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11 Benefits of Reading

By | October 29, 2013
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benefits-of-readingI’m sure we all remember reading our favorite Fairy Tales or waited to watch them on Cartoon Network as ‘Timeless tales’ or watched ‘Noddy’ and was so fascinated by his amazing adventures that we decided to read more about them in books. And how about reading the adventures of our Super Hero’s that we all imagined; to be, at one point in time or have heard a talk of Bedtime stories and its effectiveness. Let’s not forget the famous Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, the all time favorite. How about the power of imagination and the role reading plays in imagination.  These are some of the aspects that can help us remember how we felt while reading and also help us figure out why we stopped in the first place especially when we found ourselves hooked. Well enough of this!

Most individuals who are against reading usually have misconception such as reading is boring. Moreover developing a habit of reading is a task for ‘book worms’ alone. Based on this notion, most of us stayed clear of the label ‘Book worm’ in our younger days, so much so to be but a part of the crowd! Well if you too think like this, and still do, now is probably a good time to rectify your misconceptions about reading. Apart from assisting ones development, it also provides guidelines to tackle life’s challenges. Shocker isn’t it?  Of the various benefits of reading here are some:

1. Mental Stimulation

Several studies have shown that keeping the mind active in our retirement days can slow the process of or prevent us from being victims to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Diseases. Most effective ways are solving puzzles, playing games, Sudoku or Cross words.

2. Stress Reduction

With work taking up most of our time, between managing families and household tasks to do, balancing a social life and making time for ourselves isn’t easy. Thus, the stress levels are bound to increase. As if managing families is not stressful enough! The pressure of our jobs to meet deadlines of never ending tasks nonetheless increases stress. Studies suggest that reading books is one of the many effective ways to relieve stress.

3. Knowledge

Reading books introduces you to all kinds of information. And let’s face it you can’t deny that gathering information does not hurt. The information that you get helps you to decide the best possible alternative based on all the information you have. It helps you to wait out the pros and cons of a decision thus enabling you come to a decision that is the best possible one.  The other aspect that we tend to overlook from time to time is that, when we are faced with dire circumstances, resulting in us losing everything – our job, our possessions, be it money or our health even, knowledge can never be taken from you. It is knowledge that can help you turn things around in your life when things seem be at its worst.

4. Imagination

Who knew that reading books, any kind can take you into the world of imagination where everything seems possible. It helps you be creative when you see things differently in comparison to others.  Being able to visualize the descriptions to their minute details, gives you room to explore other possibilities – thus ‘creativity’ is formed. When you read you tend to drift off into the series of events that are highlighted making you feel as if you are a part of the happenings. When life puts you in dire circumstances escaping to the world of imagination gives you the strength you sometimes need to carry on.

5. Improves your Memory

Reading novel, forces you to remember a series of events surrounding the various characters. You also have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history and nuances as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through every story. That’s a fair amount to remember, but brains are marvelous things that can remember all these aspects with ease. Amazingly enough, every new memory you create forges new synapses (brain pathways) and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods. How cool is that?

6. Builds Analytical Skills

Have you ever read an amazing mystery novel, and solved the mystery yourself before even finishing the book? If so, you were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work by taking note of all the details provided and sorting them out to determine “who’d done it?”.

This same ability to analyze details also comes in handy when it comes to critiquing the plot; determining whether it was a well-written piece, if the characters were properly developed, if the storyline ran smoothly, etc. these skills come in handy if your are fortunate enough to discuss the novel with a friend as you will be able to put forth your views clearly to the person. If you wish to become an editor of novels these skills will play an important role in determining whether a piece is a good one and will help you to narrow down the reasons for not to publish it.  

7. Academic Benefits

Right from the time we are born we are introduced to speech and language. Those of us who waited for a bedtime story were exposed to language. This only goes to show that right from our toddler years we begin to learn how to read and later move on to reading to learn while in college. It makes you stand out in a class.

8. Vocabulary Improves

Reading books or novels forces us to look up words that we are unfamiliar with. Those of us who are ambitious ,even go to the extent to find out the different forms of the word namely the noun, verb, adjective and adverb forms. Some of us go further to identify the prefixes and suffixes of the word as well. Others look for the various synonyms and the possible antonyms. In the process these words make their way into our everyday vocabulary to serve us when we really need it.

9. Professional Benefits

If you thought that having an inadequate vocabulary will get you where you want to be, think again. Although it will help you get by it won’t get you to where you want to be. Because in today’s technology savvy environment having a good vocabulary at your disposal is an advantage with its varying opportunities. Such individuals are usually sought after by most companies due to their skills and usefulness.

10. Develop Writing skills

With a good vocabulary at your disposal, you can show your maturity in your writing. Writing skills go hand-in-hand with the expansion of vocabulary. Exposure to published, well-written work has an effect on one’s own writing, as observing the cadence, fluidity, and writing styles of other authors will influence your own work. In the same way that musicians influence one another and painters use techniques established by previous masters, so do writers learn how to craft prose by reading the works of others.

11. Defines Goals

Many a times we may think that we know what we want for ourselves, but we come to realise that there were other things that were to our interest. As you read you tend to drift off and realise things that you weren’t aware of. This helps you to stream line your goals and work towards achieving your goals. For instance if you’ve been playing music on a consistent basis, but have always wanted to compose your own music. Reading tends to give you song ideas or lyrics to from. Due to the frequency of these thoughts its sometimes helps you to really push yourself into giving music a serious go. 

So what are you waiting for go ahead, pick up a book and start reading. Find out how true these benefits of reading are. See if they make a difference in your life or if they improve the quality of life as some studies claim. Who knew reading could be such an amazing experience or help you to figure out what you truly wanted to do with your life. Could reading actually improve your creativity? well the only way to find out is to start reading, today!

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