With the steady decline in people’s reading culture, you may ask yourself: what are the benefits of reading?
Some believe reading has no substantial benefits to offer to a generation fast becoming so glued to their phone. They sneak in and out of their social media on their smart devices, hoping they don’t get stuck in smartphone addiction.
But American entrepreneur, writer, and film producer Walt Disney had a different philosophy concerning reading. He once said: “There is more treasure in books than in all the Pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”
Sounds mesmerizing, right?
Walt’s quote suggests several benefits of reading yet to be enjoyed by many– including you. A study in the USA on over 2000 adults in 2018 confirmed that.
Findings from this survey showed that 85% of these adults admitted that reading physical books can help people to learn about history. Also, 81% believed they could learn about different cultures through reading.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg. So ensure you read till the end of the post to learn and know more than five (5) benefits of reading.
Top 10 Benefits of Reading You Should Know
- Stabilize your mood and reduce Stress
- Increase the content of your vocabulary reservoir
- Improve your ability to focus and concentrate
- Keep you informed and well-exposed
- Spark up your creativity and imagination
- Increased analytical skills
- Foster superb communication skills
- Travel beyond your physical space
- Get you entertained for FREE
- Boost your overall mental health
What are the Benefits of Reading? All Explained
1. Stabilize your mood and reduce Stress
You’ll agree that we all live a busy life, though in a slight variation. We attend to work, family, friends, and other things in between technology and our daily lives.
A media researcher Amy Watson surveyed to discover the advantages of reading books in the USA. From her findings, she observed that respondents noted that part of the benefits of reading books is that it helps one reduce stress levels.
But beyond this data, you most likely would be able to relate to this benefit of reading if you look inwardly.
Have you ever been engrossed between pages while reading a fascinating novel in your favorite genre? (Perhaps romance, fairy tales, humor, fantasy, or otherwise.)
If yes, the effect is most likely evident to you and anyone who observed your mood or countenance before the reading session began. I’ve experienced that a good number of times.
2. Increase the content of your vocabulary reservoir
This is one of the benefits of reading that applies across ages, both children and adults. Whenever we read well-written content such as books, articles, blogs, magazines, and newsletters, we often come across new words, phrases, or idioms.
And these, all together, add up to our “vocabulary tank”.
So we keep filling it as we continue to read (and learn) in whatever language we can. Perhaps in English, Dutch, French, or as the case may be.
3. Improve your ability to focus and concentrate
The art of reading teaches one self-discipline in a way. Because you have to get settled before you can read or study effectively.
But beyond that, the more you read, the more your ability to concentrate and focus gets strengthened. That’s true because you don’t get a message out of a chunk of text, just looking with your eyes.
Instead, your eyes and your brain must work in sync to grasp whatever piece of writing you’re reading. Interestingly, you can transfer this power to concentrate and focus meaningfully on other areas of your lives. Even in our physical and interpersonal relationships with others.
4. Keep you informed and well-exposed
Well-known American author and screenwriter Ray Bradbury once said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
I couldn’t agree more with him.
However, while that quote emphasizes culture, it passed a subtle message that people’s culture and lifestyle get shaped by their exposure and the information they have. Right? And one of the reliable sources of information available to anyone across the globe, whether black or white, is books.
Yes, reading books. Because what you read influences your thoughts and actions. It can be any area of your life. For instance, if you’re having issues with your personal finance, you can get at least five (5) books on that subject and consume them.
On that note, you can get quality information on any subject, niche, or genre you desire to learn. It is easier today than it was in the past, considering the role of technology and the rate at which books get published worldwide daily.
5. Spark up your creativity and imagination
Reading stimulates your creativity and imagination, even as you process what you’re trying to deposit into your brain. As said earlier, the art of reading is a conscious one. It doesn’t happen by accident.
You’ll have to process every word, text, punctuation, and different character (especially in the case of novels). Only then will they make sense to you. And this, in the long run, continues to stimulate and strengthen your “imaginative muscles.”
With that said, you’ll agree that children whose parents read beautiful stories to them while growing up– and before bedtime, tend to exemplify excellent imaginative competence and creativity.
6. Increased Analytical skills
While analytical skills are part of the skills employers look for in their job candidates, you develop them. And a sure way to do that is reading that— though not a direct approach. That’s because we don’t read primarily to analyze.
But that’s what we end up doing each time we read any piece of writing. Whether it’s a post on social media, a blog article like this, or a book you ordered from an e-commerce store like Amazon.
You analyze and synthesize the expressions of the writer. From the texts, tenses, part of speech, and idioms, to the tone of the writing, amongst other things. Because that’s the only way you can gain a concrete understanding of what you’re reading— and the full benefits of reading.
7. Foster superb Communication Skills
Have you observed that most readers are often good writers? That’s because reading helps improve your writing skills. Not only that, one advantage reading gives you is that it enables you to articulate your thoughts well. Both in writing and words.
In other words, committing yourself to read daily for at least 30 minutes will enhance your ability to communicate in personal or professional situations. It could be with a friend, family member, or your colleagues at work. Or even in business meetings conducted physically or virtually.
8. Travel beyond your physical space
Through reading, we travel through our minds on a journey with the writer of whatever we’re reading. “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet,” says Jhumpa Lahiri.
You can get and read books written by authors in France or any other country in the world. Similarly, last week, some readers in the UK bought a few copies of one of my books on Amazon. But that’s what reading allows you to do– to communicate and learn from the written work of others.
9. Get you entertained for FREE
Have you seen anyone go to the cinema without money in normal situations? The answer is most likely a no.
But what if someone told you that one can get entertained through reading? You’d ask how.
Yes, reading can be a free source of entertainment. Mary Wortley Montagu once said, “No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.”
You only need to pick a book in your favorite genre and read it. It could be a comic book, adventure story, Horror, or otherwise. It must be what can amuse you.
10. Boost your overall mental health
As humans, our body needs adequate exercise. But our brains need stretches as much as we exercise our abdomen for a flat tummy (or six-packs) and biceps. And a beautiful workout to achieve that is by reading.
Though it’s not going to be easy (for many), just like physical exercise. But for your overall mental health, you can start with the practice of reading for 20-30 minutes every day. That way, you can keep your memory alive and function at its peak.
FAQ on What are the benefits of reading?
What are the 5 benefits of reading?
As said earlier, there are many benefits of engaging your brain in the task of reading. I said “task” because reading seems more of a task than a fun activity for some people.
With that said, the benefit of reading exceeds five. But then here are 5 of them: emotional and mental stability, increased creativity, getting information, enhanced communication abilities, and improved memory.
What are the Physical benefits of reading?
While reading isn’t much of a physical activity, it can profoundly impact the entire body. That’s because how your body functions is determined, to a great extent, by the state of your mind.
It can also go as far as affecting how you can carry yourself in your interaction with others.
Final thought on the Benefits of reading
Reading as a habit may not be fun at the beginning. But it can with time as you get used to it. It’s believed that reading stretches the nerves of the brain, and as a result, can slow the effect of mental issues like Dementia and likes.
So you start today to build your reading culture.
Do you find it difficult to read? What do you think is a good trigger for you to read? What do you read because of any of the benefits of reading outlined and explained in this post?