Reading Can Make You Smarter and 19 Other Reasons You Should Read a Book Today

Why is reading important? Reading is fun, but it is also really good for you. Reading is so important, and reading books has many great benefits. You would be surprised about how many great things happen because you read books.

A Love for Reading

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I 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 reading them at least one book every day. Since I love reading, I also try to instill this love of books in my children.  Reading benefits children in many ways, from improving their vocabulary and comprehension skills to enhancing their imagination and creativity.

I want them to enjoy reading as much as I do, so we read picture books when they are young and move on to novels as they grow.

Encourage Reading

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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.

The Best Hobby

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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, especially for our children. For many reasons, kids who are read to regularly are often more successful in life; overall, they do better in many areas.

There are so many benefits to reading books- I have listed twenty here, but I am sure there are more!

1. Reading Books Encourages Empathy

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One of the great benefits of reading is that 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

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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

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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 more quickly than children who aren’t as exposed to reading.

In addition, when you read, you learn language patterns, new words, 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

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Who knew that reading has health benefits? 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, and it helps reduce tension.

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 and your blood pressure. Reading lowers stress levels.

Want to live longer and have a more relaxed life? Read a book!

5. Reading Books Makes You Feel More Positive

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Reading enjoyable books is an even 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. This can be disastrous to your mental health.

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

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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 you fall asleep faster and improves your sleep quality.

This is because reading forces you to use your brain muscles, making the brain feel tired and helping trigger sleep.

So, reading before bed can make you fall asleep more easily and feel more rested – definitely worth making reading a nightly habit!

7. Reading Books Helps You Concentrate Better

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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. Even a few minutes of reading will help you concentrate better.

8. Reading Books Improves Your Memory

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When you read, your brain works 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, grab some books and read!

9. Reading Books Prevents Cognitive Decline

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Reading keeps your mind sharp and may reduce the frequency and severity of 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.”

That means that reading books can help reduce the chance of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as you age.

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

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Reading forces you to process information in different ways. You have to read and understand words and understand the overall plot’s meaning.

All of this works together to make different parts of your brain work harder.

Reading a lot, especially when young, actually makes you smarter. The mental stimulation that comes from reading makes your child smart.

Continuing to read into adulthood will help improve your brain function and make you a smarter person!

11. Books Teach You New Things

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I am not only talking about non-fiction books here.

Fiction books can also teach you new things- including facts, and 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

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Books can be the most incredible tool for 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

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Unsurprisingly, 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 can 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 always think about them 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

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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 language patterns by providing exposure to different languages while reading and expanding vocabulary, which can help with communication skills.

15. Reading Books Makes You a Better Person

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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 different realities and emotions 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

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If reading books makes you smarter, helps you do better at school, increases your empathy, makes you a better writer, learn new words, 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 more successful overall.

17. Reading Books Helps You Escape

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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 whatever life throws at you.

I can also attest that reading is one of the world’s best coping mechanisms.

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!

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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, non-fiction, 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

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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; you can go anywhere in the world with your books!

20. Reading Teaches You Valuable Concepts

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This one may be obvious, but books can teach you really valuable concepts.

Books can teach you about money, they can teach you about respect, they can teach you about authenticity, and 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.

Get Your Children To Read

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Help your children create good reading habits by reading daily, going to the local library, and giving them access to all different types of books and audiobooks.

When you create a positive reading environment, then you will help your children read more.

Reading more will help your children be smarter, have better social relationships, be happier, have better brain health, and be more successful.

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This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved. 

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.

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