Reading is a huge part of my life. Although I often have my nose in a book, I didn’t understand the importance of reading or why reading is important until I started to do some research.
I love reading. Since I was a young child, you would always find me with my head buried in a book. I was lucky to be raised by “readers”- by parents who always helped me find the best books and encouraged my reading habit. We had no TV in the house, and books were our primary form of entertainment. Library trips were a weekly occurrence, and books always surrounded us.
This love of reading has served me well over the years, and it is something that I still enjoy very much. Although I don’t read as much as I used to, my primary reading these days consists of children’s books, books and reading are still a massive part of my life, and I am working to encourage a love of reading in my children as well.
We visit the library a lot, I use my Kindle to get free books online, and I constantly look for free books and very cheap used books. My kids know that the biggest threat is a brand new book and is one of the most oft-given presents in our home.
Those of you who love reading know why it’s so great, but did you know that reading for yourself and your kids has fantastic benefits? Did you know why reading is so important?
Here are ten reasons that stress the importance of reading.
Importance of Reading: 10 Reasons Why Reading is so Important
Reading encourages empathy
Reading is important because it equips people of all ages with new ideas and new language for expressing ideas about the world. It even helps people develop a sense of morality.
Many studies show the effects that fiction has on developing a person’s ability to empathize and have found that as a person, particularly a young person, lives the struggles and experiences the human condition from other people’s perspectives, learn to humanize others better.
Mark Koning, Education Writer, says, “Since reading puts you in the place of another character, you learn to live and see the world from other people’s perspectives.”
Reading gives you an academic advantage
When you read to a child regularly, you give them a lot of academic advantage. Kids who are read to regularly early in their childhood are exposed to over a million more words by the time they reach kindergarten than those who aren’t, and they develop a love of reading.
Elizabeth, Founder of Discovery Play with Littles, says, “Not only are they better readers and more fully prepared to begin school, but they also understand new skills easier and quicker than children who aren’t as exposed to reading.”
When reading books, you expose children to different patterns of language and vocabulary not used in everyday life. As older children and adults, when we read, we learn new things, learn new language and vocabulary, and this helps us keep on learning- even outside school hours.
Reading helps with stress management
Stress is an inevitable part of life. But, high levels of stress are not good for your health. Excessive stress can lead to several health problems, making it crucial for everyone to practice stress management techniques. Reading is known to be a good stress management technique. According to a study done by the University of Sussex, reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. This stress reduction is because reading relaxes the muscles and lowers your heart rate. Want to live longer and have a more relaxed life? Read a book!
Reading positive things helps you create a positive mindset
Information that we receive throughout the day affects us, even if we don’t realize it. If you are in constant overload with negative information or keep thinking negative thoughts, you start to adopt a negative mindset. On the other hand, if you read positive things, you send positive messages to your subconscious mind and create a positive mindset. In these days of information overload and doomscrolling, the importance of reading is even more pertinent, especially books with a happy ending!
Reading enhances concentration power
Reading keeps you engrossed and concentrated on the words you are reading. So, if you read regularly, your concentration power will likely increase. This power of concentration will carry over into other parts of your life and increase your productivity where you need it.
Reading helps you fall asleep faster and also improves sleep quality
Remember that reading slows your heart rate and relaxes your muscles? Do you know what that is important for? Sleep! Many adults have trouble sleeping at night. Scientific studies have shown that reading before bed helps fall asleep faster and improves sleep quality. This is because reading forces you to use your brain muscles, making the brain feel tired and triggers sleep. So, adults can enjoy a better quality of sleep by making bedtime reading a habit. (Definitely better than using your phone, which can make sleep difficult!)
Reading acts as an escape into a new world
Jessica from ‘The Speaking Polymath says, “We often get into a fixed lifestyle. We wake up in the morning, go to work, eat meals, come back home, take a shower, eat dinner and doze off to sleep. This falling into a routine often makes life seem monotonous. Reading can help you escape the dullness of adult life by taking you into a whole new world. ”
When life seems a bit much to handle- take a break from life and escape into a book. When you come back, you will be refreshed and ready to cope with all that life has to throw at you.
Reading helps with problem-solving
Books can be the most incredible tool to solving any problem. Are you stuck in a situation? Divert yourself from the issue and dive into reading books. You may get a new perspective from a book, and you will be able to view the same problem from a different angle and speed up growth and problem-solving. “Reading books changed my life,” says Asfa Khalid.
Reading is a good escape
I can also attest that reading is one of the best coping mechanisms this world has to offer. I’ve lived a thousand lives within the pages of my favorite books, and I turn to them like old friends when my own life feels suffocating.
“If there is one thing I want my students to learn from me,” says Grace Poole, Blogger + Founder, ParentingUnderPressur
Reading helps prevent cognitive decline
Reading keeps your mind sharp and can help reduce the frequency and severity of the cognitive decline in older age. A study by Cambridge concluded, “Frequent reading activities were associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline for older adults at all levels of education in the long term.” So, if you are worried about old age or want to keep your mind sharp, then grab a book, fiction or non-fiction, and start reading!
The importance of reading cannot be overstated. Reading is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and give to your children. Whether we read fiction books, romances, fantasy, or non-fiction, books are a potent tool. Reading is one of the best ways to learn. I recommend giving your children books to read that teach them about important life skills, such as money, and to help start conversations about important topics with young children. Reading can be a great bonding tool with your kids (if you have them) and can be the best thing in your life.