Reading books is one of the easiest, cheapest and most satisfying hobbies, enjoyed by millions of people each and every day. But why do we enjoy it so much? And why is it so good for us? Research on the benefits of reading books has led to the conclusion that practiced regularly, reading books has many benefits. Here are 8 reasons why you start reading a novel today.
Benefits Of Reading Books
It sharpens the mind
Concentration and critical analysis have been shown to improve measurably through reading books. The brain is stimulated by the words and the storyline; the requirement to follow, understand and analyze continuously have the effect of training the brain and sharpening the mind.
It increases your vocabulary
In reading books, both fiction, and non-fiction, you will often come across unknown vocabulary. Curiosity will hopefully prompt you to grab a dictionary, to look these words up, discover the definition, and thus improve and expand your own useable vocabulary.
It lowers stress
In immersing yourself in a story, you will leave your stresses and worries behind. An absorbing book can effectively take you into another world, helping you to stop worrying about problems and dilemmas in your life, allowing you to rest and relax. Whilst we can’t escape our problems in everyday life (neither should we – we need to face them and solve them), it is very healthy to have a break from these stresses and strains. A good book can be like a holiday for your mind. Reading is the perfect escapism, allowing you to travel into other people’s lives, other places and cultures, even other planets and planes of existence. If you practice reading regularly, you will find that you are easily transported into the pages of the books, you will live and breathe the lives of the people in these stories and your stress levels will lower substantially.
It eases depression
Many books, especially life-affirming novels and self-help books, can help to ease mild to moderate depression. Always consult your doctor if depression is ruling your life, but if you are feeling a little blue then reading, along with other lifestyle changes and self-help techniques, can lift your mood and give you a much-needed boost of morale.
It improves memory and concentration
Reading books can really improve memory and concentration by training the mind. As opposed to reading short articles and snippets on the Internet, reading and appreciating a full-length book requires real concentration and exercises the memory in continuously remembering what happened earlier in the story.
It makes you a better writer
Whether you write for personal or professional reasons, reading other people’s work can improve your writing in many ways. You will learn new methods of expressing yourself, new techniques and better writing skills. Reading great writers will teach you how to become a better writer. And even reading less-skilled writers can teach you a lot, as you will notice what they do well and where they are less talented.
It stimulates imagination
Reading, as opposed to watching television or movies, gives the reader the opportunity to imagine people and places in amazing clarity. The best writers will often roughly sketch a person or a location in broad strokes leaving your brain to work hard to paint a full picture as you read. This is wonderful as it stimulates the part of the brain that deals with imagination and visualization, giving your overall creativity a boost. These improvements will bring great effect in many areas of your life, including enjoyment and relaxation, but also problem-solving in your personal and professional life.
It improves the quality of your sleep
All kinds of reading, but fiction especially, can boost the quality of your sleep. Absorbing yourself in a story can de-stress and relax you and, in so doing, allow you to achieve restful sleep more quickly and for a more extended period of time. Regularly dedicating time to reading before bedtime can help build the habit of unwinding and readying the body and mind for sleep. You don’t have to do a lot, just a few chapters, to feel the benefit of the peacefulness of reading. Don’t forget that you should avoid reading on blue screens for at least two or three hours before bedtime as the blue light can interfere with the release of melatonin. A good old-fashioned paper book is the best choice of all!
So go crack open a great book and you’ll start feeling the benefits of reading books throughout all areas of your life – what are you waiting for?
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