Reading is one of the oldest forms of transferring information from an expert or storyteller to the reader. Books have been around for many, many centuries, and have been used to study or used when learning a new skill, for as long as they have existed.
Even in this day and age, books are still regarded as one of the best ways to learn, improve your mind, improve your memory, and retain information. This post will go through why in the age of the internet, a good book will always be better.
The first thing, and one of the most important aspects, is that reading improves your brain. Reading quite literally changes the way your brain works for the better. Reading requires the brain to perform complex tasks, and as you read more, the parts of the brain that are needed for reading to become stronger and more efficient.
This strengthening of the networks in your brain allows you to perform everyday tasks to a higher degree, improves your logic, improves your ability to retain information, and as the title suggests, improves your ability to learn.
One of the main reasons reading improves your ability to learn is that it improves your memory. When you read, you have to remember characters, storylines, dates, backgrounds, etc, and in turn, this will allow you to soak in information from textbooks or study material.
There isn’t much difference between a story or a textbook on science for example. The “characters” and “storylines” will be different, but if you can remember the whole storyline of Harry Potter, for example, you can remember how clouds form and work, or how plants grow and eat.
Reading has been shown to reduce stress as well. Studies have shown that reading reduces stress by up to 68%, keeps your mind calm, and puts you more at ease. This shows that reading is a relaxing activity, and being relaxed while learning will most definitely allow you to focus on the information and make it easier.
Reading fiction has been to improve your vocabulary, improve your general knowledge, and improve your cognitive skills. This skill becomes vital when you begin reading material that is outside of your expertise.
The more words you learn, the better your comprehension becomes, this in turn allows you to read and understand the material that you haven’t seen before to a much higher degree, obvious, improving your ability to learn and understand said material.
Parents reading regularly with their children has been shown to increase the likelihood of their children reading constantly throughout their lives, as they associate reading with being happy, calm, and relaxed.
Reading also increases your capacity to be more flexible and to think “outside the box”. Your creativity is boosted, and this in turn allows you to think of multiple options to solve a problem without being hindered by a very set level of knowledge you may have about the problem at hand.
Another benefit of reading is that it improves your focus and concentration. Obviously, when you are reading you can’t really have distractions or you at the very least block out any distractions around you.
This ability allows you to give 100% to what you are reading, how this aids studying and learning is clear. Many people struggle to concentrate on what they need to learn for a few hours, reading forces you to.
Besides helping you learn, reading also has an impact on your brain and mental health. As mentioned already, it is a great stress reliever. There isn’t anything that is more relaxing than sitting on a cozy couch, with a cup of coffee and diving into a great book.
Some studies have suggested that reading can even help you live longer. Scientists discovered that people who read for more than 30 minutes a day, lived almost 2 years longer than those who didn’t.
Reading also increases your empathy. As many stories put you in the position of a character or characters, you end up thinking what they’re thinking, feeling what they’re feeling, and reacting to what they are confronted with.
This, through studies, has been shown to transfer to real life. Readers are more capable of being empathetic and putting themselves into the shoes of others. This isn’t always the case, but there are many examples proving it.
A major benefit of reading is it prepares you to have a good night’s rest. Considering many people are wound up quite tight, live stressful lives, many people struggle with getting to sleep, or just have a proper sleep.
Reading a regular paper book is the way to go, as the light from screens stimulates your brain too much and keeps you awake. It is also suggested you read somewhere other than your bed.
As you can see, reading has multiple benefits. Whether it’s helping you learn, helping you sleep, relaxing you, or even helping you live longer, there are many benefits that can help each and every individual.
And considering there are so many books to choose from, it is a simple task finding one you love and can read all the way through.