Some Benefits of Reading
- Mental Stimulation
Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can help keep your brain active and engaged. This prevents it from losing power.
Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind.
Plot complexity, unexpected character development, and unfamiliar fields of expertise force us to stretch our attention and grapple with new concepts.
- Stress Reduction
No matter how much stress you have at work, in your personal relationships, or countless other issues faced in daily life, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story. A well-written novel can transport you to other realms, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax.
- Increased Empathy
A skillful author can develop characters in such a way that we identify with them emotionally. This may expand our appreciation and understanding of people who are different from those we would encounter in our own lives.
- Increased Knowledge
Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information. Sometimes within a story there are insights that have lasting effect on your perceptions of people and situations.
- Vocabulary Expansion
New words and new ways of expression make their way into your everyday vocabulary. An author’s creative use of language can expand your ability to see subtleties of understanding.
Being articulate is of great help in any life situation, and knowing that you can communicate effectively affects your self-confidence in many situations.
- Memory Improvement
When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through every story. Every new memory you create forges new synapses and neural pathways and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods.
- Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills
Have you ever read a good mystery novel, and solved the mystery yourself before finishing the book? If so, you were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work by taking note of all the details provided and sorting them out to determine the likely path of the story.
That same ability to analyze details also comes in handy when it comes to critiquing the plot; determining whether it was a well-written piece, if the characters were properly developed, if the storyline ran smoothly, etc.
Should you ever have an opportunity to discuss the book with others, you’ll be able to state your opinions clearly, as you’ve taken the time to really consider all the aspects involved.
- Improved Focus and Concentration
The complexity of modern life tends to fragment our time and attention. We are frequently expected to do several things at once. Even a simple phone call can require us to access multiple types of information.
The average person will divide time between working on a task, checking email, chatting with a couple of people (via phone, text, facetime, etc.), listening for beeps and signals from the smartphone, and keeping an eye and ear on the television. This type of behavior causes stress levels to rise and lowers our productivity.
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing.
Thoughts Starters for Sharing
- What mood or mindset does the book create for you?
- What do you like about the author’s “voice”?
- After effects of a reading session with the author?
- Have you learned anything? If so, what?