5 Reasons Why You Should Read More
July 14, 2016 12:00 AM EST | 6 min read
A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
― William Styron, Conversations with William Styron
Want to read more but can’t find a good enough reason why?
There are people who worship reading to an extent where it has become a lifestyle.
But when I say read, I don’t mean taking the time to study the nutrition facts on the back of your cereal box or scrolling through tweets and comments on social networking sites.
I mean the grasping-an-actual-book-in-your-hand-and-folding-down-the-page-corners-as-you-go kind.
The sort of books that actually require page-turning and ancient receipts or pieces of paper sticking out between leaves – bookmark style.
Studies prove that to read more actually reduces stress levels.
Curling up with a book and a cup of tea (or coffee) is actually a major stress reliever – and it’s free!
According to a study from the University of Sussex done in 2009, reading for just six minutes is enough to lower stress levels by up to 68 percent.
Take business owners, writers, CEOs, and other professionals who are avid readers, for example.
Although they may lead busy lives, they still find time to read and relax.
So constantly cozying up with your favorite fictional character doesn’t sound too crazy after all.
It’s the ideal rendezvous for the typical bookworm.
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” ― Margaret Fuller
Reading makes you more open to the thoughts and opinions of others.
Brain Connectivity journal published a study in 2014 that proved reading fiction improves the readers’ ability to put themselves in another person’s shoe.
You’d be surprised how many stories and character personalities you’ve absorbed as you build up your reading archive.
In short, the act of reading puts the reader in the body of the protagonist, which expands a person’s emotional intelligence and ability to be more compassionate.
It makes it easier for you to empathize with others.
Seeing the world from the vantage point of Alice (in Wonderland) makes relating to your little sister’s ingenious episodes during playtime or babysitting an easy feat.
For businessmen, this allows for the greater likelihood and willingness of supervisors to seek outside advice and consultation.
For example, managers may call in more meetings to hear more from their employees; others may even be open to the idea of having a coach.
Need more reasons to read more? Here are five.
Adults who spent their downtime doing creative or intellectual activities (like reading) had a 32 percent slower rate of cognitive decline later in life than those who did not, according to a recent study from Rush University Medical Center.
People who read more also less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Reading is to the brain what exercise is to the body.
2. Reading is Therapeutic
Although e-books have become greatly convenient, nothing will compare to reading real printed books.
Reading from Kindle and mobile screens may prove to be slightly calming and entertaining, but in reality it hurts your vision and actually keeps you awake longer.
Relieve yourself from radiation.
To read more, go for the nightlight-reliant option instead.
3. Acclamation for Fiction
“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” ― Atwood H. Townsend
You unconsciously learn things when you read more.
You recall facts and absorb phrases which didn’t seem that important or interesting then, but turn out to be very useful in the present.
Like, L’esprit de l’escalier which translates to “the wit of the staircase”.
Who knew a French term existed for that specific moment when you think of the PERFEC T thing to say in an argument – but, regrettably, two days too late?
Reading helps our mind to concentrate and restores the healthy level of focus we need to succeed in other aspects of our lives.
Every time we read, new memories are created, so our brains are regularly recharged with new details.
Researchers estimate that we learn five to 15 percent of all the words we know through reading, according to a Scholastic report.
You never know when that trivia you came across a week ago will prove to be useful.
Spice up your conversations with allusions from that story you recently read.
Before you know it, you’ve turned into a great conversationalist.
Plus, isn’t a novel more appealing than a textbook or actually studying?
4. Leafing Through Life
Reading gives you hope.
If it was recorded in writing, there’s a great chance it also happened in real life.
Stories we read and can relate to makes us feel less vulnerable and more, well, human.
There are a ton of possibilities and genres just waiting to be explored.
You have the liberty to read whatever you want.
Choose from innocent fairytales to bring out the inner princess and child in you, or mysteries to unleash your investigative skills.
Identifying with character experiences you’ve read along the way can motivate you to take action and achieve your own goals.
You think, if Katniss Everdeen survived a dystopian society, so could I.
You’ve probably read more books about dystopian worlds than you could count.
A greater reading range pretty much makes you ready for anything.
5. Literary Itinerary
Last week, you were probably hanging out with Percy Jackson and his demigod friends.
Tomorrow you plan on meeting up with Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters.
Book that trip you’ve been planning with The Alchemist months ago.
When asked about our favorite book, oftentimes book lovers find it hard to just give one title.
You’ve become part of so many worlds and alternate universes.
What better way to unwind and renew yourself than being in your own little world, uninterrupted?
Holding up a book pretty much screams “Do Not Disturb”.
Indulge yourself in the “good” kind of distraction.
Burying your face in the pages definitely has its perks.
So what are you waiting for?
Read more, feel more.