Whereas reading took a temporary dive in popularity a few years ago, statistics show that it’s back on the rise. According to a recent poll, about 72% of the American population read a book in the past year. And while that number may vary depending on factors like age and income, the average American reads. about 12 books per year.
Reading offers all sorts of benefits beyond just being entertaining. Incorporating more reading into your life is something everyone should consider, and here’s why.
Reading is like a full-fledged workout for your brain. This can improve your memory, and even reduce your chances of cognitive decline in your older years. When you read, you’re exercising your brain in a variety of ways.
For one, you’re forced to visualize everything you read which increases your overall imagination and creativity. You’re also expanding your vocabulary which can benefit you on a personal and professional level.
Reading has been shown to have a significant impact on our stress levels. This is because when we read we are totally focused on the words and subject and less fixated on our worries. It’s a form of mental escape, not to mention reading usually is done in a comfortable position like sitting on your couch or laying on your bed. For this reason many people incorporate reading into their daily nighttime routine since it’s a great way to unwind, and even fall asleep.
Whether you’re reading nonfiction, or fiction, reading has the power to expand your knowledge and expose you to new information. There are people out there in the world who are just as educated on subjects as people who have done full-fledged degrees, all thanks to books. It’s as simple as getting a library card, and reading about any subject matter you’re interested in.
Connection With Others
Reading offers the opportunity to connect with others when read together. For example, if you join a book club, it can be a joy following the story in a group, and sharing ideas about the story’s interpretation. Book clubs come in digital and physical form, and can be a great way to connect with other people with an equal passion for reading. Reading can also connect us with our children when we read them bedtime stories at night. For many people, some of their fondest memories involve eagerly anticipating the next page of a story as their parents read to them before bedtime.
Life isn’t always easy, and not enough of us talk about it with each other. Sometimes reading a story with an impressive protagonist can be uplifting and encouraging. By following the stories of others, we continue to have hope and optimism that our own situation will work out the same.
If you’re ever feeling scared or unsure about something, consider reading a book about the exact same subject. Books are full of heroes and people who have lived through exactly what you’re living through, which can be exactly what you need to stay hopeful during a difficult time.
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