When choosing how to spend our time, we’re spoiled with options. Why should we waste time reading when there are so many alternative types of entertainment? There is a wide range of advantages to reading fiction and nonfiction. Here are seven justifications for reading avidly:
1. It Improves Creativity and Imagination:
Reading might help exercise your imagination when you feel at a standstill. Reading a book, especially fiction might help kickstart your creative juices. You engage actively in the process because you create mental images of what you read.
This advantage has been supported by at least one investigation. One hundred participants read either a work of fiction or a nonfiction piece and then answered questions about their experiences. Answers from fiction readers tended to be more imaginative than those from essay readers.
2. It helps you learn:
Staying curious and hungry for knowledge is essential to development as a person. Reading can fill in the blanks and introduce you to fascinating new worlds because there will always be things you don’t know.
Reading studies were conducted in the 1990s by Keith Stanovich and his colleagues to determine the relationship between reading, intelligence, and information retention. Stanovich claims his study’s findings demonstrate that “avid readers” have 50 percent more factual knowledge than non-readers.
3. It Increases your Vocabulary:
Stanovich found that enthusiastic readers had a vocabulary 50 percent larger than non-readers. This is probably because the more you read, the more new vocabulary you will encounter.
Over time, you can increase the size of your vocabulary by learning the meanings of words in context or by consulting a dictionary. The act of expanding one’s lexicon has positive effects on cognitive health.
4. It Improves Memory:
Reading, even a little bit every day, has been shown to assist in boosting memory. Reading engages brain regions critical for paying attention and retaining information.
It’s important to keep track of backstories as you read so you don’t get lost in the author’s narrative or the ideas they’re exploring. Remembering things helps exercise and stretch your brain, even if you aren’t consciously doing it.
5. It Increases your connection and Attention Span:
Reading is an active pursuit that requires more focus than watching television. Paying close attention to the meaning of the words you read is essential to understanding where a writer is taking you.
This mental exercise will help you concentrate for longer. Those who can sit and read for long periods likely have strong attention spans that can be used in other contexts.
6. Improves your Writing Skills:
Many successful authors stress the importance of reading widely if you care about writing. You can improve your understanding of narrative structure by reading more., characterization, and other writing techniques.
This is true for fictional and factual works alike. If you want to improve as a writer, you don’t have to devote a lot of time to reading every day, whether it’s a Christmas card, an email, a personal blog post, or a journal entry.
7. It Reduces Stress:
There are a variety of approaches to coping with the widespread prevalence of stress in modern life. One of the nicest things is reading. After silently reading for only six minutes, participants’ pulse rates lowered, and their muscle tension decreased, according to research done in 2009 by Mindlab International at the University of Sussex.
Reading was more successful than going for a walk or listening to music, reducing their stress levels by a whopping 68%. People were able to remove and divert themselves from worried thoughts and feelings by concentrating on what they were reading.
8. It Could Extend your Life:
Reading has been shown to increase longevity. Over 12 years, researchers at Yale University followed 3,600 people over 50. Compared to those who read newspapers or magazines, individuals who read books for at least 30 minutes daily live an extra year or so. We can’t conclude from this study that reading guarantees longevity, but there is a correlation.
Reading, with its associated benefits to cognitive health, may delay the onset of degenerative neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s.
9. It Boosts your Empathy:
Empathy means putting yourself in another person’s shoes and feeling what they are going through, even if you disagree with their viewpoint. Some people are born with a lot of it, while the rest of us could use a little more. The act of reading is helpful. Literary fiction, popular fiction, fiction, and nonfiction were all read by various group members in 2013. An inactive group serves as a control.
The experiment revealed that reading literary fiction improved participants’ ability to read emotions on people’s faces and predict how fictional characters would behave. This is because characters in literary fiction are often nuanced and multifaceted. To comprehend them, readers will need to increase their focus and compassion. Those abilities are useful in actual situations.
10. It Expands your Understanding of the World:
When it comes to understanding the world as it really is, it helps to read both fiction and nonfiction. How? Books are like looking out upon the world. They provide a window into other perspectives on society, events, history, culture, and more.
You can further broaden your perspective by actively seeking out the works of authors and speakers who are significantly different from yourself.