Have you recently read a book? If not, when was the last time you read a physical book? I’m not talking about an ebook from your phone or an article off your social media feed. You may be thinking that reading information online is fine, but you might ask, “What are the benefits of reading books?” Well, there are many benefits to them, which are often overlooked.
What are the benefits of reading books? The importance of reading books
Unfortunately, it seems that people are reading less often these days. As mentioned earlier, we’re now in the age of the internet and social media. With that, the more likely we’re inclined to read short posts, memes, and visual stimulations (i.e., infographics). It’s also easier to access this kind of information instantly through our fingertips. Therefore, the less reliable we become, reading physical books.
I’ll admit it’s one of the downsides of the internet today. Things seem more accessible and appealing by reading materials online. Even though we’re now in the digital age, reading is still relevant regardless of how advanced the internet is today. Books aren’t a thing of the past yet, as new books keep coming out and remain relevant.
In this post, I’m going to spend some time going over some benefits of reading. Some of them are well-known, while others may not have been thought of often. These benefits include the following:
1.) Improving concentration and focus
2.) Expanding vocabulary and knowledge
3.) Reducing stress levels
4.) Improving your writing skills
5.) Enhancing imagination
6.) Retaining memory and sharpen your mind
What are the benefits of reading books?
Improves concentration and focus
In a world of constant distractions, the ability to concentrate for long periods is crucial. When reading books, you are subject to stay focused on the words you read. When your brain is subject to reading, it’s getting its exercise and stimulation in. Think of the mind as a muscle: if it’s not getting exercise, it’s going to become stale.
Reading is an excellent activity that can help improve concentration. Unlike with visual components on the internet (ads, banners, social media pictures), you aren’t easily distracted while reading a book. In a way, your mind will stay focused for the most part. More so, being able to stay focused can help you get more things done.
How reading helps me stay focused
I haven’t done a ton of reading later; however, I tend to be more focused when I read regularly. Lately, when reading other things on the internet, I’m always bombarded with information that I don’t need to see. It can be annoying and very distracting, not to mention waste time if I end up clicking on an ad or a picture.
Moving forward, I’m going to start reading for the sake of improving my concentration skills. It’s a skill that is necessary to master these days and essential for long-term success.
Expand vocabulary and knowledge
As you read more books, the likelihood you will come across new concepts and terms. It’s vital for expanding your vocabulary, as it can help open up the world around you. There may be terms used in other parts of the world you weren’t aware of, so that can be very beneficial.
On another note, learning new vocabulary can help expand your knowledge. They say that “knowledge is power,” so continuing to obtain understanding through reading will undoubtedly pay off down the road.
My vocabulary expansion
In the reading I’ve done throughout the years, there are some terms I’ve learned that’s helped expand my knowledge. When I write articles, I’ll use different words that most people wouldn’t use. But these are terms that I would include so that my readers can apply them as well.
Improves writing skills
The more you read, the better you become as a writer. By reading books, you’ll learn how words flow and come together on paper. For instance, transition words into a new sentence or paragraph are common with writing (i.e., therefore, moreover, on another note, etc.). The more you read and know what comes next, the more likely you’ll apply the same terms when you write on your own.
How reading has improved my writing
I can relate to this matter after being exposed to works from some of the best writers. Like most people, I read some of Shakespeare’s works. Though I’m not a fan of his works, I’m glad to use some terms still when I write my content.
Even reading the works of some contemporary writers has helped improve my writing as well. Some of the transition terms I discover, for the most part, I’ll apply in the content I write. So I try to differentiate myself when writing useful blog posts here and now. I always strive to be a better writer than I was the day before.
We may not think about it as often, but reading can help with our imaginations. When we’re reading words, the right side of our brain triggers the creativity component. We’re thinking of the scenarios, characters, and what might happen next in the story plot. In other words, reading regularly can help boost our creativity.
As Albert Einstein once said about imagination,
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For a while, knowledge defines all we currently know and understand; imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.”
How reading helps boost my creativity
I always thought reading would make it more difficult for me to be creative. Now that I think about it, I’m more likely to think of new ideas when I’m into a good book. Whether that’s thinking about the next scene or thinking of something unrelated, my imagination can take into different types of scenarios.
Reduces stress levels
The next one might sound odd, but reading can help reduce stress levels. Based on one study done by the University of Sussex (U.K.), reading brought a 68% reduction in stress levels than with other activities. These activities included:
- Listening to music (61%)
- Having a cup of tea or coffee (51%)
- Going for a walk (41%)
- Playing video games (21%)
The researchers indicated it helps shift your focus while unwinding from other activities. For example, reading a book can help move away from easy distractions such as cell phones. By only taking five-six minutes a day for reading, it can significantly reduce your stress levels down the road.
When I read more often, I feel relaxed
Whenever I find myself reading more often, I notice I’m not as stressed out as usual. I find listening to music, or meditation to be beneficial, but reading is surprisingly an exciting factor. It may be underappreciated, but it should be taken more seriously if it helps bring down stress levels. Moreover, I’ll continue reading more often if it means less stress.
There are a bunch of things to remember when reading a book. It can be the plot, characters, backgrounds, history, and so forth. So it’ll help keep your memories refreshed when you come back to the next chapter. Also, it’ll be less frustrating having to recall some details from a book you’ve read for some time.
How it helps retain my memory
When I read books, I know I’m given the challenge to remember some of the details. Even remembering some of the small things can be important later on in a book. If it’s a book I’m really into, I make sure not to put off reading the book. If I do, I’ll forget what happened and get frustrated with the memory loss.
So my challenge to others is making sure you finish a book in a short time frame. If you put off finishing books, you’ll probably have to start over to refresh your memories.
Overall, there are many benefits to reading books today. Now that we’re two decades into the 21st century, new books are still published and continue to be read by other people. The benefits laid out earlier are ones to improve physical and mental health. Most importantly, improving concentration and reducing stress levels are hugely beneficial to better health. They’re some of the best benefits I’ll continue to keep in mind.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of reading in general. Maybe you’ll consider setting more time to reading over mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds. I know how that feels, and I’ve strayed away from those types of distractions.
If you feel convinced that these benefits are helpful, make some commitments to start reading today. Dust off your bookshelf and pull out an excellent book to read!
What are your thoughts about reading in general? Are you willing to take on the challenge to read daily?
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