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Rediscovering the Art of Reading

Woman browsing looking at books inside a library

With a plethora of time spent online, for some, reading a book has become a lost art. Reading short news articles, clickbait headlines, online shopping, or hours wasted “doom scrolling” can take away time from the activity of actually reading a real book.

Here are a few reasons to remind us why reading books is still important for both adults and kids alike.

1. Relaxing/escapism 

Reading allows us to get lost in the lives of other people in other lands far away. It helps us escape, for a short while, from our own reality. This can be a relaxing break and much more fulfilling than other so-called “relaxing” activities such as scrolling through social media and news feeds.

2. Vocabulary development

Reading is also a great way to expand your vocabulary. It’s pretty obvious that children can do this by reading books. But adults can also continue to develop their own vocabulary. Historical fiction can also be a way to learn older languages that may otherwise become lost.

3. Historical teachings

Historical fiction is a wonderful way to combine escapism, vocabulary, and a greater depth of historical knowledge itself. Authors such as James Michener, Umberto Eco, Toni Morrison, Isabelle Allende, and Phillipa Gregory, as well as classic authors such as Tolstoy and Dickens, have a gift for drawing readers into the drama of their characters while portraying eras, customs, people, and events from long past.

4. Travel through reading

Travel books are the ultimate way to be an “armchair” traveler. As compared to watching travel shows on TV, travel fiction embeds the reader and allows them to experience what the characters are experiencing. Descriptions of sights, sounds, smells, and events all take the reader into another place.

5. Laughter

As they say, laughter is the best medicine. Reading a well-written book by an author with the gift of humor can be a fun way to spend downtime, manage loneliness, and clear out a stressed-out mind.

Some books for a good chuckle can be from comedians themselves, like Tina Fey, Norm MacDonald, or Stephen Colbert, writing their own autobiography from a humorous perspective, or their hilarious take on the world. Other authors known for their comical perspectives include Bill Bryson, Zadie Smith, John Swartzwelder (writer for The Simpsons), Eveline Waugh, and Irvine Welsh.

Conclusion

Whether looking for a light and funny summer beach read, a lengthy historical adventure, or an intense, dark, and mysterious trilogy to pass through cold winter months, picking up a book may be the most enjoyable thing to do.

Reading adds new perspectives, knowledge, and language to our world. This can be a lot more rewarding than endless scrolling through social media feeds or hours of online shopping. Some people feel unsure about what to do to relax when reducing screen use. Reading is the perfect activity for entertaining yourself while still winding down.

So, the next time you reach for your device, reach for a book instead — there will be no regrets.

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