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Benefits & Importance of Reading Books


Whether you’re seeking to expand your vocabulary, become more proficient in a new language you’re learning, or learn a new skill or find new data about history and other topics, reading books has been the way to do it ever since printing became a thing.

Even before that, ancient scholars who wrote books with a quill and ink would pay close attention to make the books they were creating beautiful and easy to read because they understood the importance of reading a book.

Nowadays, books are readily available in all shapes and sizes, and the cost of writing and publishing your book has come down to the point where pretty much anyone who has something to tell to the world can write their novel, memoir, or some other type of literature and publish it fairly easily.

Now, as far as reading is concerned, modern-day readers face a peculiar problem – there are so many books out there that it can become difficult to choose which ones to read and which ones to skip.

Importance of Reading Books

Why are books important?

Reading books is important because It improves your ability to focus, remember, empathize, and communicate with other people.

It helps your mental, emotional, and psychological development. There is always something new to learn in a book. Books make you smarter and more knowledgeable.

Taking the time to read a book can be revolutionary for your life.

Even if you are not a fan of reading, you might change your mind once you hear about its benefits. Is it possible that reading, something so fun and easy, can contribute hugely to your life? It certainly can! No matter how old or young we are, a book can help us learn and understand things.

The benefits of reading do not end here.

There are some researched data about the importance of reading a book:

  • Using MRI scans, researchers at the National Institutes of Mental Health found that Reading strengthens your brain
  • An EU study of 5,280 men in wiley online library showed that reading outside of school-related reading increases their income by 21%.
  • Studies show that fiction readers with long-term commitments have more developed mental models
  • Matthew effects: Reading books regularly from an early age helps students build a large vocabulary
  • According to this study, 30 minutes of reading a book can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and psychological distress
  • Research conducted in 2009 by researchers at the University of Sussex found that reading before bed can help you sleep better.
  • Northcentral University stated in their blog that a little bit of reading each day can help you stay focused and also improve your memory.
  • The more books you read, the better the writer you will become
  • It can greatly enhance a person’s imagination if he or she is reading books
  • No matter your age or interest, reading can provide endless entertainment
  • In addition to higher reading scores (especially on children’s books), greater exposure to vocabulary leads to higher scores on general intelligence tests
  • Reading helped patients with depression feel more socially connected according to a study from the University of Liverpool
  • Reading a book enables you to understand others

Note:

Of course, not all books are equal in their value, as some are seen as mere pulp fiction, and the others as seen as the classics of world literature. For example, the words of Dostoyevsky or Shakespeare have been held in high esteem ever since they were published.

On the other hand, there are many important non-fiction books out there – from how-to-guides for learning how to code in C++, cookbooks with various recipes, all the way to autobiographies and historical records.

In this article, we will talk about the benefits of reading books, whatever your genre or type of literature of choice is. As you will see, other than expanding your knowledge about the subject you’re reading about, reading, in general, also comes with many other benefits.

Without further ado, here’s the deal.

9 Benefits of Reading Books

1. Larger Vocabulary

One of the more obvious benefits of reading books would be that you will have a stronger vocabulary.

Of course, the type of books you read has a lot to do with what sort of new vocabulary you pick up.

For example, if you read many cookbooks, chances are – you will learn a lot of words such as Bratwurst, hors d’oeuvre, cappuccino, and many others. This isn’t just limited to foreign words, but also to many words in your language that you didn’t know. For example, many spices, such as juniper berries or caraway seeds, are pretty rare, so you probably wouldn’t know about them if you aren’t a professional cook.

So, reading a cookbook can help you learn these new words you otherwise would have never known.

On the other hand, if you read novels such as those written by Laurence Sterne, or Charles Dickens, you can massively expand your vocabulary with new nouns and adjectives that you can use to describe notions in a precise way.

If you’re a car mechanic and you’re only a beginner, for example, you can read some books about car parts and car repairs to learn new words such as calipers, differential, junkyard, inspection, robotic, thermostat, and many others.

The same goes for pretty much any field and discipline from medicine to history, science, all the way to gardening and model-building.

An extensive vocabulary also improves one’s problem-solving abilities at work. A Poll reported that 69 percent of Employers sought workers with “soft” skills, such as communication skills, in their hiring process

2. Dementia Prevention

If you have a family history of dementia or any related disease with memory loss, reading books and learning new skills, in general, can be a great way to prevent it down the road.

For example, if your grandparents or parents had dementia, a great way to prevent such a disease from affecting you would be to read books and constantly keep your brain engaged in new and interesting pursuits.

Many scientific studies concentrate on Alzheimer’s disease, which points to reading and solving math problems as a great way to greatly reduce the risk of developing such disease later on in your life.

The logic behind this is that by keeping your mind busy and constantly training it with stimulating input (such as reading, learning new skills, and so on), you promote brain health, which automatically means a smaller chance of developing dementia as you grow older.

3. Stress Reduction

Sitting down to read is in itself a pretty relaxing thing to do since you aren’t physically engaged other than turning the pages. (Or swipe right or left if you’re using one of those reading contraptions.)

Add to that the fact that reading the stuff you like makes you happier and keeps your brain engaged, and it’s not difficult to see why reading can be such a great stress-reducing activity.

One of the greatest things about reading is that you inevitably will learn something along the way. (As long as you’re reading high-quality books, of course. If you’re not, reading can be stressful and leave you annoyed.)

So, sitting down with a book you like will not only lower your stress levels but also keep your brain engaged, and you will also likely memorize new words and thoughts that you find interesting.

4. You Fall Asleep Easier

You probably already know this, but reading can help you fall asleep easier.

This is not just in case you read boring books, of course, as reading a book you find interesting will stimulate your brain just enough, so that you will feel a need to rest afterward.

Here’s a thing you need to pay attention to, though – if you want to read to help you fall asleep, make sure to read a paper book, rather than using any contraption such as one of those Kindle devices.

While there’s nothing wrong with these devices, the light that’s coming from the screen will make your eyes hurt (even though most of these devices have special lighting features to reduce this effect, it’s still present nevertheless), so sticking to paper books will be a better option if you want to read to fall asleep easier.

5. Great Against Depression

If you’re suffering from depression, one of the best natural remedies would be to find some activity that stimulates you and makes you happy.

Finding a hobby that can keep your mind occupied for the time being can truly make a difference between being sad all day and finding a little bit of motivation to work and do other activities that otherwise may seem impossible if you’re depressed.

Now, if this hobby or activity can even help you learn something new, that’s even better, and one of the best hobbies you can pick up if you’re suffering from depression would certainly be reading.

Reading helps you escape reality in a controlled way, so to speak, as it helps you turn on your imagination. (Of course, doing too much of this is not recommendable, as shunning real-life human interactions in favor of only reading can be counterproductive.)

That said, reading for half an hour or so every day can be a great way to release tension, relax, and learn something new. This way, you’ll have an easier time facing your other daily tasks and responsibilities, too.

6. You Gain Knowledge

If the first entry in this article about learning new vocabulary was obvious, then this entry about gaining more knowledge from reading is even more obvious.

Books are one of the primary sources for learning new things – you can see this in action in schools and universities across the world.

Of course, you’re not only limited to read books while you’re at school, as you can always expand your knowledge by reading new books on the topics that you find interesting.

The best way to acquire new knowledge is always to pair up your reading with a practical part, so to speak, so that you can apply your new knowledge in a real-life situation.

For example, if you are reading a programming book, let’s say in Python programming language, the best way to learn this new skill is to use the program as you’re reading the book.

That way, the information you’re reading off of a page can be translated into a real result on a computer as you make progress creating something in that programming language.

It’s a similar story with languages, in general.

Let’s say you are learning Spanish and you are reading a book about Spanish grammar. Reading this book can help you grasp the various grammatical structures and parts of speech, but you will make much more progress if you also practice speaking with someone (or, even with yourself, as a form of practice) than if you just stuck to reading.

7. Better Memory

No matter what sort of book you are reading, chances are – if the book has any valuable information in it, you will end up remembering a lot of it along the way.

The thing is, even if you’re reading a fiction novel, for example, simply by remembering the names of the characters, the locations they visit, and the things that they do, you unknowingly practice memorizing various concepts.

Of course, the fact that reading improves your memory is even more obvious if you’re reading some scientific book or even some sort of manual or how-to-guide for doing something.

If we take that Spanish grammar book we talked about in the paragraphs above as an example, by reading it, you have to memorize different grammatical rules, which not only helps you become more knowledgeable in the Spanish language, so to speak, but it’s also great for improving your memory, in general.

8. Improved Concentration

If you take your time to read a book, regardless of its topic, this means you have to relax and concentrate on understanding what you’re reading.

While you can always skim-read something and jump from page to page to get through it quicker, if you truly concentrate on understanding what you’re reading, this will also help you have an easier time concentrating on other tasks and actions in your life.

This is particularly important nowadays, when many people spend a lot of their time on the Internet, browsing through endless pages of content that’s low-quality and readily available.

Therefore, taking your time to concentrate on a certain task is a skill that seems to be getting shunned nowadays in favor of quick results.

9. Entertainment Value

Speaking of quick results and easy-to-consume media, reading books represents one of the great ways to entertain yourself.

Many people today unjustly view reading as a boring activity that only nerds and scholars engage in.

The truth is, of course, that books offer some of the highest quality of entertainment available, and what’s more – it’s pretty inexpensive and easy to acquire, so to speak.

A good book can keep you engaged for hours, and even after you’ve finished reading it, you can still derive plenty of entertainment value from it by thinking about it or even writing a review if you feel it impacted you in a particular way.

When it comes to procuring books, your local book store is not your only choice. You can find many free books online, and you can even order books from Amazon and other online vendors fairly easily, so you can rest assured that you will never run out of books to read – even if you don’t have that much money.

Last but not least, if you’re a fan of some TV shows, especially fantasy ones, many of them are based on novels, so you can even relive some of your favorite TV shows or films by reading the book or books they were based on. (Lord of the Rings would be a great example of this.)

So Why should we read books?

A matter of choice

For $5, you can buy a pizza or a book. Let’s compare the situation in both the cases-

Pizza-

1) It lasts around 30 minutes.

2) Increases body weight, which is bad.

3) Can’t eat alone.

4) Leaves the body as poop in a few days.

5) Increases the cost of healthcare.

Books:

1) You will remember it forever.

2) Possess the power to change your mind

3) You acquire more knowledge.

4) Easily read in silence, completely alone.

5) Become your best companion

I think the choice is pretty obvious. Despite this, I see so many people making wrong choices every day!

Books have played an essential role in mankind since printing presses came into existence. Yet, did you know that you have a strong scientific reason for reading a book?

Science has proven the benefits of reading. Here is why reading books is a good idea based on science.

You learn new ideas and solve problems by reading

A good book makes you think, enlightens you, and introduces you to new ideas. 

If you are reading a non-fiction book or a novel, you can learn new skills and sharpen your problem-solving abilities. You become more intelligent by reading, more simply.

Self-discipline comes from reading

When you commit to reading a book, reading as a hobby can provide many benefits. However, many people overlook it because it requires extreme self-discipline.

It takes some consistency and self-discipline to read a book from start to finish. In the end, reading regularly will always pay off, and you can also practice self-discipline in other areas of your life.

Reading improves your skills

Are you interested in learning how to make delicious meals, how to use social media as a marketing tool, or how to start woodworking?

Nowadays, you can easily learn everything you need to know about just about anything by reading a book about it. In another word, reading is the best method for learning about an area of interest.

It is an amazing ability to have to be able to learn about any subject for the price of the books you purchase.

Reading makes you feel confident

To move forward with our goals, we all need a little inspiration from time to time. Inspiration can come from a variety of sources, but getting ideas from great books is an excellent place to start.

Reading stimulates creativity and inspires you with new ideas, characters, and perspectives.

Reading books is linked to a longer life

Those who read books for 30 minutes daily lived an average of 23 months longer than those who didn’t read or read magazines, according to Yale research. In addition to improving vocabulary and thinking skills, reading books creates cognitive engagement that can improve a variety of cognitive processes. Additionally, it affects social perception, emotional intelligence, and empathy, all of which are critical for people to stay healthy and alive.

Reading is essential for success

Those who achieve high success are always looking for new ways to improve. More than a hundred successful executives have shared with me the books that helped them achieve their goals. What is the best place to start? Some books that have repeatedly appeared on their lists are; The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz; Shoe Dog by Phil Knight; Good to Great by Jim Collins; and Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson.

You can experience many realities through reading.

Our lives are all filled with unique roles. Although we are happy with the job we have, we still dream about living on another continent, working at a different job, or even becoming someone completely different. A book releases us from the constraints of reality, even if it is only for a moment. We are taken into someone else’s world and become a part of that world. The elusive “What if?” question is satisfied by them.”.

Reading helps you remember things

There is more to reading than discovering new things. Reflection is also facilitated by it. Often, bibliophiles discover they love to read by revisiting childhood memories, like being read to by their parents. (Does anyone remember Winnie the Pooh, Dr. Seuss, or Enid Blyton?) Reading about familiar places, times, and people helps us recollect some details of our own lives. This helps us understand ourselves, where we come from, and how we got here.

Reading helps you forget negative things

In addition to chronic escapism not being healthy, dwelling on stressful life circumstances all the time is also not. Focusing on something other than your challenges can be highly beneficial and even necessary in short doses. Reading can help replace negative thinking in a healthy and productive way, just like exercise. Your mind can rest here until you have the strength to overcome them.

If gives you the best companion

Throughout your lifetime, you will go through many transitions. New schools, jobs, or cities may prove to be more difficult to adjust to than you anticipated. Books are a reliable companion when you feel like no one can help you.

Reading improves your ability to speak

Another no-brainer: reading expands your vocabulary. Although this may seem like common sense, Canadian researchers have confirmed it in a 2001 study. Could you imagine reading all those fancy words and learning and using fancy words at the same time? Most likely everyone.

Conclusion

All in all, whether you want to do it to learn new skills, or you like to learn about new things and acquire new skills, reading can be one of the best ways to do it.

Also, if you take into consideration the fact that books reduce stress and provide endless entertainment, you can see why reading is probably one of the best activities to engage in – whether you do it as a hobby or for professional reasons.

We hope you found the benefits of reading books in this article helpful, and we hope you come across plenty of interesting books.




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