Why reading matters September 7, 2015

I love books and reading. A lot, actually. Maybe you feel the same about books, maybe you don’t. But I want to give you some inspiration to read more and share with you, why reading matters to me and what benefits there are, if you make the time to read a book yourself.

1. You learn something new

Reading increases your knowledge. There are books about anything you can possibly imagine, both fiction and non-fiction. I don’t know about you, but I love to learn new things every day and reading is one great way to accomplish this goal.

2. You see the world with someone else’s eyes

When you read, you basically get the possibility to see things through a different perspective. Especially when you try yourself in diversity when it comes to the reading material you choose, chances are that you get confronted with a different view or perspective. The same goes for choosing older literature. You can time travel in a way and get to know the customs and culture of a different time period. The different opinions and views you are exposed to by reading, make you think about the world as you see it and you get to use your critical thinking skills.

3. It is great for relaxation and stress reduction

Reading helps to calm your mind and makes it easier to find relaxation. That is why so many people, me included, like reading before they go to bed.

4. You will expand your vocabulary

Reading increases your vocabulary. You learn new words and because they are put  into context right away, chances are you can remember them better. To enhance your knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and language in general, reading is highly recommended.

5. It is great entertainment

I think reading is exceptional when it comes to entertainment levels. There is nothing quite like it and it is fun to get lost and fully absorbed in a good book.

6. You will engage your brain and memory

There are tons of studies and books on the subject of how reading influences your brain. Without wanting to get too scientific here, it is basically a mental workout. There is a lot of analytical thinking involved, and your brain gets highly stimulated by reading. Studies also suggest that reading has an overall positive effect on your memory, too.

7. Reading increases empathy

There is a link between reading and increased empathy. Reading is overall an emotional experience and by picturing the action in your own head, there is a tendency for readers to get more involved with the characters of a book because they understand and analyze a situation on a deeper level. Reading about other people’s experiences can make you feel connected with them and there is some research on this whole subject. Reading about somebody else’s experiences in literature makes people feel more integrated in society and connected to book characters or authors. Therefore reading can also have a social effect in raising awareness to problems, social injustices and promoting tolerance and understanding for different lifestyles or beliefs. This is also connected with the educational purposes of reading, of course.

8. You build up your concentration skills and focus

Reading helps you to increase your ability to focus and concentrate. When we read we disconnect from our surroundings and focus on the text at hand instead.

9. It helps you get more insights into your own life

By reading books we do not only learn about the world around us, we can also learn a lot about ourselves. This is both true for general literature or non-fiction books. And this might not be news to you but there is even a scientific background to this that is now implemented in the psychological branch of bibliotherapy, where books chosen by experienced professionals are implemented to help people find their well-being again.

10. It can improve your writing skills

Reading good literature teaches you all you need to know about language, grammar and sentence structure. If you want to dig deeper you can certainly read more books on these subjects. Improving your writing skills is an ongoing process, but you need to read a lot and continuously to get better at writing. This is why all successful writers are also big readers. Just read some author interviews from the past and present and the first advice that is usually given when it comes to writing skills is to read and read a lot!

11. It is practical

You can read nearly anywhere, it is great entertainment and it is also quite inexpensive if you make use of a library or buy used books. But what is even more practical is that you can take a book with you anywhere and there is no need for electronics or internet access.

12. You use your own imagination

One of the best things about reading is that it makes use of your own imagination and creativity. By picturing everything happening on the page in your head you create your own ideas about the book and the world described within it. Even when you read non-fiction you will still have a huge variety of thoughts coming to your head about the things you have just read. And that activates and boosts your own creativity.

What do you love most about reading?

Image by © Bonnybbx / Pixabay

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