“Reading is to the mind what excise is to the body”
– Joseph Addison, English poet (1672-1719)
If you are one of the people who haven’t realized the huge potential that lies waiting for you at every single library on the planet you are not alone. And good for you: it is never to late to start being a real bookworm.
Years ago I didn’t read books regularly but when I started being insecure about my own personality I took up reading and I haven’t left it since. I read everything from personal development, to fiction and historical non-fiction. More about this in my next blogpost.
Underneath, I have put together 7 reasons why I think you should seriously consider spending more time reading books:
1. Reducing stress
In a world where everything and everyone are being busy reading is such a great way to unwind and to enjoy peaceful time with yourself. Research has shown that reading for six minutes has an improving effect on reducing stress by slowing down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.
2. Improving concentration and focus
Unlike watching a bad movie or reading a short article sitting down with a book takes concentration and focus for a longer period. To be able to turn off your phone and only putting your mental focus to the book can over time strengthen your ability to concentrate.
3. Improving our imagination
Before I read Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram about a prisoner breaking out of a prison in New Zealand and escaping to India I never dreamed about traveling to India. However, reading this book made me realize that I HAD to visit India. 6 months later I landed in New Delhi for the first time and I fell in love with the country just like Gregory David Roberts had done a couple of decades earlier. Reading books can improve our ability to dream big and to imagine things you never would have thought of before.
4. Developing verbal skills and makes you a more interesting person to dialogue with
Reading has this great function of shaping our skills verbally which can dramatically improve our ability to specify our thoughts and our feelings. Furthermore, it gives us a wider vocabulary we can use in our everyday life.
5. It makes you smarter
Unlike watching TV reading is mentally challenging and is stimulating our brain. By reading more books, you will think more and become smarter.
6. It makes you learn everywhere
Compared to many different kinds of information, books are great because they are portable and therefore you can take them with you everywhere which make them such powerful learning tools.
7. Can change your life
How many times have you heard from friends or family that a given book at a given time have changed their life forever? My aunt told me that Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig (great book btw) changed her life completely in the mid 80’s while Robin Sharma’s The Monk who sold his Ferrari changed my way of living a couple of years ago. Reading can really change your life to the better and might even make you realize some of the things that holds you back from doing the things that can improve your happiness and your self-esteem.
Thanks for making it to the bottom of the page. Please let me know if you have other good reasons to read more books and tell us about the books that have changed your life!