Have you ever wondered what benefits you get while reading? We all have our reasons to read… to learn, to escape, or as part of a book club. Your reading hobby has more to offer than that, though! Here are our top five benefits of reading books.
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1. Reading Makes You More EmpatheticReading is a way to escape your own life, and can take you to faraway lands, other times, and put you in other people’s shoes. By viewing the world from a point of view that is not your own, you become more empathetic.
In fact, “the currently predominant view is that literary fiction... can be linked to the human capacity to comprehend that other people hold beliefs and desires and that these may differ from one’s own beliefs and desires”(1).
Simply, reading helps you understand people from their points of view, not just your own. If you are curious about Indigenous perspectives, Raven Reads is a great starting place.
2. Reading Keeps Your Brain Healthy
Just as exercise helps your body stay healthier longer, reading is an exercise that helps keep your brain fit. As they say, use it or lose it! Doing puzzles and reading as you age is proven to slow Dementia and Alzheimers (2). The next time you cozy up to read with a cup of tea, you can say you are getting your daily dose of (brain) exercise.
3. Reading Reduces Stress
If you could reduce your stress levels in under ten minutes by doing something you enjoy, would you? A popular study done by the University of Sussex showed that “stress levels declined by 68 percent after participants read for just six minutes” (3). A good book transports you to another place where your own stresses don’t exist, allowing you to relax.
4. Reading Helps You Sleep Better
In this time of constant technological connection, our sleep is suffering. The blue light emitted from screens disrupts melatonin levels. By checking “one last email” you are waking your brain up when you should be relaxing. Then there is the stress of reading the news. As we now know, reading a book helps you to relax.
Having enough restful sleep makes a big impact on how you feel and how productive you are the next day. Instead of checking your work emails or surfing the web before bed, put the screens away and reach for a good book instead. You will thank yourself the next day!
5. Reading Sets an Example for Kids
Is reading important to you? If it is, it likely will be important to your children. It is proven that “parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and have a huge influence on their development” (4).
Reading to your child is of course key, but so is showing them that reading matters to you, too. Most parents know that children are excellent mimics, so give them access to books and let them see you reading. It won’t be long until you catch your little person reading to their stuffed animals or curled up with a book instead of watching television.
With all the amazing books out there, we know that you were going to read anyhow! And now you know some of the amazing benefits of reading books, too. Who knew that by reading, you were becoming a calmer, nicer person, who sleeps well, ages better, and sets an example for our youth? Good on you!