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Benefits of Reading

Written by: Riley Wang

Date: February 2021

Does most of your daily reading come from social media or the news? Although it is good to rack our brains with societal information, reading non-fiction or fiction books has several benefits. If you are not reading daily, there is a lot you are missing out on. Throughout this article, you will read about why it is important to read books, and after, perhaps pick out a book to read.

Reason #1: Mental stimulation

Just like any other muscle in our bodies, our brains need exercise. When we read, our brains are staying active, and strengthening is actually happening within the networks of signals and circuits. Daily reading may lower the chance of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The pleasure of reading increases the blood flow in many areas inside the brain. So, as you are enjoying a certain novel, you are inevitably strengthening your brain.

Reason #2: Knowledgeable entertainment

Reading is a whole other type of entertainment. Social media and binge-watching Netflix can result in 10-30 hours a week of pleasurable but unproductive entertainment.

  • Make a conscious decision of swapping out some of your TV watching with reading

  • Find a book you love through blogs or the internet

With reading, it is pleasurable yet productive. There are always themes in a story where there is a moral message, and in every book, you read about a perspective of another life whether it was fictional or non-fictional. This gains further insight and knowledge to tackle any challenges. You can lose your house or job but your knowledge will not be lost.

Reason #3: Stress reduction

Losing yourself in a great story lets you enter another world where your personal problems and issues are no longer present. Reading relaxes your body without even consciously knowing, and it is proven that it better releases stress than any other methods, such as listening to music.

Not only will reading prevent the potential conditions that are caused by stress, but it engages the mind to visualize another world.

Reason #4: Expanded vocabulary

There is no doubt that you will expand your vocabulary if reading becomes a habit. You are unconsciously being exposed to several words in many different sentences. It is beneficial to seemingly expand your vocabulary for these reasons:

  • You can choose words with greater precision

  • Succeed better in school (with a larger variety of vocabulary)

  • Improve communication skills

  • Improve your understanding

Reading is an effective way to expand your vocabulary without the hassle of studying and memorization. You will be able to comprehend more complex writing assignments or stories. Communication is a vital skill we must develop. Reading will enhance our ability to communicate thoroughly.

Reason #5: Gained empathy

When you are reading, you exhibit several messages the stories convey. The theme of each story can alter your point of view, or gain a new perspective in your own life. Studies show reading can help you build developmental skills of emotional intelligence and empathy. Empathy makes humans humane, and it helps us respond to a situation appropriately.

So what are you waiting for? Crack open a book.

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass