Calling book lovers and avid readers of all ages! Have you ever wondered what the benefits of reading are aside from leisure and education? From learning new words to maintaining your mental health, books can do it all! In case you needed a reminder of how important regular reading is for our wellbeing and literacy, here are the top 10 benefits of reading for all ages:
1. Reading Exercises the Brain
While reading, we have to remember different characters and settings that belong to a given story. Even if you enjoy reading a book in one sitting, you have to remember the details throughout the time you take to read the book. Therefore, reading is a workout for your brain that improves memory function.
2. Reading is a Form of (free) Entertainment
Did you know that most of the popular TV shows and movies are based on books? So why not indulge in the original form of entertainment by immersing yourself in reading. Most importantly, it’s free with your Markham Public Library card.
3. Reading Improves Concentration and the Ability to Focus
We can all agree that reading cannot happen without focus and in order to fully understand the story, we have to concentrate on each page that we read. In a world where gadgets are only getting faster and shortening our attention span, we need to constantly practice concentration and focus. Reading is one of the few activities that requires your undivided attention, therefore, improving your ability to concentrate.
4. Reading Improves Literacy
Have you ever read a book where you came across an unfamiliar word? Books have the power to improve your vocabulary by introducing you to new words. The more you read, the more your vocabulary grows, along with your ability to effectively communicate. Additionally, reading improves writing skills by helping the reader understand and learn different writing styles.
5. Reading Improves Sleep
By creating a bedtime routine that includes reading, you can signal to your body that it is time to sleep. Now, more than ever, we rely on increased screen time to get through the day. Therefore, by setting your phone aside and picking up a book, you are telling your brain that it is time to quiet down. Moreover, since reading helps you de-stress, doing so right before bed helps calm your mind and anxiety and improve the quality of sleep.
6. Reading Increases General Knowledge
Books are always filled with fun and interesting facts. Whether you read fiction or non-fictions, books have the ability to provide us with information we would’ve otherwise not known. Reading a variety of topics can make you a more knowledgeable person, in turn improving your conversation skills.
7. Reading is Motivational
By reading books about protagonists who have overcome challenges, we are oftentimes encouraged to do the same. The right book can motivate you to never give up and stay positive, regardless of whether it’s a romance novel or a self-help book.
8. Reading Reduces Stress
Reading has the power to transport you to another world and away from the monotonous daily routine. By doing so, reading can decrease stress, lower heart rate and reduce blood pressure.
9. Reading Sets a Positive Example
Reading is a key component of early literacy development and you can set an example of just how crucial this is by modeling the behaviour yourself. Children are excellent at mimicking the adults around them which means that if you regularly set aside some “me time” for reading, your children will learn to do the same.
10. Reading Teaches Empathy
Books allow us to experience realities outside of our lives. They teach us to relate to others by often putting us in the shoes of the narrator. This simple technique is called empathy. Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Reading builds on empathy by constantly presenting us with thoughts and scenarios outside of our perspective.