Why you should be reading this

Do you love to read but simply can’t find the time the pick up a book anymore? Or do you detest reading and go to great lengths to avoid picking up any book outside of school? If you fall into either of these categories—and I am assuming most people will—don’t turn the page or close the newspaper, just keep reading.

What if—by finishing this article, and by continuing to read more once you have finished—you were able to gain a plethora of benefits? Would you have been able to guess that something you thought was only for entertainment could actually have a lasting effect on your life?

Reading books, magazines or even newspaper articles is quite good for your well-being. So avid readers rejoice! You have an even better reason to continue enjoying a wonderful form of entertainment. And all you reading-adverse people out there, now you just might be able to convince yourselves that reading isn’t half bad.

As well as providing a cheap and entertaining way to pass the time, reading will often help to make your busy and stressful life a bit more pleasant. It doesn’t even matter which genre or length of book you decide to read, you can start reaping the benefits of reading with nearly any piece of literature.

However, the more you make the time to read, the better. But no, Facebook and Twitter posts don’t count. Limiting your reading experiences to short 160 character bursts will actually shorten your attention span.

On the other hand, books can do wonders for your memory, cognitive function, vocabulary, stress-level and much more. The longer and more often that you read each day, the smarter and more well-rounded you will become.

Nearly all psychologists agree that reading a book will help you retain information and enhance your memory. You’ve probably heard the old saying “use it or lose it.” This is true of many things in our lives, but especially our memories. Reading is a fun way to exercise your brain and promote critical thinking.

But the perks of reading aren’t limited to healthier brain activity, it can also improve your vocabulary and make you sound like a smarty pants. Reading, especially different difficulties or genres of books, can expose you to more unfamiliar words and ideas.

By using the context of these terms within the narrative or meaning of the surrounding words, you will become more comfortable with these unknown words and be able to recognize them more easily in the future. Learning new words through reading a book will even begin to influence the way you speak and write, because you have a larger vocabulary bank to dig through.

Beyond a more expansive vocabulary, reading can also make you a better writer in general. Not only does it expose you to more complicated words, you can find inspiration and explore different methods of writing if you are constantly reading other people’s work. You might notice something a particular author did well—or even something they did poorly—and later be able to apply this new knowledge to your creative writing piece or a paper for one of your classes.

If all of that brain buffing still isn’t enough incentive for you to want to start reading again, I bet the promise of a less stressful life will make you second guess that decision. People who are passionate readers are less likely to have the negative symptoms associated with high stress.

Reading a good book can be very stress relieving. It can provide the opportunity for someone to immerse themselves in a world that is quite unlike the one we live in. By finding an activity that can get your mind off the troubles of daily life, you will be a less-stressed and happier individual.

With all the benefits that reading can bring you, on top of being relatively cheap, why aren’t you reading right now?

Okay, maybe you are reading right now. But why aren’t you reading every chance you get?

Many college students think that they don’t have enough time to read, yet even reading 30 minutes a day during a break from work, or on the train or bus ride home, can make your life a more pleasant experience.

So get out there; go to a bookstore or library, or download a new app on your smartphone and start reading. It will do you a load of good!