The 10 Greatest Benefits of Reading
According to a recent study more than 33 percent of US high school graduates never read another book after they graduate. Even among college graduates, more than 42 percent will never read another book after they graduate. If you are one of these people you’re missing out on a lot. There is a world of useful information available to those who take the liberty of reading.
How About You?
When was the last time you read a book or even a substantial magazine article? Or is your reading confined to Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, or the preparation instructions on the back of a box of instant oatmeal? Unfortunately, as Mark Twain pointed out, “A man who does not read has no advantages over a man who cannot read.” Further, those who do not read are missing out on a number of benefits for those who make reading a regular part of their lives. Here are just 10 of those benefits of reading:
Several recent studies have shown that keeping your mind active can slow or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, since just like a muscle the more you use your brain the stronger it gets. It’s literally a matter of “use it or lose it,” but not just with reading. Even puzzles and games (such as chess) can keep your mind stimulated.
Whatever the source of stress in your life, losing yourself in a good book will cause you to be transported to another world, allowing stress to evaporate from your life.
Everything you read exposes you to information that will never let you be the same person again. Regardless of the type of information you are exposed to in books, you will be better prepared to face the challenges the world throws at you. And remember that the world can take everything from you–your home, your family, your health–but it can’t touch anything you have learned.
Want another reason to read? Consider this: although buying one book for each of the 52 weeks in a year will probably set you back about $ 500, a similar year of formal education will probably cost you a minimum of $ 21,000. Besides that, reading whatever you want will teach you what you’re interested in instead of what an academic has picked for you.
It doesn’t matter what you’re interested in, from classical literature, to poetry, fashion, biographies, religious materials, books for young people, self-help books, or romance, there’s something available to make everyone happy that they took the time and trouble to invest in reading.
Being well read and articulate are two characteristics that will take you far in life, whether professionally or personally. Reading widely will help you accomplish this by exposing you to new words that will find their way in your daily vocabulary. After you have gained confidence in your ability to use your expanded vocabulary to greater effect,
Reading books is also critical to learning a new language. Reading books gives those who want to learn a new language exposure to words in context and helps them understand language learning benefits such as conjugation and others.
Practically anything you read will give you some bits of information that you didn’t possess before. And you never know when that bit of information will come in handy. More simply put, the more you know the more you can do.
And if you really want to resist the temptation to put off reading, bring one more fact to mind. In the final analysis, you lose literally everything you have: your home, your friends, your family, your health, your money, and anything else you can think of, but you can’t be robbed of your knowledge. That one thing will be with you however long you live.
Building Your Vocabulary
Regardless of your occupation, the person with the largest vocabulary will stand head and shoulders above those whose storehouse of words isn’t as broad. Also, those with larger vocabularies are looked up to as being more intelligent than others. Having a large vocabulary will help your self-esteem as you are able to prove that you are more articulate and well-read that others around you. Even the simple pursuit of a larger vocabulary will lead you to try reading in other fields such as science, literature, current events, and much more.
Being a good reader will lead you to develop skills that will help you become not only a better reader, but better at other things that require a stronger, more developed memory. Obviously, if you are a reader you need a certain amount of memory in order to make sense of ideas as they develop with the progression of words being read. But this ability to remember will benefit you in countless ways beyond reading, whether it be for reading or practically anything else involved in daily living.
Stronger Analytic Thinking Skills
Have you ever read a book and had the point of it determined before the author got around to telling you? That’s because your analytic thinking skills were at work. And this isn’t just useful if you happen to find yourself reading a mystery. It’s usually in practically anything you read and it shows that you are following as the object of the information progresses. Building stronger analytic thinking skills is a major benefit of reading, as well as a natural byproduct.
Improved Focus and Concentration
Our Internet focused world is growing ever-dependent on a media that spoon-feeds information to them. As a result, it’s little wonder that so many people don’t read any more than they have to. It’s like we are forcing ourselves to be ADD. Instead, keeping our attention focused on a regular program of reading improves our focus, our ability to concentrate on what we are reading and sticking with it until we are given the reward of completion.
Improved Writing Skills
One of the greatest methods of improving our writing is to improve our reading. It might not seem obvious, but it’s true. It’s been proven by numerous studies that when we expose ourselves to good writing we can’t help but retain the lessons learned, even when we stop reading and begin to write. Taking note of the tools that writers use to create their stories has a powerful effect on how we write. In the same manner that painters and musicians become better at their craft by studying the work of the master, so writers improve their own work by studying and imitating the work of their own master craftsmen.
Not only does reading generally cause readers to relax and slow down their breathing and heart rate, but specifically reading spiritual works has a powerful effect on how we think and live. This is besides the learning effects we benefit from by reading self-help books and magazines. Try it. You’ll be a better person for it.
While it might be true that a dollar doesn’t go as far as it once did, doing things like reading cost nothing, just like it always did. Even if you do part with some hard-earned cash to buy a book, you’re still getting far more entertainment with a book than with practically any other means of spending your time, and this doesn’t even count the benefits derived by reading practically anything. On a budget? Countless public libraries offer their entire collections to anyone wanting to use them, all free of charge. And if that’s not a good deal, you will be hard pressed to find a better one. And remember what a wise person once said about books, they’re like a friend you can visit again and again.
Thanks to technology, buying books isn’t even a requirement for reading anymore. With the growing popularity of e-readers, many books are free for the asking via websites such as Amazon, which offers a huge collection of free books in addition to its numerous volumes for sale.
Suffice it to say that there are many ways to get reading materials today. All you need is the desire to read. It’s a skill that will not only teach you many things, but it will serve as the beginning of a love affair that will stick with you for the remainder of your life, and making you a richer person for the effort.