7 Amazing Reasons To Read Books
By Kat Gal
7 Amazing Reasons To Read Books
I just checked my Goodreads account and it looks like I have already read 105 books. It’s not surprising, though: I love to read. I used to spend my summer holidays reading book after book and my passion has never died.
While I really love reading fiction and memoirs, I also enjoy non-fictions books. I usually have 2-3 books going at the same time: one novel and one or two non-fictions on health, healing, personal development, psychology, or travel.
Besides being an enjoyable activity for many, reading has actually many benefits.
Here are the top 7 benefits of reading you’ve probably never thought about:
1. Reading Makes You A Better Person.
A study done by Emory University compared the brains of people after they read to people who didn’t read anything and found differences in the brain through brain scans. Reading makes you visualize and feel the emotions in the book. This is not surprising and your personal experiences likely line up with these findings, but now it’s proven by science too.
Another study done by the New School for Social Research in New York found that reading fiction improves your ability to recognize and to understand the emotions of other people. This is a very important skill you can use in all areas of your life in social relationships. You can learn it just by reading. Who knew?
2. Reading Reduces Stress In Your Life
This is another one that has been shown through many personal experiences, but now there is actual evidence for it too. Dr. David Lewis, neuroscientist, found that reading reduces stress levels by 68%. Reading also lowers your heart rate. Surprisingly this is much higher than walking, which reduces stress by 42%. I wonder what happens if you read while walking? (Be careful if you try this, not to trip on something). Research has found that just 6 minutes of reading can reduce stress. That is really not so much, you can do it!
3. Reading Makes You Smarter
This is probably not surprising either, but according to a 2013 study, children who read for fun do exponentially better at school than those who don’t, especially when looking at children between ages 12 and 16. The key is to read for pleasure, though, not by force. Reading not only helps children to perform better in reading and spelling, but also in math and general information processing.
4. Reading Is Good For Your Relationships
According to Ken Page, psychotherapist, when couples read the same or similar books it helps their relationships and bonding experiences when discussing their experiences and ideas about it. Furthermore, as Ella Berthoud, bibliotherapist, explains that reading together can help to rediscover your connection with your love or to discover new aspects of each other.
5. Reading Makes You Speak Better
Reading obviously helps you to acquire a wider vocabulary and to learn new and creative ways to use a language. Using your new fancy words when speaking will make you sound smarter, more interesting and more fun to listen to. Reading also makes you a better writer by learning the twists and turns of a language, as well as ways to pull a story together.
6. Reading Prevents Alzheimer’s
Keeping your brain active and sharp is the best way to protect yourself from Alzheimer’s (along with a brain-friendly diet, of course). Reading is a great way to do that. A 2001 research study had found that elderly people who read regularly or challenged their brains through other mental games are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. No matter how old you are, it is never too early and never too late to start reading.
7. Reading Keeps Your Brain Sharp
Even if you are not worried about Alzheimer’s, it is important to keep your brain sharp to navigate through life. A study published in the American Academy of Neurology found that people who read regularly throughout their life show much better memory and mental abilities at all stages of their lives versus those who don’t read at all or stop reading at one point. Reading is actually very important throughout your entire life: from your childhood all the way to old age.
Do you like to read? What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Do you prefer fiction or nonfiction? What are you currently reading? Share your answers in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.
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Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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