about our environment, or of the people in Africa. With the resources around like newspapers and books and other printed media, we become more equipped of what’s going on around us when we read.

1. Reading helps you become more aware

Beyond the immediate horizon of our experiences lies a vast world, filled with histories, mysteries, cultures, and philosophies. Books serve as our passport to these uncharted territories. Through literature, one can dine with kings of bygone eras, march alongside freedom fighters, or traverse the Silk Road’s expanse. Additionally, contemporary literature often shines a light on pressing global issues, making readers more informed and conscious global citizens.

2. Self-help and Personal Development

In our journey of life, there are times we seek guidance, inspiration, or a simple nudge in the right direction. This is where books play a pivotal role. Self-help literature, with insights from some of the brightest minds, offers tools and strategies to navigate life’s challenges. From building habits with James Clear’s “Atomic Habits” to understanding human behavior through Malcolm Gladwell’s insights, these books serve as mentors, helping us evolve and stride towards our best selves.

3. Learning and Education

Our formal education may have boundaries, but our learning doesn’t need to. Books augment our academic endeavors, offering deeper dives into subjects of interest. Whether it’s the intricacies of quantum physics, the philosophies of ancient Greece, or the art of storytelling, there’s a book for every curious mind. Furthermore, in an age where industries evolve and technologies become obsolete, continuous learning is not just a hobby but a necessity. Books ensure that our learning is ceaseless, making us lifelong students of the vast university of life.

Reading is a creativity booster

1. Transportation to Different Worlds

Let me take you on a journey: Close your eyes, and imagine a world where the skies are green and the grass is blue, where dragons are gentle librarians and books come alive. 

That is the marvel of reading.

 Books offer an open invitation to myriad universes, places we could never physically visit but can intimately know. Each fictional universe, whether it’s the dystopian landscape of Orwell’s “1984” or the magical halls of The Midnight Library, stretches the boundaries of our imagination, teaching us that reality is but a subset of infinite possibilities.

2. Inspiration for Creative Projects

Art begets art. It’s an age-old dance of inspiration. 

Painters are moved by melodies, writers by paintings, and filmmakers by novels. Literature provides a wellspring of ideas, motifs, and themes. Take, for instance, the expansive universe of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” which has inspired countless artworks, music compositions, and even video games. 

When we read, our mind weaves visuals, and often, these visuals become the seed for our next creative endeavor.

3. Understanding Different Perspectives

There’s an old saying, “To understand a person, walk a mile in their shoes.” Books provide a unique opportunity to do just that, only from the comfort of our armchair. Through character narratives and story arcs, readers get to live countless lives, face myriad challenges, and, most importantly, think a thousand thoughts. By exploring ideologies, moral dilemmas, and decision-making processes of characters, readers broaden their mental horizons and become more adept at understanding and valuing varied worldviews.

Social benefits of reading

1. Improved Communication Skills

Have you ever been lost for words, trying to articulate a thought or describe a feeling? Reading regularly can significantly enhance this skill.

With exposure to rich vocabulary, diverse sentence structures, and varied writing styles, avid readers often find themselves better equipped to express their thoughts. Furthermore, the nuanced understanding of human emotions and motivations, gleaned from books, provides readers with a toolkit for effective interpersonal communication.

2. Cultural Awareness

The world is a mosaic of cultures, each with its unique stories, rituals, and values. 

Through literature, readers get a first-class ticket to this global carnival. From the bustling streets of Arundhati Roy’s India to the intricate social tapestry of Jane Austen’s England, books introduce us to a pantheon of traditions, festivities, and norms. 

This deep dive into diverse cultures not only satiates our curiosity but also fosters a sense of global kinship, encouraging more inclusive and empathetic thinking.

3. Bonding Over Books

Reading, often seen as a solitary activity, has a beautiful social facet. Book clubs, literary fests, and even casual coffee discussions about a recent read offer avenues for bonding. Sharing interpretations of a story, debating character motivations, or simply gushing over a favorite passage can lead to profound connections with fellow readers. It’s in these moments that literature acts as a bridge, turning solitary reflections into collective celebrations.

Reading helps you achieve discipline and masters routine

1. Establishing a Reading Habit

When you dedicate time to reading daily, you’re doing more than just absorbing words on a page. You’re cultivating discipline. Much like regular workouts sculpt the body, consistent reading sharpens the mind. Initially, finding those moments to read might feel cumbersome amid our daily hustle.

 But with time, this commitment becomes a ritual, almost meditative. There’s a rhythm to it: the turn of a page, the silent retreat from the world. And in this quiet space, we not only discover stories but also uncover layers about ourselves, honing patience and consistency in the process.

2. Goal Setting

Think about the last time you set a goal for yourself. There’s an intrinsic satisfaction in charting out a target and then steadily moving towards it. 

Setting reading targets, be it a book a month or a chapter a day, works similarly. As you navigate through pages, you’re also navigating a journey of commitment. Every finished book is a small victory, a testament to perseverance. 

And this practice extends beyond reading, serving as a blueprint for achieving objectives in other spheres of life.

3. Time Management

In this modern era of fleeting attention spans and perennial distractions, incorporating reading into daily life is a masterclass in time management.

To read is to prioritize. It means setting aside the clamor of the world to engage with the written word. 

Over time, this practice helps refine our ability to discern what truly deserves our time. By creating these pockets of reading in our day, we inadvertently become architects of our time, learning to discern, delegate, and delve deep.

Reading is pleasure in itself  

1. The Joy of a Good Story

There’s a certain magic in losing oneself in a gripping tale. The rush of adrenaline, the flurry of emotions, the resonance of relatable characters—it’s a rollercoaster. A good story transcends mere entertainment. It moves, molds, and sometimes even mends us. 

The plot twists, character arcs, and narrative crescendos offer a deep psychological and emotional engagement, enriching our reservoir of experiences without even leaving our seats.

2. Connection with Authors Across Time

When you read, you’re essentially having a conversation with the author. It’s a dialogue that defies the boundaries of time and space. Engaging with the musings of Plato, the romanticism of Keats, or the dystopian foresight of Orwell is a testament to the timelessness of thoughts. 

Through their words, these authors from bygone eras come alive, whispering tales, sharing wisdom, and offering companionship.

3. Collecting and Building Libraries

For many, books aren’t just to be read; they’re to be cherished. The joy of running one’s fingers along the spine of a book, the smell of its pages, the annotations in the margins—they all tell a story. 

Building a personal library is like curating memories, a tangible testament to one’s literary journey. There’s profound satisfaction in seeing a collection grow, each book a marker of a time, a place, an emotion.

Conclusion

Reading is more than a hobby; it’s an expedition, a continuous exploration. From the cognitive enhancements it offers to the deep emotional tapestries it weaves, the act of reading is both a solace and a stimulant. 

It disciplines us, delights us, and above all, adds depth to our existence. As we stand at the crossroads of an information era, where stories and facts bombard us from screens big and small, let’s not forget the primal pleasure of a book. 

So, here’s my challenge, pick up a book, even the smallest and shortest one you have. Dive in. Embark on a literary journey. 

Let stories lead the way, for in their folds lie worlds waiting to be discovered?

FAQs

What are the benefits of reading?

Reading offers numerous benefits, including expanding knowledge, enhancing vocabulary, improving cognitive abilities, reducing stress, and fostering empathy ?

Why books are important in our life?

Books are important because they provide a wealth of knowledge, offer different perspectives, stimulate imagination, and contribute to personal growth and development ?

What is the main purpose of reading?

The main purpose of reading is to gain information, knowledge, and understanding about various topics, ideas, and experiences ?

Why reading is important for students?

Reading is important for students as it enhances their language skills, cognitive development, critical thinking abilities, and exposes them to diverse ideas and cultures, helping them excel academically and personally ?