Benefits of Reading

One thing that has surprised me since publishing my first book is the amount of times I’ve heard someone I know say, “I don’t normally read a lot, but I’ll buy yours!” I grew up reading in a house where everyone read and was encouraged to read, so this was foreign to me. I guess I just assumed most people read books. They are such a fun form of entertainment and escape. With a book, you can privately escape into a world, and depending on how long it takes you to read, it will last you longer than a movie. It can make a much larger impact than even a movie because there is much more detail and your brain has to fill in these details. With that, I started thinking about what other benefits there are to reading regularly. Here’s what I found:

A couple of cognitive researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and University of Toronto/Ontario Institute of Studies in Education studied the benefits of reading: Journal article pdf

Article about reading benefits

1. Enhanced Intelligence

Reading has been associated with higher GPA, general knowledge, and intelligence.

2. Greater vocabulary

Studies have found that exposure rather than teaching helps grow a child’s vocabulary. These researchers believe that reading volume is a better means of exposure than oral language. They found that most speech is more casual and writing tends to use more varied words and more complex words. As far as spelling, even basic words, seeing them spelled correctly many times will help someone learn them rather than just hearing them.

3. Enhanced writing skills

By seeing great works of fiction, writing skills have been improved simply by learning through exposure. Writing skills are very important in many careers, so it reading can really help give an advantage in writing proposals, contracts, business letters, etc.

4. Enhanced memory

Reading helps with focus and retaining information. It also helps keep the mind working and sharp as we age.

5. Greater analytical skills

The study also found that people who regularly read were able to spot patterns better and more quickly than those who don’t read.

6. Reduces stress

It has been found that various forms of entertainment, including reading, improve mood and reduce stress levels.  It also gives people a common thread with others who have read the same books.  That feeling of camaraderie is important.

I’m sure there are other benefits, but these stuck out.  What do you guys think?

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