7 Reasons Why You Should Read

Books, the reason I became involved in writing! I started reading before starting 9th grade, and I’m glad to say I never stopped. Nowadays, with the way everything is easily accessible through the internet, people think books have grown old or are becoming a thing of the past. But true book-lovers know that will never happen. Whether it’s comics or fairy tales, thriller or teen fiction, imaginary wizardry worlds, or the dystopian universe where children fight each other to death for survival, books have something for everyone.

Read the Book

You’re born with an imagination, books expand them. You’re born with ideas, books help shape them. Some who don’t read may argue that movies can have the same effect. Maybe, but movies don’t provide you with the profound depth that you’re graced by in books. What you see on a screen doesn’t give you an inside look to your favourite character the way reading word-by-word the depth of what they’re feeling in any given moment. Books can do wonders, and a few of those wonders have been described below. So read ahead to know some reasons behind why you should read.

1. Improves Vocabulary

A good vocabulary is a need for everyone to operate in the world. Reading books can increase your knowledge of the language you’re reading in, whether English or any native language. And it also ends up in making your performance better in fields where said language is needed. I, for one, know that reading Urdu novels has made my vocabulary in the National language much better and improved my reading skills as well when it comes to content written in Urdu.

Book Reading Improves Vocabulary

Moreover, when you possess a good vocabulary, your company will trust you to do the content creation job where others may lag behind. Interviews, meetings, presentations, all of them require good speaking and writing skills that only come from the good vocabulary.

2. Reduces Stress

Book Reading Reduces Stress

No, this isn’t just speculation. A University of Sussex study in 2009 measured how different activities influence levels of stress in an individual. It revealed that individuals who read had their stress reduced by up to 68% compared to music (61%) and going for a walk (42%). The idea behind the finding is that when people are involved in a story, their minds get distracted enough for them to forget all about their stressors. Hence, reading books results in decreasing your stress levels.

3. Improves Memory

Book Reading Improves Memory

When we read, we have to concentrate on different characters, plots, mysteries, clues, and various other kinds of information. Fortunately for us, our brains are programmed to store huge amounts of information. And each time you store new information, the brain builds new synapses for the purpose, while strengthening the old ones. As this process gets repeated over and over with different reading ventures, your brain becomes better capable of retaining information from your memory. Therefore, the better you want your memory to be strong, the more you need to read!

4. Improves Concentration

Our attention is diverted quite easily especially in today’s digital era. We’d love to concentrate on a single task but then FOMO takes over, ending up in making us concentrate on 3-4 tasks at once. I, for one, have the attention span of a goldfish and I’m not exaggerating that. I hardly start a blog and write its title before my mind gets diverted to checking Twitter or opening YouTube and before I even search for something there or read a tweet, I’m looking for other tasks I can complete in the day. It sucks and ends up delaying my tasks more than I’d like to! Reading is a solution to that problem. Although even that can fall in trouble if you don’t pay attention to the book.

Book Reading Improves Concentration

When we read, we end up focusing on the plot of the book while tuning out the rest of the world. And this in-turn develops our attention span to become better. One thing I’d recommend doing is keep your cell phone and other gadgets away from your hand’s reach when you’re reading unless of course, those gadgets are where you’re reading (duh!) even then you’ve got the option of a Do Not Disturb feature most updated phones hold nowadays.

5. Encourages Empathy

Book Reading Encourages Empathy

Research shows that people who read literary or other fiction gain a better understanding of people’s emotions and are better able to predict people’s reactions to circumstances than those who don’t read. This means that when we read, our minds become open to other people’s perspectives. As we do so, we are capable of better understanding people and their circumstances, making us better at empathy.

6. Challenges Your Imagination

Book Reading Challenges Your Imagination

Books consist of different plots, characters, and forms of storytelling. Just look at the vast amount of creativity is involved in books like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Six of Crows, the serious undertones of Khaled Hosseini and Elif Shafak’s books, or even the new perspectives every historical or contemporary book provides. These books don’t just give us a way to pass time but also challenge our minds to change our way of thinking and open new creative paths for us.

7. Strengthens Knowledge

Book Reading Strengthens Knowledge

Perhaps the most obvious benefit, but also overlooked by those non-readers(!!!), books provide us with knowledge. You can watch all the tv shows, read all the breaking news, pay attention to the world’s current happenings as much as you want, but the knowledge you receive from reading books is unmatched. Whether it’s contemporary or fictional, knowledge always comes in handy. And you need it to become more than just a survivor in this world.

Bonus Point: Reading Enhances Your Worldview

Book Reading Enhances Your Worldview

Here, I’ve decided to give you yet another point rather than keeping this blog limited to 7 (you’re welcome!). My favourite part about starting to read early in life is that it opened my mind to possibilities and perspectives I might have otherwise been oblivious to. Books save us from being ignorant. When we read different genres, we expand our minds and thinking processes. When we explore different cultures through the stories we’re getting exposed to, we open our minds to accept things we may not be taught about through school or our environment. Books allow us to have so much more than just knowledge or an escape from reality.

Books are to your brain what nutrition is to your body, they refresh your thoughts, give you new ideas, and shape your creative side in ways you never imagined possible. But that’s exactly what I said books challenge, isn’t that? Your imagination. Unless you get into the practice and experience the joy and peace that reading provides you with, you’re in no position to argue otherwise. Tell us how books have been a help to you!

Maha Abdul Rehman

A content writer and a psychology major, I procrastinate for 6 months or write consecutively. And I occasionally watch (see: obsess about) Football.

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