Top 10 Reasons To Read More Books

Top 10 Reasons To Read More Books

Okay, I don’t want to be the one, but I read for fun, and I can finish a book in a day. So, you would be correct to say that I’ve read my fair share of books in my time. I also did an English degree and currently working on a master’s in linguistics, so trust me when I tell you I know what I am talking about. I’m a big advocate for reading, and I want more and more people to read more.

You can read books on your phone, and you have your books anywhere with you, and you can read them on the go. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of the benefits of reading books.

1. Reading keeps our brain healthy

According to a 2013 study published in the journal Neurology, reading would slow down the brain’s cognitive decline in old age. Of the 294 participants in the study, those who engaged in mentally stimulating activities such as reading throughout their lives experienced a slower decline in memory than others.

In 2011, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences had already published the results of a survey revealing that adults who practiced a hobby where the brain played an important role, such as reading and crossword puzzles, had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, the researchers admitted that this was not an association between cause and effect.

The brain is a muscle like any other, so it must be kept in shape.

2. Reduces stress

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Whether it’s work-related stress or everyday worries, it doesn’t matter; reading reduces our state of anxiety. According to a study conducted by the University of Sussex in 2009, researchers found that readers’ muscle tension relaxed, and their heart rate calmed down after just six minutes of reading.

A book distracts us, makes us dream, transports us into another dimension, and allows us to focus and take a step back from what is stressing us. I take a long bath to relax every other day, I get myself a good glass of wine and my current read, and I just lay there in my bathtub relaxing. For me, this is what self-love and care look like 

3. Improves knowledge

When we read, we feed our brains with new information, and we never know when it will be useful. The more knowledge we have, the better equipped we are to face new challenges. Here’s some food for thought for you. If you lose everything in your life – your job, your possessions, even your health – remember that your knowledge can never be taken away.

4. Enriches your vocabulary

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Speaking clearly is a great asset, whatever your profession. The more you read, the more words you accumulate, which will become part of your daily vocabulary. In addition, knowing that you are improving your speaking skills boosts your self-esteem.

It can also help your career, as people who can read well speak on various topics tend to get promoted faster (and more often) than people with a weaker vocabulary and lack of knowledge.

5. Improves memory

To fully understand a book, you have to memorize a lot of information: the characters, their backgrounds, their intentions, their experiences, then the nuances, and all the secondary actions that intertwine with the main action. That’s a lot of information to remember, but the brain is a miraculous organ that will remember it with surprising ease.

The amazing thing is that every time we form a new memory, we create new synapses (areas of contact between neurons) and solidify existing synapses. This means that reading, by forming new memories, will increase our ability to retain short-term memories and regulate our mood. Pretty good, huh!

6. Improves attention and concentration

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Our ability to concentrate is under attack from all sides in our internet and multi-tasking societies. In five minutes, the average person will divide their time between working on a task, checking their email, exchanging messages with several people simultaneously (Facebook, Skype, etc.), reading their Twitter account, checking their smartphone, and holding a conversation; with their colleagues! This hyperactive behaviour generates stress and slows down productivity.

When we read a book, it’s the opposite. All our attention is directed to the plot of the book. It’s as if the rest of the world dissolves. In the morning, try 15-20 minutes of reading before working (on the bus or subway, for example). You will be surprised by the positive effect on your concentration level once you get to work.

7. Develop analytical skills

Have you ever read a good detective story and guessed who the killer was before the book was even finished? If so, you have demonstrated good critical and analytical skills: you have synthesized all the details provided to do real detective work.

This ability to analyze details is also beneficial when critiquing the action of a book: you can judge whether it is well written, whether the characters are well developed, whether the plot flows smoothly, etc.

If you have to exchange your opinion on a book with another person one day, this ability to analyze will allow you to express your opinion clearly. Why? Because you will have internally analyzed and criticized the relevant details while reading.

8. Helps you sleep better

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Many sleep experts recommend a relaxing routine before bed to calm the mind and prepare the body for sleep. Reading (with a nightlight) can be a great help, as long as the book isn’t an impossible-to-put-down thriller. And we’re talking about paper books instead because the light from electronic devices signals the brain that it’s time to get up, which prevents falling asleep quickly.

9. Increases empathy skills

According to a 2013 Dutch study, people who get caught up in fiction show more empathy. A more recent study, published in July 2016, tended to the same conclusions. In this one, participants looked at 36 photos of different people’s eyes.

They were asked to choose from four words chosen to designate their state of mind and pick the one they thought best matched. It turned out that participants who regularly read fiction were more successful than others in finding out what emotion the person whose eye they saw was feeling.

10. Bring joy and pleasure

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Finally, reading is good for your mood and gives you a comforting pleasure, like enjoying a sweet treat or a square of chocolate. So, regular readers or you, who are still hesitating to become one, choose a novel, a text that pleases you, excites you, and transports you, whatever its genre. The taste and passion for reading come from pleasure and not from constraint.

Sound off in the comment section below and tell us your favorite book. I’d like to end this blog with a quote from my favorite author. Read On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous, one of the most powerful quotes in the book for me is:

I am writing because they told me to never start a sentence with because. But I wasn’t trying to make a sentence—I was trying to break free. Because freedom, I am told, is nothing but the distance between the hunter and its prey.”