The advantages of reading books are endless.
But let’s face it: When we have options like watching the movie, listening to the audiobook, or watching a YouTube video synopsis, it might be difficult to get ourselves to read a 382-page book.
Am I correct?
You’re missing out, though, if the majority of your daily reading consists of news headlines, texts, and social media posts.
What are the advantages of reading books, then?
This article is for you if you want to read more books but need inspiration. After all, you’re more likely to read books when you recognize their value.
Here are 10 benefits of reading that illustrate the importance of reading books.
1. Gain Valuable Knowledge
Learning is one of the most evident advantages of daily reading.
And books give you access to in-depth knowledge, unlike a podcast or a video on YouTube. Which of the following do you believe you will learn more from if you want to be more productive:
- A book by someone who’s studied productivity for 20 years,
- Or a 10-minute YouTube video by someone interested in the topic?
Which one do you believe you will learn more from? Which do you believe has the best chance of influencing your habit change? Obviously, books!
To succeed, one must also delve deeper than the obvious. The author Roald Dahl famously said, “If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books,” perhaps as a result of this.
Also, books can teach you practically anything. For instance, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, always responds, “I read books,” when someone asks how he learnt to construct rockets.
What do you hope to learn then?
Maybe you want to learn how to paint, code, or launch a prosperous business. Perhaps you wish to discover how to stop putting things off. Or perhaps you want to learn how to drastically alter your life?
Reading can be beneficial for anything.
2. Exercise Your Brain
What makes reading crucial? Reading is to the intellect what exercise is to the body, according to the 17th-century English author Joseph Addison.
What then happens to your brain when you read?
Reading activates the brain’s intricate network of circuits and messages, according to research. Also, these networks get stronger and more sophisticated as your reading skills advance.
Researchers examined the effects of reading a novel on our brains in a different study. Participants in the study read Robert Harris’ book “Pompeii,” and as the tension in the story increased, more brain regions were activated.
What’s the best part, you ask?
The results of the scans demonstrated the significant advantages of reading a book every day, showing that brain connectivity improved both during and for days following reading.
The bottom truth is that, like our muscles, our brains have a “use it or lose it” attitude. In other words, if we don’t regularly challenge our thoughts, they might get less sharp. But we can maintain them strong and healthy if we read every day.
3. Improve Your Focus
Being able to concentrate and focus for long periods is essential to our success and wellbeing.
Newport contends that frequent multitasking, notifications, and social networking apps are making this talent more and more rare. According to a Microsoft study, consumers often lose attention after just eight seconds.
Happily, reading gives you practice focusing on one subject at a time, which is one of its many advantages.
For instance, a book needs your complete focus in order to transport you to another planet. A non-fiction book also needs you to be totally present and engaged if you want to learn from it.
In other words, you must concentrate if you want to achieve. Also, reading novels is a good way to improve your ability to concentrate.
4. Improve Your Memory
Do you frequently forget things? Do you have numerous to-do lists but struggle to recall what’s on them? Don’t worry; one benefit of reading is that it can help you remember things better.
When you read a non-fiction book, you also take in a ton of knowledge about the subject being covered.
Similar to this, anytime you read a novel, you have to keep in mind a ton of details regarding the main narrative and any supporting characters, as well as the setting where the story is set.
That’s a ton of details!
New memories are produced by all of this fresh information. And each new memory either develops new synapses or reinforces existing ones.
The result? Daily reading will help you learn how to better retain new knowledge and retrieve memories, which will strengthen your memory.
5. Enjoy Entertainment
Some of the world’s most captivating entertainment can be found in books. Books, in the words of author Stephen King, “are a singularly portable magic.”
Ever pick up a book and don’t want to put it down?
Do you recall becoming so engrossed in the book or what you were learning that you continued to read even when you were hungry or needed to use the restroom?
All you have to do is locate the appropriate books to read in order to duplicate that emotion or to have it for the first time.
Every reader can find their ideal reading genre among the many amazing books that are available, which range from business books and self-help manuals to fantasy novels and classic literature.
There is perhaps no better moment to start reading as a hobby than now, when the COVID-19 outbreak and the ensuing economic recession are still a major concern for the world.
6. Improve Your Ability to Empathize
The ability to empathize with others can be improved by reading literature, which is another advantage. Additionally, empathy has several advantages, including the ability to lower stress, enhance relationships, and enlighten our moral compass.
Long-term fiction readers have been found to have stronger “theory of mind” abilities, which refers to our capacity for empathy and comprehension of others.
According to a different study, reading fiction that delves into characters’ inner selves and emotions helps us better comprehend the thoughts and feelings of others.
We can learn to see the world from the perspectives of our families, friends, and coworkers by, for instance, experiencing it through the eyes of Harry Potter or Jane Eyre.
The simplest way to put it is through the words of novelist John Green: “Excellent books help you comprehend, and they help you feel understood.”
7. Improve Your Communication Skills
Effective communication is an essential life skill.
In fact, a research found that 69% of companies prefer to work with candidates who have “soft” talents, such excellent communication.
what is good news? Reading has several advantages, one of which is that it improves communication.
How? Our ability to communicate can be improved in a number of ways by reading every day. Reading, for instance, can improve your vocabulary and influence your writing.
When we read well-written material, we unavoidably take note of the composition, cadence, and writing style. Similar to how different musicians inspire one another, these traits inexorably find their way into our work.
Moreover, research have shown that people who read frequently tend to have substantial vocabulary growth.
Don’t forget that reading enhances our capacity for empathy and understanding, which in turn helps us communicate more effectively.
In conclusion? Improve your life by reading more and speaking more effectively!
8. Reduce Stress
Reading can also lower stress, which is one of its benefits.
Just 30 minutes of reading will lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and psychological distress, according to research.
A other study found that reading reduces stress more effectively than walking, drinking tea or coffee, and playing video games. According to the study, reading for just six minutes can lower stress levels by more than two thirds.
The ultimate kind of relaxation, according to the study’s cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, is losing yourself in a book.
So, the next time you’re feeling stressed, remember the benefits of reading for pleasure and let the tension melt away.
9. Improve Your Mental Health
Reading has benefits for mental health as well.
Self-help books have been shown by researchers to have measurable impacts on depression and other mood disorders.
As a result, the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK launched the Reading Well program, which prescribes books. For specific diseases, this service recommends self-help books chosen by medical professionals.
“Bibliotherapy” is the practice of using books as a form of therapy.
Therefore, if you’re having trouble—because, despite what life may appear on Instagram, we all have difficulty occasionally—consider reading one of the books on the NHS’s hand-picked list, which has been shown to reduce symptoms.
10. Live Longer
The last effect of reading is possibly the most fascinating and exciting: It turns out that reading has positive effects on our health and can extend our lives.
Those who read books lived around two years longer than those who didn’t read books, magazines, or other media, according to a 12-year research on health and retirement. Also, people who read every day for 30 minutes (3.5 hours) had a 23% higher chance of outliving those who didn’t.
Very nice, no?
As was already mentioned, reading is a fantastic technique to exercise our brains and become smarter and more acute. Reading, however, has the added benefit of preventing age-related cognitive deterioration.
According to one study, elderly persons who read frequently or engage in mentally demanding activities like chess have a 2.5 times lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
On the other side, according to Dr. Robert Freidland, the study’s lead author, people who don’t engage their grey matter run the risk of losing mental capacity.
It makes sense why the US National Institute on Aging emphasizes the advantages of everyday reading for health.
Overall, reading daily increases your chances of retaining your mental faculties and living a longer life!