In a world where we are surrounded by digital data, is there a benefit to setting the phone down, turning off the tv and picking up a book? To begin with, I am an avid reader. I find it quiets my mind, allowing me to escape and de-stress. My favorite time to read is early in the morning when the sun is just coming up and the world is still quiet. Curled up reading a book with a cup of coffee gives me time for myself before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. Now whether you are a romance junkie, sci-fi nerd, historical fiction enthusiast or just want to learn something new, it makes no difference.
So, what do we get out of reading? Is it just pleasure or are their real benefits to picking up that book? Well, the research shows that it is both beneficial to your physical and emotional health.
- Exercises your Brain
We’ve all heard the term, “your brain is a muscle.” Well to keep muscles in shape and sharp, it must be exercised. Studies have shown that reading decreases your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other age related cognitive decline.
2. Can make you more Empathetic
Research has shown that fiction novels in particular, can help you develop what they call Theory of Mind. Increasing our ability to understand other people’s beliefs and feelings.
3. May help Improve Sleep
Books help your mind to quiet down and your body to relax. You may want to go with a paper book in this instance, as the screen light may affect your body’s natural sleeping pattern.
4. Builds your Vocabulary
It has been shown that those, particularly beginning at a young age, develop large vocabularies. Reading books is a great way to get exposure to new words and learn them in context.
5. Helps you Relax
Snuggling up with a good book is like a holiday for your brain. Allowing yourself to forget about the stresses of the day and lose yourself in someone else’s story.
And if your still not sold on reading, here is one last fact. Warren Buffet estimates that he spends as much as 80% of his day reading. Now, I don’t know about you, but if its good enough for a billionaire, its good enough for me.
Not sure what to read? Check out this site, Good Reads. There are tons of book suggestions, complete with reviews. You can even follow friends to see what they are reading. Or if you are so inclined you can follow me, Genoa Yox, to see what my latest reads are.