In the words of the great George R.R. Martin, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”
Martin is the author of the renowned book series Song of Ice and Fire. Being an avid reader myself, I see eye to eye with his thoughts on reading. It can be beneficial as well as entertaining in many ways that may not be the most obvious. Here are 10 ways why reading is beneficial.
1) Reduction of StressNo matter how much stress you're under at work, in your personal relationships, or in a variety of other areas of your life, it all fades away when you're immersed in a good story. A well-written novel can transport you to other worlds, while an interesting article will occupy your attention and keep you in the current now, releasing tensions and helping you to unwind.
Reading books helps you to gather new information and allows you to store facts and information for later use. Everything you read instills fresh knowledge in your mind, which you never know when you'll need it. The more information you have, the more prepared you will be to meet any situation you may encounter. Furthermore, here's some food for thought: if you ever find yourself in a difficult situation, remember that while you may lose everything else—your job, your possessions, your money, even your health—knowledge is something you can never lose.
3) Memory Improvement
When you read a book, you must remember a variety of characters, their histories, ambitions, history, and subtleties, as well as the numerous arcs and sub-plots that run throughout each tale. That's a lot to remember, yet our brains are good at remembering stuff like this. Every new memory you make creates new synapses and reinforces old ones, which helps with short-term memory recall and mood stabilization. Furthermore, if you ever find yourself in a difficult situation, keep in mind that while you may lose everything else—your job, your belongings, your money, even your health—knowledge will never be taken from you.
4) Improved Concentration
As we multitask through our days in this internet-crazed environment, our attention is tugged in a million different places at once. Working on a task, checking email, speaking with a few people, keeping an eye on Twitter, watching their smartphone, and engaging with coworkers are all things that the average individual will do in a 5-minute period. This sort of ADD-like behavior causes us to become more stressed and less productive. When you read a book, your whole focus is on the story—the rest of the world fades away, and you can fully immerse yourself in every minute detail. You'll be amazed at how much you can learn from reading for 15-20 minutes before going to work.
5) Expansion of Vocabulary
The more you read, the more terms you'll come across, and they'll eventually find their way into your daily vocabulary. Being eloquent and well-spoken is beneficial in any job, and knowing that you can confidently speak to higher-ups may raise your self-esteem significantly. It may even help you advance in your career, as those with larger vocabularies and a lack of awareness of literature, scientific breakthroughs, and global events are promoted more quickly (and more frequently) than those with smaller vocabularies and a lack of awareness of literature, scientific breakthroughs, and global events. Non-native speakers receive exposure to terms used in literature, which helps them learn new languages because it exposes non-native speakers to words in context, which improves their speaking and writing fluency.
6) Improved Writing Techniques
This goes in hand with your vocabulary expansion. Observing the rhythm, flow, and writing styles of other authors will always affect your own work, as would exposure to published, well-written material. Writers learn how to construct language by reading the works of others, much as musicians inspire one another and painters to employ techniques established by earlier artists.
7) Reading Helps with Sleep
Reading before bed can help you sleep better, especially if you make it a nightly routine. There are several reasons why reading before bed is beneficial to your sleep patterns. The major reason for this is that reading reduces stress, anxiety, and muscle tension. Helping you relax and unwind before bed can make a big difference in your ability to push worrying thoughts aside and fall asleep. Another explanation is that your mind associates bed and reading with sleep because of the usual pattern. It's crucial not to mix up your behaviors in order to achieve this. Backlit screen gadgets can disturb the synthesis of melatonin, and browsing the internet or scrolling through email and social media on your phone can keep your mind aware and in an active state, so replace your smartphone or tablet with a paperback book or eReader.
8) Sucess is Inspired by Reading
Have you ever heard the expression, "Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers?" There's a lot of truth in that, to be sure. Many historical leaders were ardent readers, and some of the world's most successful corporate executives, like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Elon Musk, have linked reading to their professional success. Active readers are likely to earn up to five times more than those who spend little or no time reading, according to studies in the United States. According to a survey, the one thing that the world's wealthiest individuals had in common, was that they all read. This was supported by research conducted in the United Kingdom, which found that the greater a person's socioeconomic status, the more regularly they read. The quest for information is considered to be at the root of the relationship between reading and success. Reading improves our critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as our general and particular knowledge, as well as our social and communication abilities. Elon Musk, the tech millionaire, learned how to construct rockets by reading books and would read science fiction novels for more than 10 hours a day.
9) Reading decreases Loneliness
Reading is often a lonely activity for most people, but this does not have to be the case. Finding a like-minded group of friends or community members and establishing a book group may transform reading into a social event. The advantages of book groups include turning a solitary activity into a social ritual and discovering a group of people who share similar interests. By listening to and arguing diverse points of view when reading and discussing literature, one might have a better comprehension of the tale. There are a variety of book group alternatives available, including online and social media book clubs as well as face-to-face book groups.
10) Reading aids in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia
Reading is a brain exercise, and keeping your mind busy might help you maintain your mental health later in life. Alzheimer's disease is two and a half times less likely to develop in older people who read books or play cognitively taxing activities, according to research. Reading has also been linked to a decreased incidence of dementia. The study discovered that whether participants started reading or other cognitively stimulating hobbies early or late in life, they had a slower rate of decline in both cases, indicating that it's never too late to pick up a book.
Reading does not have to be a costly pastime. If you're alright with reading on a tablet or computer screen, there are many excellent classics accessible for free, plus there are several great free libraries or low-cost membership and book group programs to obtain access to a wide selection of outstanding books. So, if you've been putting off reading, now would be a good time to pick up the paperback. You may introduce yourself to a new, beneficial hobby!