Some people will always have an eye on the sales at Waterstones; others might just take a quick peek at the books aisle in Tesco every now and then. Whether you prefer good old-fashioned print, e-books for on-the-go, or listening to audiobooks, everyone is a reader at heart. Reading might remind you of school or seem boring from an outside perspective, but there are actually so many benefits for readers. Here are 20 reasons to read more books in 2020…
1) Develop Your Vocabulary
The more books you read, the more new words you are likely to come across and understand their meaning in context. Expanding your vocabulary improves your command of language and will help you in your everyday life. Having a greater vocabulary will improve your intelligence, and being more articulate will help you throughout your educational and professional career. Other people will perceive you as a knowledgeable and well-spoken person.
2) Improve Your Communication Skills
The more that you read, and the more that you write, the better you will become at communicating. It can be quite difficult to communicate ideas and our understanding of them precisely, but developing these skills is vital to being a good student, a good employee, and a good friend. Reading can help you to understand other people better and understand yourself better, enabling you to communicate effectively in social situations and professional settings.
3) Develop Critical Thinking
Reading sharpens your skills when it comes to critical thinking and decision making. You have to mentally process information in a much more effective way than if you were simply watching a television show. Relating events and comparing perspectives when reading makes you much better at applying analytical skills in many other contexts as well. From social discussions to solving problems, from writing essays to executing projects, this is a vital skill.
4) Improve Your Concentration
Scanning bite-sized chunks of information on your social media feed won’t do much for your focus. Reading a book requires you to fully engage at length, which strengthens your attention span over time. Modern multi-tasking life lowers productivity, so it is important to practice concentration regularly to maintain your ability to focus. This will help you to succeed when it comes to completing academic or professional tasks that require more concentration.
5) Gain More Knowledge
To put it simply, reading makes you smarter. Books are great sources of information on various subjects and help you to learn new facts and contextualise details. Learning about history is invaluable, as is learning about other cultures and places around the world. Reading fiction allows you to learn about things in an entertaining way, which also makes you more likely to retain the information. Frequent readers often display a greater wealth of knowledge.
6) Increase Your Imagination
Creativity is key in having a richer and more fulfilling life, so it is important to fuel your imagination. Reading fiction allows your brain to create images rather than viewing images that have been created for you. Stretching your mind in this way will help your worldview to grow and make you better at coming up with more creative solutions. When you unleash your imagination by reading a book, you grow as a person through mentally experiencing other lives.
7) Boost Your Brain
All this brain activity that occurs when you read a book is excellent for your long-term health. Reading is a form of exercise for your brain, increasing blood flow and improving connectivity. Stimulating and challenging your brain by reading keeps your mind sharper and slows mental decline, which also lowers the risk of developing diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. The mental workout of reading is just as important as physical workouts for your body.
8) Maximise Your Memory
In making your mind smarter and sharper for longer, reading has the effect of strengthening your memory. Reading not only gives you more insight and improves your comprehension skills, but it also forces you to remember a lot of details. You need to remember the characters, settings, subplots, and many threads throughout the narrative. This actually leads to the physical creation of new neural pathways in your brain, boosting all of your mental capacities.
9) De-Stress for Less
The practice of sitting and reading silently to yourself is a kind of meditation, which slows your heart rate and eases muscle tension. Losing yourself in a great story helps you to relax and is a form of escapism, relieving the stresses of everyday life. Another result of reducing stress through reading is that you will sleep better, which leads to increased productivity and self-esteem and eases depression. It can help you spiritually, not just academically.
10) Improve Your Writing
To gain expertise as a writer, you must immerse yourself in the writing of many others. Reading exposes you to a variety of writing techniques in addition to enhancing your imagination and vocabulary. Everything from spelling to cadence can be improved through the influence of absorbing previous works. Even if you are not writing creatively or academically for your career, improved writing skills will come in handy in plenty of scenarios in everyday life.
11) Seek Inspiration
Whether you read an autobiography or a fantasy adventure, a good book can encourage you to become a better person and make changes in your own life. From self-help books to fiction, reading can provide the motivation that might otherwise be lacking in your life. Those who read are more likely to engage with other arts, such as visiting museums and attending concerts, because this promotes engagement with the world and inspires participation.
12) Encourage Empathy
Reading can transport you emotionally, meaning that you feel the emotions of the characters in the book. It can increase your cultural knowledge of people and societies that are different from your own experiences, which develops your empathy and emotional intelligence. Being able to relate to others and discern morals will help you with social relationships and your own development as a person, helping you to make better decisions in life.
13) Become a Better You
Self-improvement is just as important as self-care, and reading is a form of both. Expanding your understanding of the world, building your confidence, connecting with others, and getting better at planning and taking appropriate action can all result from reading books regularly. Becoming smarter, happier, more empathetic, and having greater self-esteem will make you a well-rounded person, both kinder and stronger, and inspire you to challenge yourself.
14) Helpful Hobby
Everyone needs a hobby, so why not make it reading? Books are fun because of their entertainment value – they can be just as enthralling and amusing as a film or television show. They also have all of the added benefits in this list, which makes reading a productive use of time as well as recreational. Books are very portable, particularly if you have an e-reader device, so it is an easy hobby to practice, whether you do so at the weekend or every evening.
15) Learn Practical Skills
Reading, whether fiction or non-fiction, can provide essential guidance on how to perform physical tasks or what to expect from a physical experience. As well as developing your mental skills, you can learn how to develop practical skills, from preparing a meal to studying a language. You can learn about how to use technology that is new to you ow how to handle your personal finances, or what different places are like to visit if you are planning a holiday trip.
16) Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Not worrying and being happy is easier said than done, right? One of the straightforward benefits of reading is that it simply makes the reader feel good. Reading lowers your anxiety levels and improves your overall mental health. The therapeutic process of reading facilitates emotional growth, leading to greater self-belief and acceptance. No matter your age, reading can improve your satisfaction with life and make you feel that what you do is worthwhile.
17) Improve Your Relationships
A side effect of you being a happier, more intelligent, and empathetic person due to reading is that you will find it easier to communicate and connect with other people. From family to friends to romantic partners, you will be better at handling complex emotions. Stories provide a simulation of reality that can guide you on what to do or what not to do in particular situations, and how to treat other people. Reading can open your mind to inclusivity.
18) Get Ahead of the Media
Throughout the history of film and television, many stories have been adapted for screens from novels or book series. This even applies to video games as well. If you want to be in-the-know and ahead of all your friends and colleagues, you can keep tabs on upcoming adaptations and be sure to read it first. It is much more fun to get the full story and imagine it for yourself before viewing someone else’s visual adaptation with a lot of parts missing.
19) Cheap Thrills
Unlike many things in life, reading doesn’t cost much. You can sign up at your local library to borrow books from their stock, and download the BorrowBox app to read e-books or listen to audiobooks on your phone as well. All for free! If you are unable to access library services, you can often buy cheap paperback books from online retailers like Amazon, or buy them secondhand on eBay. If you can afford to spend more, support your local booksellers.
Reading is an activity that you can do anywhere and everywhere. You’ll never be bored waiting for a bus or a train or a plane, or on the journey itself, as long as you have something to read. Even if you don’t have an e-reader and don’t have space to bring a book in your bag, you can download e-books as long as you have a smartphone. This is much more productive than listening to the same playlist for the hundredth time or checking the clock every few seconds.