Bookworms need no convincing of the benefits of reading, for most of us, reading is engrained in our DNA. We love the smell of new books, or the email from Amazon telling us that new Kindle book is now on our device (especially those long awaited prereleases). But apart from the fact that we love it, why else is reading a beneficial thing to do?
Stress relief – Reading relieves stress because it takes our mind to a place far away from our troubles. It allows us to be present in another person’s moment, and our own fight or flight response calms down. Our, mostly unwanted, companion adrenaline, trickles out of our bloodstream. Our muscles relax, and the world seems a better place.
Empathy – Reading about someone else’s life and experiences gives us a sense of what life is like for that person. When we then meet someone going that same situation in real life, we have a better understanding of and can more easily share their feelings. Reading makes for kinder people (or so I like to believe).
Knowledge – Reading fiction is best done for pleasure and the sheer joy of it, but there is an unexpected benefit to the hobby. We learn. Authors tend to do a fair about research into their characters lives, so although it is fiction and not fact, you may find yourself learning along the way. The Book Theif, for example, opened my eyes to what Germany was like in the lead up to world war two.
Imagination – Reading requires you to use your mind. When someone is described as having a blue dress in a book we imagine it, our brains are working. In a film or TV show, you simply see it, you don’t get to use your creativity. TV is excellent, but it’s no match for reading when it comes to sparking the imagination.
Perspective – Reading can give your life perspective. Your own problems don’t seem so huge when you read about a character who has lost their home or a loved one. If you are feeling irritated with your significant other, I recommend you read “Ps I Love You” by Cecelia Ahern, or “This Love” by Dani Atkins. After reading those two beautiful romances, you’ll find the irritation fades.
There are so many other benefits of reading, benefits I haven’t mentioned here. If you have something you’d like to add to this list, please leave a comment. Let’s give reading the appreciation it deserves!