As a young child, books weren’t exactly my best friends. While in school, I had to memorize countless entire lessons – word for word – and when my mother tested my knowledge, if I was off even by a word, the book became a weapon. Smack in the head with it! And back to memorizing some more, I was.
My grandma loved reading. She had entire shelves filled with books. She preferred the steamy romances but there were all types of genres of books amongst all the literature she collected. Books that I never had an opportunity to indulge in and explore because my distaste for books as a child was pretty deeply engraved. After all, books were used to beat me over the head with, so you cannot blame me too much for it.
Luckily as I grew older I started to appreciate the value of reading and I realized all the benefits of reading. And books became my friends. I wasn’t their fault after all that they were being abused and mistreated. I hope that books and reading, in general, becomes a hobby for everyone sooner or later. For there are endless benefits to reading. The following are some benefits that I personally found helpful since I became a fan of reading.
Brain Power and Health
- Brain Power and Health
There have been many studies that have shown how important it is to keep the brain active for it to stay healthy as long as possible. Just as the rest of our body that needs to stay active and needs to exercise, so does the brain. Reading is a great exercise for the brain to keep it engaged. So are puzzles, chess, and any other thinking games. So pick up a book and stay younger longer!
- Improved Vocabulary
Reading is one of the best ways to improve our vocabulary. We could pick up a dictionary and start memorizing words from it. Hopefully, there isn’t anyone testing us and beating us over the head with the dictionary if we get something wrong in the process. But reading is a much better alternative. It teaches us new words and it puts them in the appropriate contexts for us. When we read we can pick a couple of new words we came across and start using them. This way they become embedded in our memory bank without having to memorize them like robots.
Improved Communication Skills
- Improved Communication Skills
Communication is literally part of our everyday life. It is part of our personal, social, and professional environments. Everything we do and are part of involves communication to a certain extent. All of our relationships depend greatly on our capacity to adequately communicate. Relationships can make it or break it solely on our communication skills or lack thereof. By improving our vocabulary our communication skills will improve without even much effort.
- Overall Knowledge
Having a broad overall knowledge can be very helpful in many situations in our lives. It can help us socialize and network with people from different backgrounds. The benefit of acquiring overall knowledge can also come in handy at some unexpected time where that random information can be put to use. I haven’t heard anyone say “you have too much knowledge” to this day. So go get those books, about whatever they may be, and devour them.
- Different Perspectives
This one may see as an unimportant reason or benefit to read. But if you really think about it, often we are stuck in our own little worlds, and see life from a dark narrow tunnel. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just know what other people are thinking to help us understand them and the world a little better? Well, reading does exactly that. It helps us broaden our perspectives. It helps us see experiences from completely different angles. It helps us become kinder and more understanding. And isn’t this what our world needs? Kinder, more compassionate, understanding and loving people? All we have to do is read.
Develop Critical Thinking
- Develop Critical Thinking
Developing critical thinking is a skill that all of us can benefit from on a daily basis. Whether we are at work, hiking, traveling, home, school, in space, or anywhere else you can think of, critical thinking can serve us really useful. Just as reading helps us see the world from different perspectives it also helps us develop our critical thinking.
Improve Writing Skills
- Improve Writing Skills
Improving our writing skills may seem somewhat unnecessary for some of us since we don’t hold jobs that “require” much writing or any writing at all. But if we really give it a thought, we use writing much more often than we may believe. We write emails, resumes, proposals, contracts, letters, for either personal or professional reasons. Improving our writing skills can make the difference between a raise or a demotion. Not all of us write blogs but all of us have to communicate with someone in writing at some point. We might as well spruce up on it by simply reading. When it will eventually come down to having to write something, after reading on a regular basis, it will be much easier to do so. It might even be something good!
For all these reasons and many more, we must give reading the importance that it deserves. It has to become part of our daily habits, even if it is only for 10-20 minutes. Anything is better than nothing. Consistency will most likely drive you to make it a priority after you fall in love with it.
There are multitude genres of literature that I am certain everyone can find something they can enjoy. My grandma had the steamy romances she loved to immerse herself in, you can have whatever rocks your world. And no, as convenient as reading on your phone, a tablet or a phone, it just isn’t the same. It is nothing like reading a book. No ads, no distractions, no bright lights, or flashing reminders. Only you and your book. So what are you waiting for? Dive into a book of your choice and re-kindle your imagination!
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