I love reading and so do my kids. But why is reading important? Reading is fun but it is also really good for you. Here are some of the benefits of reading books.
I, personally, love to read. I have always been a bookworm, and my favorite moments are when I am curled up on the couch or in bed deep into a great book. I also love reading books to my children and try to read at least one book every day. Since I love reading, I try to instill this love of books in my children as well.
We have tons of books in our house; I constantly get books out from the library- physical books or on my Kindle with the Libby app, and we borrow books from anyone we can.
Luckily for my kids and me, reading books is an extremely important and beneficial thing to do. Reading is one of my greatest hobbies because of all the amazing benefits there are to reading books. I love curling up with a good book!
Why is reading important? There are so many benefits to reading books and especially of reading books to our children. Kids who are read to regularly tend to do better in life for so many reasons. There are so many benefits to reading books- I have listed twenty here, but I am sure there are more!
Why is Reading Important? 20 Benefits of Reading Books
1. Reading Books Encourages Empathy
One of the great benefits of reading is because it equips people of all ages with new ideas and a new language for expressing ideas about the world. It even helps people develop a sense of morality.
Many studies show the effects of reading fiction books on developing a person’s ability to empathize and have found that when a person, particularly children, lives the struggles and experiences the human condition from other people’s perspectives when reading, they learn to humanize others better.
Since reading puts you in the place of another character, you learn to live and see the world from other people’s perspectives which helps you develop empathy.
2. Reading Books Helps to Increase Vocabulary
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- this exposure means that children learn an expanded vocabulary from reading books.
In addition, when reading books, you expose yourself to different patterns of language and vocabulary not used in everyday life- this gives you more and more vocabulary to use and lean on.
When we read, even as adults, we learn new things including new language and vocabulary, which helps us keep on learning- even outside school hours.
3. Reading Books Makes You Better at School
When you read to a child regularly, you give them a chance to be better at school. Not only do children become 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.
In addition, when you read, you are learning patterns of language, problem-solving, and important information. All of this helps you become better at school and gives you an academic advantage.
4. Reading Books Makes you Less Stressed
Who enjoys being stressed? Not me! Stress is an inevitable part of life. But, high levels of stress are not good for your health. 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 is because reading relaxes the muscles and lowers your heart rate- which lowers your stress levels. Want to live longer and have a more relaxed life? Read a book!
5. Reading Books Makes You Feel More Positive
Reading enjoyable books is even a better stress reliever. Funny books help you relax, and fiction books help you see that anything is possible. Information that we receive throughout the day affects us, even if we don’t realize it.
If you are constantly overloaded 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.
6. Reading Books Helps You Sleep Better
Remember that I said that reading slows your heart rate and relaxes your muscles? Well, that helps you sleep better! Many adults have trouble sleeping at night. But, 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, reading before bed can make you fall asleep more easily and feel more rested – definitely worth making a nightly habit!
7. Reading Books Helps You Concentrate Better
Reading keeps you engrossed and concentrated on the words you are reading. So, if you read regularly, you are practicing how to concentrate better. Just like anything else, practice makes concentrating easier over time. This ability to concentrate while reading will translate into other areas of your life and help you concentrate better when you need it most.
8. Reading Books Improves Your Memory
When you read, your brain is working hard to put different things together. Studies have shown that these processes can help improve your memory. In addition, reading to children will help them have better memory as they grow older and is something that you can do to help you improve your own memory even as you get older.
So if you struggle with remembering things, then grab some books and get reading!
9. Reading Books Prevents Cognitive Decline
Reading keeps your mind sharp and may reduce the frequency and severity of the cognitive decline as you get older. A study on this done by Cambridge says “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!
10. Reading Books Makes You Smarter
Reading forces you to process information in different ways. You have to read words, understand them, and understand the meaning of the overall plot. All of this works together to make different parts of your brain work harder.
Reading a lot, especially when young, actually makes you smarter. Continuing to read into adulthood will help improve your brain function and make you a smarter person!
11. Books Teach You New Things
I am not only talking about non-fiction books here. Fiction books can also teach you new things- including facts, details but also a new way to look at the world and teach you about other people, places, and cultures.
Reading a fiction book teaching takes place in a different time and place than what you are used to will teach you about a whole new world quicker than any essay in a textbook or any placard in a museum.
12. Reading Books Helps You Problem Solve Better
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.
This works in two ways: either your book will give you a new way to approach the problem and find a new solution, or taking a break from your problem and focusing on something else will allow your brain to think of new ideas on its own.
13. Reading Books Expands Your Imagination
It’s no surprise that reading is a great way to expand your imagination. When you read a book, your mind often visualizes the story and characters in your head. Your imaginative skills are strengthened and improved when you read because there are many different descriptions of what people, places, or objects look like, sound like, how they feel, etc., and you get to imagine them all.
When I was younger, I loved reading books. The pages would take me on a journey that led me through different worlds.
Some of the stories were so good that they would never leave my mind. I’d think about them all the time and daydream about the places I wished to visit. Reading is beautiful because it can lead you to places you never knew existed and let your imagination run wild in those worlds.
14. Reading Books Makes You a Better Writer
Want to be a better writer? Start reading books! Reading books improves a person’s vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing skills. It will help you create well-developed characters with backstories, develop settings that are rich in detail, and use high-level thinking to come up with unique plotlines.
Reading can also help people learn new languages patterns by providing exposure to different languages while reading and expanding vocabulary.
15. Reading Books Makes You a Better Person
Reading books helps you understand people better. Not only does this increase your empathy towards other people in various situations, but it will also actually make you a better person.
Understanding that different people come from different places, experience things differently, and have a different reality will make you a more understanding, compassionate, and patient person. That is why reading books is one of the best things you can do!
16. Reading Books Helps Your Kids Succeed
If reading books makes you smarter, do better at school, increase their empathy, make them better writers, and all of these other benefits that come from reading books, then it follows that reading books will help your kids succeed in life.
Don’t believe me? Studies show that children whose parents read to them and who enjoy reading for pleasure do better in school and are overall more successful in life.
17. Reading Books Helps You Escape
Take a break from life and escape into a book when life seems a bit much to handle. Then, when you come back, you will be refreshed and ready to cope with all that life has to throw at you.
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.
18. Reading Books is Fun!
Who can deny this amazing benefit of reading? Reading a book that you enjoy is fun! If you don’t enjoy reading, try a different type of book- there are so many types of books- different genres, different types of books (poetry, fiction, non0pficiton, short story, comics, and more).
Find what you enjoy reading and have tons of fun because there is nothing as fun as getting swallowed into an amazing book.
19. Reading Books is a Cheap And Free Hobby
I am all about that frugal living! Encouraging a great hobby that is cheap and most usually free is the way to go! You don’t need expensive hobbies and activities to keep you busy. Reading is cheap and easy and very often free.
Libraries are the best place to get free books for kids and yourself, and there are so many places where you can get free books online or free books by mail. You don’t need to spend any money to read, and you can go anywhere in the world with your books!
20. Reading Teaches You Valuable Concepts
This one may be obvious but books can teach you really valuable concepts. They can teach you about money, they can teach you about respect, they can teach you about authenticity, they can teach you so many things. Reading books is a great way to introduce yourself or your kids to these important concepts in a friendly, non-pressurizing way.