The Importance of Reading: 14 Reasons to Read

Have you ever wondered why people read? If you read a lot, you’re probably asked that question all the time. Maybe you’ve wondered if there are any benefits of a reading habit. Whatever the case, here are 14 reasons to read.

 

The Importance of Reading: 14 Reasons to Read
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Why People Don’t Read

Books have been around for centuries, yet, there are millions of people who have never thought about reading as a hobby. The reasons they give for not reading vary and may even be valid in some cases; here are some of the most common reasons not to read:

No Time to Read

People often claim that one of the reasons they don’t read is because they don’t have time to read. Yet these people often spend hours doing other things like watching television or scrolling on social media. What they probably mean when they say this is that they haven’t made reading a priority in their lives as there are oodles of ways to read more books.

Reading is Boring

A lot of people claim they don’t read because reading is boring. Well, I like to read and I still get bored sometimes. Why? Because I’m reading the wrong book. People who find reading boring should experience with different genres and authors. Chances are, you’ll find something you love to read, it just takes a little bit of effort.

Reading is Pointless

People sometimes claim they don’t see the point in reading. Persons with this viewpoint simply need to change their mindset. There are so many reasons to read it will blow this reason out of the water.

 

Benefits of a Reading Habit

Now let me be clear that when we’re talking about reasons to read we’re referring to books–not social media posts or the nutritional label on something to eat (though being able to read is what allows you to do both of those things). So, what are the benefits of a reading habit?

Scientific Benefits of Reading

You may be surprised that scientists tout the benefits of reading books as a way to improve the quality of life. There’s something about reading books that get your brain cells excited in ways that don’t happen with anything else. If you’re a student, some of these reasons may encourage you to expand your reading list.

Learn new things

One of the best reasons to read is to learn something new. I always tell my son, “If you learn to read for understanding you can learn anything.”

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.”

– Socrates

While people learn in different ways, reading is still a great way to absorb information. And with a growing number of audiobooks, you can listen to books if you’re an audio learner.

Relieves stress

Reading is a great stress-reliever. As you read, you are drawn into a new world with new experiences.  Read can be as a means of escape as it engages the mind and prevents it from dwelling on your present circumstances. It can create a pleasant escape from the troubles you’re experiencing.

Improves reasoning ability

Reading books may improve the way your brain functions as it improves your ability to reason. It increases your ability to make logical decisions and also your cognitive ability. 

Improves memory

As you read more books, you may be surprised to realize that your memory is improving. Don’t you want a great memory? Add a few more books to your reading list.

 

Other Reasons Why Reading is a Good Habit

Reading is one of the best gifts you could give to yourself and I hope you’re beginning to see the importance of reading books. If you still need encouragement to start a reading habit, here are some more reasons to read books.

Entertainment

People read for fun. Reading is one of the most engaging and entertaining hobbies you can do without having to exert too much energy. And, it’s fairly low-cost too especially if you include ebooks in your library.

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”

– Garrison Keillor

 

Improved vocabulary

Books give us access to new words and new vocabulary and they do it in a way that is seamless and fun. One of the best ways to improve your vocabulary through reading is to take an active part in trying to learn new words. When you see an unfamiliar word, take a moment to look up the meaning. You may even decide to make a note of the meaning in the text of the book or in a separate notebook.

woman reading a book
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Immerse yourself in a culture

Is there a culture–or language–you want to learn more about? Reading books written in the language and about the culture you’re trying to learn more about is a good way to immerse yourself in the culture.

“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.”

– Carl Sagan

Improves empathy

We’ll never exhaust the full gamut of human experience–thank God! But we can learn from the experiences of others. As we see the world literally through someone’s eyes, it teaches us compassion and we start to feel empathy for them. A book I read more than ten years ago has made me passionately aware of female mutilation and the plight of thousands of women who are still subjected to this practice.

 

Learn new perspectives

If you’re looking for a new perspective on an issue or topic, you may have just found another reason to read. 

People have a wide range of experiences and these color their opinions and perspectives. To understand the world through someone else’s eyes, read something they wrote. Read their memoir or a story written from the perspective of someone who has experienced that thing.

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Stretches imagination

Do you see images when you read? I do.  Reading stretches my imagination. It takes a bit of practice but eventually words will create images in your mind and reading will seem a lot like watching a movie. Over time, you’ll be able to tell people about the books you’re reading and they will start to imagine it with you.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”

– George R.R. Martin

Self-improvement

Is there an area in your life that you want to improve? Start reading. Reading is a great way to learn a new skill or to achieve improvement in a particular area of your life.

“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”

– Jim Rohn

Solitary sport

Okay, so reading isn’t actually a sport…but it should be. One of the best reasons to read is that it doesn’t need a partner as it can be done alone. All you need is a book and you’re good to go.

 

Reasons to Read for Authors

As a writer or aspiring author, it is important to read for many reasons. You may think that you should abstain from reading because you don’t want to steal other people’s ideas. That’s a great standpoint. Plagiarism is wrong and should never be done under any circumstances. We read to be inspired by others. In the words of Solomon, there is nothing new under the sun so don’t deprive yourself of the valuable habit.

If you’re still on the fence about reading other people’s work, here are two great reasons authors should read books.

Improve your storytelling

People tell stories. It’s how we make sense of our world. I like to think God put the desire for story in humanity’s DNA…it’s one of the reasons He gave us the Bible. We are wired for story.

Reading improves your storytelling skills. As we read, our mind catalogs what we like and don’t like so when it’s time for us to tell our stories we have a starting point.

Market Research

A lot of times authors start writing a book before first researching if it is viable. While it’s important to write what you’re passionate about, it makes no sense publishing work no one is interested in (that’s a great way to get your writer’s heart broken). So we read. Read books in the genre that you write, or want to write, as this will give you a good idea of what readers want and what tropes exist.

 

The Importance of Reading

I like reading books because I think it’s fun. There are few things more exciting than getting a new book–especially one I’ve been anticipating for a while. Books take me to new places, open my mind to the possibilities of new experiences, teach me about myself and the people I share this world with.

Through books, I’ve been to new countries and new worlds. I’ve witnessed the best things about humanity and the worst. Stories matter. They give us ways to explore the world…even if you never leave your house. Do you understand the importance of reading? What are your reasons to read?

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Reading: 14 Reasons to Read

  1. Awesome explanation of the importance of reading.

    There are so many great reasons to read, and besides reading alone, reading as a family has a whole host of other benefits, and I’m not just talking about reading with small children. Family read aloud time can be amazing at any age!

    1. Reading aloud is a great way to bond over a book and share your love of reading with your family. Thanks for sharing these two reasons to read, Aryn.

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