There is no doubt that reading books is beneficial, but what are the benefits? School and university have led us to believe that books are just important for education but, while that is true, books positively impact our daily lives in many other ways. Here are five reasons why you should endeavour to make reading a habit.
Reading Makes You Smarter
It’s no secret that reading increases your intelligence, and this is done in a variety of ways. Reading non-fiction books allows you to dive deeper into subjects that interest you or simply expand your general knowledge. You will also develop a broader vocabulary by reading a range of topics, both fiction and non-fiction. Reading a variety of writing styles also helps us to pick out things we like and use them in our own lives. Quality writing skills equate to quality communication skills, meaning that reading will allow you to better communicate your ideas. Whether that’s writing emails or even writing your own book, the more you read, the better your writing will be.
Books Expand Your Worldview
Both fiction and non-fiction books can expand your worldview. Non-fiction books give you facts and real-life examples of how people live in other countries, how historical events have impacted the world, and how we can improve as humans, while fiction books expand our worldview more subtly. Perhaps a situation occurred in a fiction novel which unsettled you, perhaps you would prefer to focus on a problem in a different way – there are numerous ways that books can alter the way we see the world and improve our understanding of it.
Reading Improves Mental Stimulation
Studies have shown that reading improves mental stimulation leading to enhanced brain function which impacts our ability to concentrate and our memory. Mental stimulation is vital as it has been proven to slow down the onset of dementia. We exercise our bodies, so why not our brains?
Books Can Help Us Sleep
Although going on your phone or laptop before bed may sound like a relaxing way to spend the evening, it actually stimulates our brains and makes it harder to fall asleep. Books, however, don’t produce harsh light (that damages our eyes) and relax our brains, making it an ideal activity to commence before sleep. If you read before bed, you will feel your body preparing for sleep, contrary to the wide-awake feeling that we experience after scrolling on our phones.
Reading Reduces Stress
Reading allows us to immerse ourselves in another world and focus our minds on something other than our problems. Although fiction books do this more effectively than non-fiction, concentrating on an interesting article will have a similar effect. It is important to reduce stress not just to make ourselves feel better, but also to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and other related health issues.
This list is not exhaustive, there are in fact many other benefits to reading that have been highlighted by studies. Life may be busy, but the positive impacts of books show that it is worth finding the time to read and make it a daily habit.