Reading is one of the most popular hobbies on the planet. For example, two in five people read for pleasure at least once per week in the UK. One in five describe themselves as avid readers. With so many genres and authors to choose from, including thrillers, comedies, romances, fantasy and many more, it’s no surprise that reading remains a popular pastime across the world. Most authors seek book printing services rather than launching their work as an e-book, as people generally prefer reading physical books. But what are the main benefits of reading?
Science shows that reading helps keep your brain healthy. Research reveals that reading regularly strengthens connections in the brain, improves concentration and memory, reduces stress and may even help you live a little longer! One study found that reading books is associated with a 20 per cent reduction in risk of death compared to those who don’t read books.
An unexpected benefit of reading is that it promotes empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. One study found that reading fiction that explores the lives of characters increased the readers’ ability to understand the feelings of others. One psychologist even called reading “the mind’s flight simulator”, giving people the ability to practice empathy each time they open a book.
Everyone has those nights where they can’t sleep. On these nights, most of us will turn to our phones, laptops or TVs to keep us entertained until we finally drift off. However, these activities do not help us sleep. In fact, they probably keep us awake much longer. Reading, on the other hand, prepares us for a good night’s sleep. Several studies have found that reading improves sleep quality and promotes longer sleep duration. So if you’re struggling to sleep, why not pick up a book?
For those struggling with depression, reading may relieve some symptoms and keep your mind occupied. But how does it do this? First, reading is pleasurable if the story captures your attention. You may find that you struggle to put a good book down! Next, reading can help reduce stress levels by reducing muscle tension and slow your heart rate. Finally, reading can also provide those struggling with their mental health and escape from reality for a short time. When things get tough, escaping into a book may provide some much-needed relief.
Reading also improves your analytical skills. As you read, your brain organises and sorts through information, and repeating this process regularly improves your analytical skills. By carefully following the plot of the book, you are training your brain to store, manage, and visualise information in an orderly way. So if you could stand to improve your analytical skills, pick up a book!
Another benefit of reading is that it improves your vocabulary, understanding of grammar rules and writing ability. Reading any book genre will help to widen your vocabulary regardless of your age. Research has found that a larger vocabulary is beneficial as it can improve performance in education and lead to more job opportunities. So if you’re looking to improve your educational and job opportunities or work on your writing ability, consider reading regularly!
Did you know that reading slows age-related cognitive decline? A study conducted over 14 years revealed that those who spend more time reading were less likely to experience cognitive decline as they age. The National Instutite of Aging even recommends that older people read magazines and books to keep their minds engaged into old age.
Reading fiction, in particular, helps to improve memory. Fictional stories require the reader to remember a long list of characters, plot points and conversations across hundreds of pages. So if you’re hoping to improve your memory, make sure to read regularly!
If you’re looking to save money, trade a visit to the cinema for an evening on the sofa with a good book. You don’t necessarily need to buy a new book, as, like most of us, you’ve probably got a pile of unread books sitting on a shelf somewhere. Plus, a book provides more entertainment time than a film!
Another benefit of reading is that it improves your general knowledge. Regardless of whether you enjoy reading fiction or non-fiction, you’ll be surprised at how much you learn by reading.
Reading can improve your life in several ways—it’s no surprise that there are so many avid readers out there who can’t get enough of books of all genres! Scientific studies have shown that reading helps support a healthy lifestyle. It improves brain health, slows cognitive decline related to age, helps you sleep, promotes empathy and even improves your vocabulary.