Certainly, not everyone is a bookworm. Some people even find the sound of books or the thought of reading intolerable. To an extent, reading is a demanding activity that entails a considerable span of attention, focus, and ability to comprehend and visualize. Once you get the hang of it, you will no longer find reading demanding or even tedious. We have frequently heard people around us rattle about how reading is important and why we should pick it as a habit. In fact, I am doing that right now in this article. So, please bear with me until the end.
Here are some of the familiar benefits of reading that we may have often been lectured about. Firstly, it helps keep our memory sharp. Indeed, people who read more are said to have more complex brains as they stimulate more mental activity. Not only does reading improve our memory, but also it can aid in preventing Alzheimer's, according to a study at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. (Trombetta, 2016)It shows a positive link between using our brain in reading and a slower rate of decline in memory. (Trombetta, 2016)Thus, the more we read, the more we stimulate our brain and the more we improve our memory – just like exercising our bodies!
In addition, reading can also help reduce stress and enhance our brain function in general. Researchers at the Mindlab International at the University of Sussex have discovered that six minutes of reading can decrease stress levels by up to 68 percent. (Trombetta, 2016)Another study at Emory University published in Brain Connectivity has found that reading augments connectivity in the brain, enabling the brain to perform better. (Trombetta, 2016)For instance, reading fiction can help expand our ability to empathize as it encourages us to imagine and put ourselves in a character's shoes.
Besides the scientifically-proven benefits mentioned above, reading can actually be therapeutic and advantageous for our mental health. First of all, it helps us escape reality and transport us into a world that the author has created. In this way, we will be able to fully grasp the storyline and understand the characters more thoroughly. Although this is more common for fictional novels, we can still engage ourselves in the non-fictional content. The important takeaway is, regardless of any genre of books, we take our minds off from issues that have been bugging us lately and provide ourselves with some relaxation.(Grim, 2016)
Next, the books we read do not always have to be academic or research-based. Any sort of literature will give us something to learn about, whether it be romance, thriller or even horror. (Grim, 2016)Perhaps, from a romance novel, you may learn how to deal with a devastating break-up. A thriller novel may tell you what kind of people you should not trust. From a horror novel, you may be reminded to be cautious. Even though these are just examples, there are loads of free advice from books that can be interpreted.
Cristel Russel – a consumer behavior researcher – claims that rereading is exceptionally beneficial for us. According to a study about "re-consumption", it has been discovered that people who reread a book are not mainly doing it for enjoyment but instead, they are attempting to "find new meaning in the book." (Trombetta, 2016)Similarly, the practice of rereading can be regarded as going through something familiar as a new person with a new perspective. As a result, we can attain the opportunity for self-reflection and thus, this can turn out to be therapeutic.
To put in a nutshell, many people read books because they like reading in the first place (like myself), they want to learn about a particular topic (perhaps, for research purposes), they just want to pass time or all of the stated above. Whatever the reason is, we should keep in mind that reading is therapy and can help us mentally. Personally, as much as I enjoy reading, I often become overwhelmed with my schoolwork and other agendas that I cannot spare some time for reading. The truth is, that is just an excuse I justify myself. We can truly make time for things that we want to do. Based on my personal experience, I would recommend starting with setting a reading target: how many books you want to finish in a month or any fixed period. I initially started with finishing two books a month and I gradually picked reading as a habit. With that being said, I understand that we tend to complain about our lack of time and our busy schedule but why don't we try to leave out at least 15 minutes of our day for reading?
Grim, W. (2016, May 17). 5 Reasons Why Reading Is Therapy. Retrieved from odyssey: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/5-reasons-reading-is-therapy
Trombetta, S. (2016, March 17). 6 Scientific Reasons Reading Is Amazing For Your Health. Retrieved from Bustle: https://www.bustle.com/articles/145922-6-scientific-reasons-reading-is-amazing-for-your-health