You may have noticed that I have a thing for reading. If you are just starting out and want to know some of the benefits or wish to convert someone with a book-o-phobia of reading, you may want to find justification in the following text.
First of all, Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful festive season and were able to relax with your loved ones. To start off 2019 with a lightweight and yet important topic, I would like to discuss some of the most important reasons why you should start reading.
I mean, many people talk about the importance of it – but why exactly? What concrete benefits do we get when we indulge in a book? After all, in a quickly changing world where technology offers instantaneous entertainment and pleasure, one needs to know why one should dedicate so much time to a hobby which will take longer to deliver.
Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most important reasons to read. Without much further ado, here we go!
Reading can teach you things
This should be obvious, but reading can teach you a whole range of things. Even in fiction, you may be confronted with details as to how particular things are done, or it may give you a metaphorical representation of real-life situations you may find useful to read about ‘in theory’.
The reason why reading is an effective method to learn stuff is because it forces you to slow down and concentrate. Rather than half-listening to a lecture or falling asleep while watching a documentary, your brain is active as you decipher the meaning of a given text in front of you. Furthermore, while reading you learn ‘alongside’, i.e. without searching for the knowledge, you nevertheless get it, which can stick in your brain much more effortlessly.
Reading improves your use of language
Another obvious one but reading greatly improves your language use – not just in terms of vocabulary, but also in grammar, style and, syntax. You learn new words and new ways of forming sentences and thus get to know the whole potential of any given language.
Considering we read, write and speak every day of our lives, this is obviously incredibly important. If your articulation is more impressive and comes across as more elegant, you are bound to have more success in life than if you utter strange guttural sounds whenever someone asks you for something.
Reading helps you focus and concentrate
Ironically, one of the main reasons some people dislike reading is also one of its main benefits: focus and concentration. Unlike films where you can just switch off (although you may lose touch and not find your way in), books require your undivided attention.
Regular reading will train your brain to attain and maintain focus. By staring at a page and watching how words form sentences and create a whole story, you are teaching yourself to remain sturdy and concentrate on what you are reading. These are skills increasingly lost in our tech-driven world.
Reading encourages your creativity
Reading enhances your ability to think creatively and rekindles your imagination. This is based on the fact that words are, well, just words, rather than concrete sounds or images. But as the text forms a story (in fiction, at least), your imagination creates an entire world in your mind.
‘So what’, I hear you say? Well, thinking creatively and using your imagination is another key skill required during your entire life. Problem-solving skills, abstraction, thinking ‘outside the box’ are all linked to your creative intelligence. And reading will help you!
Reading is cheap and fun entertainment
For those who are already into reading it may seem more obvious than to newcomers, but reading is unbelievably entertaining – and also unbelievably cheap. Buying books second-hand or borrowing them from the library are only two ways to get hours of entertainment for little or nothing.
In our day and age when we have access to the internet, free or cheap reading material is even more abundant. Getting tired while reading on-screen? Then buy an ebook-reader – they are comparatively cheap and imitate the feeling of reading a printed book. There’s really no excuse; reading has never been cheaper than now.
Reading can provide room for bonding
You know how people bond over similar interests, like smokers always seem to hang out together? Well, the same can be said for readers. But instead of asking what films you’ve seen recently, you can now discuss your newest finds in the world of literature.
Talking about books with your peers is great exercise for your mind. Not only are you practicing your memory, but you are also gaining a greater understanding of the book through your conversation partner’s approach to it.
As you can see, the benefits of reading are manifold. There are virtually no downsides to picking up a book and indulging in this great pastime. Just make sure not to lose yourself completely when you get addicted and forget to live.
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