I love to read! Getting lost in a book is a natural pick me up. It is a great way to learn, relax or escape for a while. My love for books started in middle school. In all honesty, it didn’t begin because someone sat me down and explained the benefits of reading daily.
Nope – reading was forced upon me. My mom just “strongly” insisted that I get my nose in a book. The funny part is, in a way, it backfired at first. How could being forced to read go wrong?
The summer before the next school year I wouldn’t leave my room because I was reading at a rapid pace. I don’t recall how many books I finished, but I do remember not being able to see straight after flipping page after page. With the number of hours I was attached to a book, my mom complained I didn’t leave the house.
Even though I didn’t enjoy being forced to read (in the beginning), I am very thankful my mom saw a need for me to start at a young age. The only suggestion I would make, now that I am a parent, is to teach our youth the benefits of reading daily. Just telling our kids or even adults to pick up a book won’t really address the real importance for the benefits of reading daily unless we explain what they are.
So what are the benefits of reading daily? Could picking up a book be good for you? Other than having to work through a difficult novel because your English teacher requires you to write a 5-page paper explaining the main topic, are there are any good reasons to consider that reading really is important?
I have put together a list of six reasons to pick up a book and the benefits of reading daily that should compel most to read and read a bunch more. In truth, this list could go on and on, but I decided only to compile a few favorites.
The Benefits of Reading Daily
Reduces Stress – According to a study done in 2009 stress can be reduced by 68 percent with reading. It is helpful to keep in mind, make sure you enjoy what you are reading. Reading something that gets you riled up will not alleviate your stress level. Source
Make a list of a few books that interest you. As you glance at the titles you have scribbled down, which ones pop out to you as being the most intriguing? I recommend starting there. But also think about your stress level. Ask yourself if this topic will provoke or calm you? Sometimes there are certain books I read during the day, but can’t before bed – I do too much thinking because of the subject matter and my brain never shuts off.
Many times choosing a fiction book can be a great choice to reduce stress. Getting lost in another “world” can help you manage the pressures of the physical & mental challenges of the real world. Another recommendation would be picking up God’s word. The bible has all sorts of true stories that we can relate to, words of wisdom and hope. The bible I have been recently given as a gift, and am really enjoying, is the HCSB Women’s Study Bible.
Some books leave us free, and some books make us free.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Keeps You Informed & Inspires Learning – You can always stay “in the know” when you are an avid reader. It’s essential not to live in a bubble. Keeping up to date with research, news articles and “how to’s” are all ways to stay informed. If you would prefer to learn about someone famous you can go check out your local library or buy it at your favorite bookstore (alternative to just “Googling it”).
Learning doesn’t just stop the day you finish high school, a trade school or when you have your BA. Learning takes a lifetime. Each and every day offers you an opportunity to learn new things. In today’s technological age, we are supplied vast freedoms in how we contribute to our own learning. You don’t have to be in a formal class to learn.
Pick up a book and keep adding knowledge to your resume. You don’t need to read all day long – even though I wish I could. Take 15 – 30 minutes a day, it can make a huge difference.
The more you read, the more you know. Be an active learner every day. You will amaze yourself as to where you will go in life because you do.
The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” –Dr. Seuss
Helps You Sleep Better – I tend to watch TV before bed and play solitaire on my phone. I have heard it said that you could “veg out” in front of the TV, but that doesn’t mean you will sleep better by doing it.
With the increased use of technology such as computers, smartphones, televisions and so on we are actually causing damage to ourselves by restraining the production of a hormone that regulates our circadian rhythm. Melatonin is the hormone that helps us sleep and wake up.
In all honesty, I really need to turn off the TV before bed. Putting my phone down and playing solitaire with actual cards would be a much better choice than the virtual version. An even better choice would be to pick up some good reading material and relax.
It is recommended to back away from your technology 30 mins before you want to get a good night’s rest. Picking up a book is a great option to add to your nighttime routine. Sorry, the benefits for reading daily means – it is advised no kindle options before getting your Z’s.
Encourages Creativity – Have you heard this before? The more you read, the better writer you become. No, I am not talking about stealing someone’s ideas to make them your own. Many times the pages you thumb through help with building your word bank or story ideas – it gets your creativity running. The more you read, the more your imagination can create.
“Reading broadens our imagination by stimulating the right side of our brain. It literally opens our minds to new possibilities and new ideas helping us experience and analyzes the world through others’ lives.” Source
As your eyes filter the words from cover to cover, your mind is creating its own image. This image is most likely NOT the same mental portrait created by a different reader. Our imagination diligently works very differently than others, as it should. That is exactly why we have great inventors and creators.
Many very wealthy people attribute their success to reading on a regular basis. Author Steve Siebold has interviewed 1,200 very well-to-do people worldwide. This is what he has to say, “Walk into a wealthy person’s home, and one of the first things you’ll see is an extensive library of books they’ve used to educate themselves on how to become more successful.” Source
Creates Better Brain Function – A recent study overseen at Emory University investigated the beneficial effects of reading fiction on the brain. Here is what they reported – “The researchers found that becoming engrossed in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function.” Source
Just like getting in your cardio workout to keep your heart happy, reading is the best mental workout to keep your brain healthy. Your brain is a super sophisticated organ. It is a highly intricate computer chip- central to how well or how poorly one functions.
The bottom line? Make your brain work by reading. Read often and challenge yourself with more difficult material at times. Your thinking, plus your recollection skills will be so much better for it. This really matters as you get older. Train your brain to be healthy like you train your body to be healthy.
Improves Communication & Social Skills – I am convinced that our youth spends an absurd about of time on their phones, either watching videos, playing video games or on social media. One would like to think that mentioning social media means that our kids are more “social.”
Let me bold enough to say – they are not. Parents need to reign in the use of these highly powerful minicomputers (aka “smartphones”) so this doesn’t become a family dysfunction. After working with high school students I have a deep conviction that our youth is not reading enough. So what’s really the big deal connecting the benefits of reading daily with communication and social skills?
The benefits of reading daily can INCREASE communication & social skills by:
- helping improve patience and concentration
- learning problem-solving skills
- developing empathy for others
- creating ideas for future conversations
Ok, so I should now mention that I am not saying technology is bad, nor can’t it be used to actually improve communication and social skills. There are times this is very appropriate. In fact, I know of many autistic students that rely heavily on these resources. However, in my experience, I have seen firsthand how students are unable to think for themselves on many issues or convey their own ideas. Also, they simply can’t read at grade level.
Let’s get their noses away from the screens and into books, or perhaps read more than just the comments on their social platforms. If a Kindle book (or equivalent) is more enticing – that is great. Plus, they can use the online dictionaries offered while they are reading to their advantage. Time management and being an example are key.
I know with technology these days it’s easy to get the Kindle version. I love accessing books online when I travel or forget to bring one while on the go. However, be a champion for books too. There really is something to be said about having a book in your hand, turning the pages, and the smell of the real deal. 🙂
- Be careful of what you read. Make sure you are vetting your sources. It is crucial not to believe everything on the internet or even everything that is in print. Make some judgment calls, do your research and go with some of your instincts.
- GoodReads where you “meet your next favorite book.” It is a marvelous tool to organize book list. You can keep track of what you have already read plus what you will read in the future. I use this platform all the time. When I hear the title of a book or about an author that sounds intriguing, I make sure to save it to my “to read” list. Also, you can write reviews & create your own reading challenge for the year.
- Library cards or used books are fabulous ways to keep the cost down. Wear in your library card – use it often. Maybe for some of you finding the nearest library is the first step. Saving money is always important, but I think there is a lack of reading because many times we forget that we can read for free. BTW, sometimes you can buy books, extremely cheap, from your local library. Two years ago I bought almost the whole set of the Left Behind series for a $1.00 a book. The bonus – all 13 books were the hardcovered version. Try checking out buying used books online from places like Half Priced Books or maybe Thrift Books.
- A Positive attitude helps a lot! I personally have a harder time understanding when a friend or family member expresses that they despise reading. Why? Because I absolutely LOVE books – one day I will have my own library at home 🙂 Let me suggest thinking happier thoughts when it comes to picking up a book. A very close friend of mine does like to read but really hasn’t made time for it. It almost seemed daunting to her. With the new year, she decided to think more positively towards reading one page a day. Now, she has read two books and looking towards her third (she is definitely reading more than a page a day). Practice makes better – once you practice doing something the more it will become habit-forming. Habits are easier to put in place with a positive outlook.
Bonus Tip – Even though I have focused mainly on the benefits of reading daily with a book in hand, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to them. Audiobooks can really help reading comprehension when you look at the words on a page or electronically and also listen to the audio. My children have benefited from this as they were transitioning from Honduras back to the US a few years back. Their reading skills improved greatly.
So there you have it! The benefits of reading daily are many. I really only touched on a few. There are tons of reasons to read, but I hope the few mentioned help convince you to take a few minutes each day and explore a great way to invest your time. Read, read, and read some more.
I would love to know what you are currently reading or maybe leave a little note about your reading journey. Are you getting inspired to read? I have actually never participated in a book club, but friends, I think we could start one here 🙂