by Kate Ter Haar [CC-BY-2.0]
“A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.” With this sentence already hit G.R.R. Martin, the author of The Song of Ice and Fire, the nail on the head. Just like any other part of the body, the mind needs to be exercised regularly to stay efficient and fit.
But today this statement has more meaning than ever before. As soon as we leave school, most of us stop reading books. The "boring" Reading is behind us, from now on we devote ourselves only to the short news on the Internet or in the newspaper. Instead of challenging our brains, we entertain them with all kinds of entertainment such as smartphone apps, social networks and television. The consequences are fatal, not only for the individual, but also for society as a whole.
People who like to read know why they do it: reading is relaxing, they want to learn something new, but reading brings much more into our lives that few of us think about. Discover the benefits of daily reading!
1. Books keep the brain young and efficient
Several studies show that mental stimulation keeps you fit and can delay or even stop the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Keeping your brain active through reading can stop or at least slow down the loss of mental abilities. Books stimulate our imagination and challenge us to think actively about the content.
It is no exaggeration to say that reading is healthy, at any age.
2. Reading relaxes and reduces stress
Whether you’re dealing with work-related stress or personal worries and anxieties, books are a great way to let go and unwind. A novel can take you to another world, make you forget about everyday life and provide you with deep emotional relaxation.
Even sad stories or newspaper reports can broaden our perspective and put personal problems into perspective.
3. Books expand general knowledge
Every book can teach us something new. Historical books bring history to life before our eyes, a crime novel may teach us something about forensics and other investigative methods, in a romance novel we meet a diverse group of different characters and their characteristics. Every time you close a book, you know something new.
They also say that wisdom comes with age, but if you don’t want to wait that long, look for it in books. There is a grain of wisdom in most books, you can learn a lesson from them that can directly or indirectly affect your life. Books teach us that even heroes have their weaknesses and fears, and that even the bad guys may not be so bad, because nothing is just black and white ILLUSTRATED.
4. Our vocabulary grows as we read
The more you read, the bigger your vocabulary becomes. So if you want to express yourself more selectively and use a broad vocabulary, books are just the ticket. Of course, vocabulary doesn’t just "grow". Linguists believe that a new word must be read or heard at least seven times before it enters the active vocabulary.
For this reason, you should read everything that comes into your hands or interests you. This can be technical articles, texts in a certain dialect, or even outdated words that are no longer used- All this will make your vocabulary more colorful and interesting.
5. Reading leads to better writing
All writers read a lot, some almost constantly, because they sharpen their minds, expand their vocabularies, discover new phrases, and continue to improve their sense of language and style.
If part of your job is writing, even if it’s "just" writing, then you’re in for a treat Emails, then you can also improve the quality of your own writing by reading a wide variety of texts on a regular basis. Well-written texts are more memorable, more pleasant to read, and much more likely to achieve the desired response.
6. Reading improves memory
Reading and understanding books demands a lot from our brains. Countless characters with their individual stories, characteristics and intentions need to be understood in a novel. To follow a convoluted story, we need to be able to remember and recall many details.
Our brains are amazing organs and form new synapses for each memory, which also strengthen other memories, improving our overall ability to remember things.
7. Reading develops analytical skills
Especially reading detective novels allows us to train analytical skills that can help us in many situations in life.
Just critically examining a book, its writing style, characters, and plot can strengthen analytical skills. When someone asks your opinion about a book, try to give a nuanced answer that clearly states the various pros and cons of the book.
8. Reading strengthens attention and concentration
In today’s world, it is increasingly difficult for us to concentrate on one thing for a long time. When you pick up a good book, it’s best to turn off your phone and get lost in the action.
Just concentrating on a book for 30-45 minutes all the time can train attention and be very helpful in other areas of life.
9. Books encourage creativity
The appeal of books often lies in the unknown, new things that can be discovered, so books fire the imagination and make you see the world in a new light. They can also enrich your career and family life with new ideas and give you the courage to try new things and make changes.
10. Endless free entertainment
Most people read books because they are entertaining. No matter what you prefer as a reader- Dragons or knights, aliens or serial killers, great lovers or adventurers, physics, history or current affairs- Diving into completely different worlds with a book is good entertainment.
Books provide endless entertainment, and free too. You can get physical books for almost free at the library, and if you use an e-book reader or tablet to read, you can also find thousands of books for free.
Or take a look at the bookshelves of your friends. You are sure to find an exciting work there that you can borrow. Moreover, at book fairs, book clubs and book promotions, there are like-minded people who are interested in the same books as you are. This can result in endless hours of discussion and maybe even a friendship or two formed.
Pick up a book!
So if you’re one of those people who rarely read books, maybe these benefits will convince you to pick up a book once in a while and get lost in the lines.
I think there is a small but avid reader in all of us who just hasn’t woken up yet. So don’t let your life go by without the richness that books provide. A Chinese proverb states:
“You open the book, the book opens you.”
What do you like to read? Is there a book that has particularly impressed or inspired you?