If you had to describe someone as interesting or smart, your list of attributes would likely include well-read too! What about well-read people makes us think they are naturally clever? Maybe because reading books is simple yet complicated? When you read a book, you recognize the language, prose, and context by seeing the words with your eyes, which are then processed by the brain to comprehend, visualize and understand. Reading books helps you expand your knowledge on a host of topics and offers a world of benefits. Given the sheer variety of incredible books and genres, there sure is a perfect book for everyone to read.
Benefits for the Brain
One of the most obvious benefits of reading is the access to knowledge. However, did you know reading a book can be a great outlet to exercise your mind? Just as physical exercise is recommended to keep our bodies healthy, reading a book or two can go a long way to keep your brain strong and active. There are several studies successfully highlighting the benefits of reading. One such study found that a regular habit of reading books can slow down mental disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, by keeping the brain active and strengthening its capacity to retain information.
When you read a book, your brain is compelled to recall details about the characters, especially if it’s fictional. As you progress further into the story, you retain information about the plot, the context, and the mannerisms of different characters, enhancing your memory skills. Reading books regularly compounds this benefit by expanding our brain’s retention power for memory. Every time you exercise this memory power, your brain creates new pathways or synapses to respond to or recollect information. Moreover, a regular reading habit has been associated with improving short-term working memory, strengthening existing memory, and improving overall mood.
Reading books is also a great stress-buster and can serve as a constructive escape from everyday concerns and anxieties. When you read a book, you begin to interact with the story, the setting, and the context, and sometimes even visualize the scene, slipping away into a whole new world. This engrossed state is almost meditative; you feel extremely relaxed while allowing yourself to occupy your mind with something interesting, impactful, and exciting. Sometimes, reading a good book is all it takes to gain valuable advice and perspective or solve your problems.
Technology has made everything super convenient but also made us lazy and shortened our attention span since almost all information is readily available. Reading for as little as 20 to 30 minutes daily can be a powerful antidote. Regular reading can improve your concentration and help you focus better.
A Personality Booster
Besides providing a tranquil escape and improving brain function, regularly reading books is a sure way to improve your vocabulary. Being able to articulate your thoughts better and improving your grasp on the language can directly impact your professional and academic life. A better vocabulary and improved articulation also go a long way to boost your self-confidence, especially when occupying professional spaces or in group discussions with knowledgeable peers.
Your analytical skills also stand to benefit greatly when you read books regularly, especially those from the thriller or mystery genre. While reading a mystery book, the story unfolds slowly, and your mind will automatically begin to predict the plot or make guesses about certain characters, boosting your problem-solving abilities. When the plot is finally revealed, your brain connects the dots through the power of comprehension, fine-tuning your ability to think smartly and improve analytical skills, which can be extremely handy in your personal and professional life.
Read to Write Better
If you ask any professional writer to share one top tip to improve writing skills, they will always recommend reading more books! Reading has a direct impact on our writing abilities. It sharpens our vocabulary and builds the confidence required to produce written works. Reading also helps widen our understanding spectrum and discover new topics that can inspire us. Because reading is so closely associated with the perception of concepts and comprehension, it also helps to enhance our sensitivity to various topics. It has been proven to positively impact empathy and how we relate to other people in our life.
Above all, reading books is a wonderful way to keep yourself entertained. When traveling, you may have to worry about your phone or laptop running out of charge, but with books, you simply need to open one up and get lost in a sweet, tranquil state of learning or reading about something exciting and new.