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The benefits of reading

If you’ve been doing all you can to stay away from books, then you might just be uninformed, to say the least. You have all your reasons not to pick one book up to read: it wastes your time, they can be very boring to read, you don’t know which books to read, you don’t have time to read, and the list just goes on and on. And I feel you. I’ve been in your shoes years ago.

When I was in school, I wasn’t much of the reading type. I only read to pass a subject, not really learn what the books or subject offered me. The result? I couldn’t really say that I went to college because the course that I went for was a passion. It felt that I just wasted 4 years in college. I wasted time, money, and effort.

A few years back, I was reintroduced to the amazing habit of reading. But not just reading a book like I did in my schooling days. What really got me into it was knowing the amazing benefits of really reading. And here are some of them:

1. You become smarter

It’s a fact that as we get older, our brain tends to lose power. But not if you keep on feeding it information. And information through reading at that. Well, it turns out that reading does make you smart in most areas of your life. The ones who read regularly were noted to have higher GPA’s, higher intelligence, and general knowledge than those that don’t. Reading makes us sharp as we grow older. It stimulates the brain to keep on working and producing more cells so that we don’t get rusty.

2. Reading reduces stress

There’s something about opening the pages of any book and fixing your eyes on the letters and words—it just soothes our mind. I guess this is because our mind has to really go through the process of looking at the first letter and then to the succeeding ones to form the words, then from the first word to the next words to make the sentence; the next sentences to make the paragraph, and so on and so forth.

It slows the mind. The chaos of trying to think fast when confronting a challenge in day to day life is suddenly put to a standstill. When I’m reading a book, my mind really changes gears.

Fiction is fantastic especially when you’re really stressed out. Reading an awesome fiction book is perfect right before bed time. Be sure to be disciplined as well because sometimes it’s hard to put the book down if it’s a page turner. But whether you do sleep late or early, you still get to have that relaxation that reading can give you.

3. Your analytical thinking greatly improves

Research has proven this to be true. Readers add to their general knowledge, and more importantly are able to spot patterns much quicker than most people. This skill is important because if you can spot patterns really quick, your analytical skills are given a much needed boost. This helps you in your business or job. You need all the help you can get because the competition is stiff.

Most of the time, since a technical skill is already given, the deciding factor for a company to hire you and continue to hire you is your analytical skill. Is it superior to those of others? And one way of boosting this skill is through reading.

4. Vocabulary is increased

Did you know that reading increases your vocabulary more than talking or direct teaching? Reading forces us to look at words that we might not have seen or heard recently. And more new words are being added to the dictionary in recent times. Authors coin words that you might not have heard of before.

Increased vocabulary is crucial especially for bloggers or writers. In order to become successful in this field, you need to read. And read every day. You’ll be surprised at the words you start incorporating into your writing; it will start to become more automatic and you start to own the words and use them in your writings.

Vocabulary is not just for writing. What if you are in a middle of a conversation and a word suddenly pops up that you don’t understand? Wish you had taken the time to read, right? Well, there’s always time to read after that conversation. So just zip your mouth in the meantime. :)

5. Improved memory

I have a ridiculously bad memory. My friends will attest to this. I can’t remember names and dates and addresses. Yet I’ve been finding that I can remember stuff much easier when I’ve been reading consistently. Do I have concrete data to back this up? I can’t really answer that, but I do believe that it has something to do with my mind really receiving more images of words than I normally would have in any given day. And names and dates and addresses are all comprised of images of letters and words. Is my mind exercised to easily spot and remember words faster and retain them longer? Hhmmm. I guess so.

Your thoughts

What about you? What are your thoughts about this post? Does the list make sense to you? What other things do you like to add? What personal experience do you want to share?

Let us all know in the comments!

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About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →