I reckon you’ve heard people say that reading is beneficiary. But they never really explain why it is so. The only thing we learn since childhood is that books will make us smart. Which isn’t always precisely true. You can meet a very clever person, who’s never opened a single book and vice versa, a person, who has read all the literature in the world can be quite ignorant. I guess it all depends on individuals or the type of books they’re reading.
But that’s not what I wanna talk about today. Instead, I want to present all the advantages of reading and how it can affect our mindsets, capabilities, brain and even quality of life. I personally believe, that books are not only essential, but also highly necessary for everyone. Doesn’t really matter what are your genre preferences. Reading has a number of benefits, and here’s the main six:
1. Reading broadens our horizons. Through books we get to “virtually” or mentally travel to different places and times, get to know so many cultures, historical events or mundane situations. In my opinion people get smarter through experiences, but it doesn’t have to be merely yours. You can gain wisdom or learn lessons from someone else’s experience and mistakes, even if that person is fictional. So books truly help with broadening our horizons, making it more comprehensive and flexible. We can actually change our mindsets or perspectives of life with fictional stories.
2. It develops our imagination. With movies you are forced to see things or characters how they’re shown to you. But books give you the opportunity to become the director of the story, who has the audacity to pick how people or places look like. Even if characters are described in a certain way, you still get to picture them individually. That’s why reading is important especially for children, because it boosts their imagination and creativity.
3. It gives us knowledge. Even if you’re reading fiction, there’ll still be many things that you can learn from it. Some books may have historical elements, others scientific terminology or definitions, the third ones will get you into mythology or astrology. And that’s how you learn various topics because they’re presented in a literary and interesting way, so your brain will always remember the information it received. And if you choose to read non-fiction, that will work even better, because you can learn more things in a single book, than during a whole grade in university. And that’s truly amazing.
4. Reading helps us relax. Books are one of the best ways to escape the reality and its problems. Everyone needs a safety bubble every now and then, where they can feel themselves safe, cozy and comfortable. Books provide you that, sheltering from all real life issues. They help you calm down, clear your mind and maybe even find a solution to your problems. Bedtime reading is especially great, cause it allows you to go to sleep with an easy heart and mind, scaring all the negative thoughts away.
5. It teaches us to think on our own. When you read a book, you automatically start analyzing it, its plot, characteristics of the heroes, events that happened. Reading gives you a freedom of opinion, as you get to decide, for instance, whether it’s good or bad. You just read the words and get to make all decisions on your own. The same book or character can be interpreted in so many different and unique ways. And there’s no right or wrong in here, because everyone’s worldview is one of a kind and that’s why we see the same character in different ways. For example, the same Severus Snape from “Harry Potter” is a hero for some fans, and a villain to others, because they get to formulate their own opinions throughout the book and analyze that character in a subjective way.
6. You start understanding people much better. I’m sure you’ve faced this situation, when you read about a hero, who’s all good and nice, but then you get “introduced” to the dark side of him. And vice versa, when you find out that the villain of the story isn’t purely evil, cause his character is much more complicated and he has his reasons to be and do whatever he does. Those reasons are always described in such a way, that we not only understand them, but also feel sympathy towards the villain. This psychological trick helps us see our acquaintances in a different way. We often draw parallels between fictional characters and people we know in real life, and thus we’ll start understanding and accepting them much better. We realize, that every person is much deeper, than they actually show, and we’ll start seeing their true essence underneath the masks that they’re wearing, whether good or bad.