When was the last time you picked a book to read? Do you read regularly or do you read out of necessity? If you do not read regularly, then you’re missing out.
Reading is an activity that has several benefits for individuals. That said, you might wonder what reading books can do for you.
Reading boosts your intellectual capacity and your ability to retain knowledge. The more you read, the more you know, because it expands your mental knowledge and gives you a better perspective of the world. Reading, as a recreational activity, serves as a source of entertainment.
If you are part of the crowd that considers reading as an unnecessary activity, then keep reading. This article provides insight into the benefits of reading and gives you all the reasons you should read more.
Benefits of Reading
Any avid book reader will agree that immersing oneself in a book can make you feel better. Though it might sound unbelievable, Science now proves it. Reading not only enhances our memory and empathy, but it also makes us feel better and more happy.
Besides assisting with depression and stress reduction, reading has shown to lessen the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Read more about reading’s health advantages.
Reading Is Beneficial to Your Brain
According to research, reading has a direct impact on your mental health. In one study published in 2013, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans to examine the effect of reading a novel on the brain. The researcher made the participants read the novel “Pompei” aloud for nine days.
As the story went, more and more areas of the brain became active, signaling that something was happening. During the reading period and for several days afterward, brain scans revealed that brain connection increased. Several reactions occurred in the somatosensory cortex, a section of the brain that responds to body sensations such as movement and pain.
This verified that reading involves a complex network of circuits and messages in the brain. As your reading skill improves, the strength and sophistication of your neural networks increases.
It Prevents Mental Illnesses
Keeping your mind active slows and possibly even prevents the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia. When your brain is engaged, it reduces the chances of losing the ability to think and reason.
The brain requires exercise in order to remain strong and healthy. Playing games like chess and scrabble can help you achieve this, but reading is one of the most efficient methods to keep your brain healthy.
Reading Develops Your Vocabulary
When you read, you expose yourself to new terms. By learning new terms, people can develop a better knowledge of their own language and how to use it effectively. Students who begin reading at an early age and start building their vocabulary, which allows them to understand more complicated texts.
When you compare children exposed to education at a younger age to those who were not, you discover the difference in using words. You notice that the children in school speak better and understand better than their counterparts. This is because they are more exposed to literary texts.
Vocabulary plays a significant role in the life of an individual. A person who is more fluent in a particular language gets more educational and employment opportunities.
Readers Earn a Higher Income
Readers are more likely to earn higher than non-readers. According to a European study of 5,280 men, men who read at least 10 books outside of school had a 21 percent higher income than their peers who did not.
Most times, employers prefer people who have better communication skills. A person can develop some of these skills by reading books regularly.
Reading Books Helps You Relax
When you’re reading a good book, no matter how much stress you’re under at work, in your personal relationships, you will feel relaxed. A good narrative transports you into another while a fascinating article will engage your attention and keep you in the present moment, reducing tensions and assisting you in relaxing.
According to a 2009 study, 30 minutes of reading reduced blood pressure, pulse rate, and feelings of psychological discomfort in the same way that yoga and humor do. The authors of the study pointed out that reading engaging articles for 30 minutes a day reduces stress levels. It is also a very simple technique that anyone can incorporate into their schedule regardless of how busy it is.
You Gain Knowledge From Reading
Reading daily can assist you in learning more about the community you live in. As you read books, you will come across new concepts and pieces of knowledge that could be beneficial to you. You might think this is limited to educational books, but it is not.
Even fictitious writings, such as novels, have the potential to educate us about the world. Every book you read instills new knowledge in your brain, and you never know when that knowledge will be useful. The more knowledge you have, the more equipped you will be to deal with any obstacles that may come your way.
If you appreciate nonfiction books, you can use them to further your education. Encyclopedias, for example, are a great way to learn several new ideas at once. Historical nonfiction and current events books can also be entertaining to read and present you with a plethora of new information.
Reading Improves Memory Retention
A book requires the reader to recall a diverse cast of characters, their motivations, pasts, and nuanced personalities. These books contain several arcs and sub-plots which you must remember in order to continue reading. That’s a lot to keep track of, but our brains can retain all of this information with ease.
Every fresh memory you generate develops new brain pathways and strengthens old ones, which aids in short-term memory recall. Strengthening of the old pathways also helps in mood stabilization.
Reading Allows You to Think Analytically
Several times, I predict the end of a mystery novel even before I finish the book. In a case of murder and mystery, I try to figure out who the killer is by placing myself in the detective’s shoes. If you do this while reading, then you have applied critical and analytical thinking.
It allows you to see minute details that a critical thinker would not see. Analytical thinking contributes to our growth and development as a person. The application of this thinking technique can help to solve several real-life situations.
Details are also important when criticizing a plot. For literary students, it helps to identify if a write up was well-written, if the writer developed the characters and other parts of the text accordingly.
Reading Increases Your Ability to Communicate Verbally
If you read books, you’ll always have something new and exciting to share with your friends and colleagues. When people bring up certain topics that are familiar to you, you’ll discover that you will have a better and more fruitful conversation.
A Person Becomes Wiser Through Reading
Wisdom is the ability to think, act, and speak effectively and thoroughly about a certain topic in a variety of situations. You can gain wisdom by reading several books. Because you’ll be reading about other people’s experiences and insights, you’ll be able to gain valuable knowledge you can apply in your personal life.
Reading Eases Symptoms of Depression
Depressed people frequently feel isolated and shut off from the rest of the world, which is a common occurrence. Reading helps to reduce depressing feelings as it engages the reader’s mind. When you read fiction, you can temporarily escape your reality and become involved in the written experiences of the main characters.
Nonfiction self-help books can also provide you with information on how to deal with depressive symptoms productively.
Reading Books Prepares You for a Good Night’s Sleep
A normal sleep routine should include reading. Before you turn off the lights, pick up your favorite book or a book you’re interested in. Reading at this time makes you feel more relaxed and helps you sleep better.
For the best results, read a print book rather than an e-book as the light your gadget emits may keep you awake and cause other negative health effects. If you have trouble falling asleep, you can read somewhere else other than your bedroom.
Reading Is a Form of Entertainment
Entertainment has become more visual as we now have mobile phones and large TV screens that display things that interest us. Nonetheless, books are still a great form of entertainment.
For me, just walking into a local library and staring at the spine of well-arranged books can be exciting. Here, you can find books on any topic and genre that interests you.
If you don’t want physical books, there are e-copies available on several sites on the internet. These sites provide e-books in several formats for easy download.
Books Have More Details Than Movies
When you read Twilight, you realize that there are several details absent from the movie version. The same applies to most movies that came from books.
Movies have a limited duration and the producers aim to include all they can into that time frame. As a result, they skip several details the author had included in the book. Reading the book version of a movie gives you better insight into the concept of the work.
Fiction or Nonfiction: Which Is Better?
If you aren’t an adept reader, you might be confused about the type of book to read. Choosing to read fiction or nonfiction books depends on your interest and purpose of reading. If you’re going to pick one of the two, you should understand what they entail.
Fictional books are simply stories that are not real. In fiction, writers spin the story plot from their imagination. Real instances often inspire these imaginations, but other times, the storylines are completely unreal.
A fictional writer must possess high imaginative skills and good written language to translate imaginations to words.
There are several genres in the world of fiction. Among the genres are juvenile fiction, horror fiction, historical fiction, and others. Some of them could be parables that aim to pass an underlying moral message to the audience.
Most people enjoy fiction because of the mental sensation it causes. It could be a sensation of love, comedy, sarcasm, or even a scary thought. There are fictional historical books that transports the audience into a world inspired by historical moments.
These books are not just entertaining, they give an insight into the practices of ancient times, even if most of them are not real.
Fiction gives the reader an advantage of understanding several characters. Depending on the author’s style of writing, a reader could be in the shoes of the book’s hero or any other character in the plot. Generally, good fiction books make you feel better.
Unlike fiction, nonfiction is a work of writing that deals with facts and events that have already occurred. While Fiction is a story, non-fiction is real.
Nonfiction can be factual or subjective. For instance, many university professors are now releasing books based on their research, which is becoming increasingly popular. Non-fictional works mostly include biographies, philosophy and theory, analysis, research, and history.
Reading nonfiction has a variety of advantages over reading fiction. By reading Non-Fiction, you grow intellectually, rationally, and analytically. If you decide to learn more about your field of specialization, for instance, you acquire more knowledge.
Before deciding to settle for fiction or nonfiction books, you must consider several things.
First, you must think of your reason for reading. If it’s for fun, fictional books are the best options. If it’s learning, then non-fictional books are preferable.
You should also consider your preferences in books. Some readers will not read a nonfiction book unless they have to. On the other hand, there are readers that prefer non-fiction to fiction.
Whichever you settle for, you still enjoy the benefits attached to reading.