Some people consider sitting down with a book to be lazy, when you could be doing something useful. Others think reading is boring and pointless, when you could be watching a movie instead. But chances are these people haven’t discovered the joys of a good book or other reading material. However you feel about reading, it’s useful to know what this age-old activity has to offer, so here are some of its key values at a glance:
1. Reading can be therapeutic
If you’ve had a hard day, or you’re upset about something, escape into a book and your worries will fade away. Any story involving people will whisk you up and away from your own situation into their world instead, and when you put the book down again, you’ll feel calmer and stronger for that little break.
2. Reading focuses the mind
When you’re feeling restless and agitated, reading can help you settle down. The idea of sitting still and staring at a page of text may not appeal when you’d rather be leaping about or multi-tasking, but let yourself become engaged in the content, and you’ll feel a steady, soothing calm wash over you, and a sense of purpose, too. If you have a hyperactive child or teenager, reading could help them this way.
3. Reading educates
Depending what books or texts you choose, you can learn any number of facts and acquire a limitless range of information by reading. Even fiction can be informative, in its settings, themes, and other details, which are usually drawn from reality. You can also learn about general themes, such as history, languages and philosophies, or whatever subjects may feature.
Creative writing tends to address human nature and relationships, with insights into commonly experienced feelings. The writer usually draws from their own emotions or observations of other people’s, providing windows onto other minds and hearts. This can enhance the reader’s understanding of their fellow human beings, and nurture their caring, empathetic side.
5. Words and spellings
People who read regularly often acquire a wide vocabulary and good spelling skills. These assets can be extremely useful in all aspects of life, especially in study and career advancement. They also help you to understand what you read. If you are a writer, a wide vocabulary will also enhance your creative output. With regular reading, you’ll become faster, too. Being a quick reader can be handy in all sorts of situations, from taking in road signs to getting through your college reading list.
6. Mentally engaging
While quality screen viewing can be utterly absorbing, some people find the active process of reading even more involving. In this activity, you have to interpret a script into meaningful content, perhaps envisaging the scene or facts in your mind’s eye and contemplating them as you go. In this way, reading stretches your mental powers, especially your imagination, potentially sweeping your mind up and away from the here and now.
Reading is good for you in all these ways and more, so go ahead and read as much as you like. When you find something especially engaging, recommend it to friends and get them reading, too. Then you can share the joys and wonders that reading brings.