Reading is undeniably my most favorite thing to do in the world! If reading was a profession, I wouldn’t think twice about choosing it for a living. Some people think that book nerds are weird and introverted. They’re kind of right in a way, but I’d rather call us “literally misunderstood.” Get it? Literally. Okay, I’m gonna shut up now, making puns isn’t really one of my strongest suits. Haha! Anyway, it is such a widely-accepted wrong notion that reading is only for smart people. On the contrary, reading is what makes smart people. In my opinion, people who don’t read even just for a tad bit are clearly missing out on one of the most wonderful things in life! It doesn’t even have to be a book, it could be anything. Be it magazines, newspaper clippings, journals, brochures, blogs, etc. There are no restrictions whatsoever on what kind of material one must read. I know that I may not be able to persuade all of you to read, but here is why I think you should:
1. Reading is Fun and Inexpensive
I don’t know how to stress this out much further. While most people have to pay to be amused—in bars, concerts, cinemas, et cetera—reading is free entertainment. It’s a free ticket to see the sands of the Sahara, or feel the cold of Mount Everest, or even taste the kiss of Romeo. It doesn’t cost much, a little lamp light and willing hours is all it takes!
It’s fun too because it is also a form of travel. You get to enjoy various events by perusing the immortal words in the text. Reading provides you different experiences; be thrilled, scream in fear, or cry a river! You get to test drive your creativity and make your own movies in your mind. It’s a challenge for your imagination. Once you’ve flipped open a book, you manipulate the story in your head, or decide what to do with what you’ve read. Doesn’t it sound FUN? Haha! It does to me!
Being young adults, we already think that we know everything there is to know to get through life. But I tell you, that reading takes you to places you never thought existed. It tells you things you never could’ve imagined. There isn’t a single person who reads who isn’t intelligent. As I’ve mentioned, reading makes you smarter. It is a kind of exercise for the brain, a mental workout and stimulation. Yes, the brain needs exercise too!
Reading (and being interested) about a certain subject will lead you to finding out more facts about something related to it. Then something about that would catch your attention, which would lead you to another topic, until you’d soon find yourself linking all these new information you’ve learned from one subject matter to the next.
For example, once I was reading The Alchemist, then I came across Urim and Thummim. This raised my curiosity, so I researched facts about it and found out they were these rocks/sticks used in Biblical times to find out God’s will. Urim and Thummim is believed to be translated as “yes,” and “no,” or “blessing,” and “curse.” I never even realized I’ve come across it in the Bible before. Not long after, I found out that these rocks/sticks were the only divination permitted by God (and that divination wasn’t allowed by God to begin with); they were used by Abraham, Aaron, the priests of Israel, and so on, and so on.
You see? And you think you know so much, don’t you? 😂
3. Expands Vocabulary and Verbal Skills
You’ve probably heard about this before, countless of your English teachers may have hopelessly mentioned this to you. But it is true what they say. Reading expands our vocabulary. Heaven knows how many new words I learn a day whenever I’m reading books. I always make it a point to write them down and define them later on, so I may use them in real life. Knowing the right words makes conversations simpler. Having a wide vocabulary is also one of the stepping stones to success. Employers hire people who know what they’re saying and don’t always feel tongue-tied.
Having a wide vocabulary makes you a natural conversationalist, as well. You’d always know the right word to the feeling you’re trying to express. It is easier for you to understand different people, and them to understand you. Have you ever been in a situation wherein people just talked about things you had absolutely no idea about nor did you understand a single word they were uttering, so you just let out small nods every now and then? How awful is that, right? Wouldn’t you want to co-relate to other people, and join in their success? Reading offers that to you! Reading widens your vocabulary, thus making you know what to say, thus effectively communicating. And communication, after all, is the key to success.
4. Improves Memory and Concentration
It’s very famous for us students to say, “We forgot what we read last night.” In all honesty, that is because you haven’t read it enough. Reading something over and over again actually makes a mark in your brain. It retains in your long-term memory. Whenever you need that piece of information, your brain would just conjure it up. It’s the same way how you never forget the lyrics to your favorite songs, or the lines of your favorite movie, or how I never forget that (sin²Θ + cos²Θ = 1) because I’ve spent an entire semester staring at my Trigonometry notes. Haha! I hope I’ve made my point.
Reading also helps you concentrate better because you’ve set your mind to silence completely everything around you, and hear nothing but your own voice speaking word per word inside your head. Some people may find this hard at first, but as you continue on, you gradually realize that even when your dad is having Karaoke night downstairs, you can study just fine. Your dedication to understand what’s in the print helps!
5. Develops Higher Comprehension and Analytical Skills
Reading is essential because it helps you understand better how the world works. When you’ve read quite a lot, you know which point of views you can compare from. Different opinions have different impacts on your decision making. It is because you have with you a reference based on what you’ve read previously. You get to learn from writer’s mistakes and know what’s on people’s minds. You can comprehend and empathize on people’s choices, too. Reading develops your analytical skills and prepares you on how to take action to certain circumstances, and foresee the results. Being well-learned about a subject matter through reading assists you in explaining things better. It also improves your stand point and broadens your outlook. When you know little about a topic, you shy out. But once you’ve read about it, you compare your renewed perspective with what you had before.
6. Reduces stress
Like I said before, reading is inexpensive. You don’t need to sign up for a yoga class to reduce stress and unwind. You can just grab a book, sit on the porch and read on. Reading is such a mood changer. Words entertain you, make you laugh and forget (even for a short while) what you’re stressing over about. A true way of relaxing. Paper is more patient than man, as Anne Frank wrote in her diary.
7. Better Writing
It all just connects to one another. Reading expands your vocabulary thus improves self-expression. Knowing what you want to express makes it a whole lot easier to polish your writing skills. It is because you get to surpass other writer’s writing style by knowing what their weak points are and trying to fill that in.
The most common reason why most people have a hard time writing is also because of their grammar. I strongly suggest that they read because reading helps with grammar! When at first you can’t identify “they’re” and “their,” soon you would just be perplexed on why you had such problems to begin with.
8. Shapes Personality
This is my favorite part! This is the best effect reading has done to me. When you read, you aren’t just sounding out words. You are venturing into the world of self-discovery. You expose yourself to different scenarios, put yourself in a protagonist’s shoes, decide how to deal with certain instances, and realize that there was this whole new you that you never met.
I found love for blogging by reading. I just stumbled upon blogs on the internet, read what bloggers had to say, and told myself, “Wow, this is me. I want to be this.” You’ll never know if you ever want to be a pilot, or an engineer, or an accountant, or a journalist, until you read more about them. Immerse yourself in that world, and you’d be exploring a different side of yourself.
How is reading important to you? 🙂