February is National Library Lover’s Month (in the US) so I've set myself a challenge to read a chapter of a book every day. It's been great escaping to another country in another time period and having some unadulterated me time.
I'm 2 weeks in and I have managed to read at least a chapter of The Miniaturist every day.
I'm taking time out from reading tonight to sing the praises of reading! You may not have realised but reading has a significant number of benefits here are a few:
1. Reading improves your memory
When you’re reading a novel, you may not release it but you have to remember a whole range of characters; not just their names but their backgrounds and values too. Then there’s the plot and sub-plots that weave their way through the story. The more we read the better our brains are able to process all this information and can recall it with relative ease. This actually slows the progress of Alzheimer’s and Dementia!
2. Reading is relaxing
Even the most stressful of days can be made better by losing yourself in a well-written book. It can transport you to distant lands or another era or galaxy. So next time everything feels too much to deal with, grab a book and feel the tensions melt away.
3. Reading increases your knowledge and expands your vocabulary
The more you read, the more you know. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face. You’ll also be exposed to more words which will inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary, making you sound articulate and well-spoken. Exposure to well-written work has a positive effect on your writing too, as the writing styles of other authors will influence your own work.
4. Reading strengthens your Analytical Thinking Skills
Have you ever solved the mystery yourself before finishing the book? If so, you were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work by taking note of all the details provided and sorting them out to determine “whodunnit”. This is a great skill that can be transferred into real life situations.
5. Improved Focus and Concentration
In our modern fast paced world our attention is drawn in a million different directions at once as we multi-task through every day. In a single 5-minute span, the average person will divide their time between working on a task, checking email and interacting with co-workers. This type of behavior causes stress levels to rise, and lowers our productivity.
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story. Try reading for 15 minutes before work and you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you are once you get to the office.
There’s a reading genre for everyone, so if you love classical literature, poetry, fashion magazines, biographies, religious texts, self-help guides or romance novels, there’s something out there to capture your imagination. Step away from your computer for a little while, crack open a book, and replenish your soul for a little while.