“We lose ourselves in books, but we find ourselves there too”
We have all heard that reading is important for us. Our teachers say it and so do our parents. But nobody really tells us why it is important. For me, every night when my dad caught me on Instagram or Snapchat, I was bound to hear some harsh words about how I was “wasting my life away” and how I should have been reading a book instead. I used to get sick and annoyed of him saying that to me over and over again. Until one day, I picked up a book from my shelf and forced myself to read it.
It took me a long time to get into it, and scrolling through the nonsense on the explore page on my Instagram never felt more tempting. But I stuck with it. Word after word, page after page, it hooked me. I couldn’t put the book down.
Then I realized that there was so much I’m missing out on, and I wish I didn’t neglect reading just because I was too lazy to pick up the book.
Now, I read books on a daily basis and it has benefited me in so many different ways. Here are just five reasons why I think YOU should also read books.
1. Reading improves your focus and concentration:
While you’re reading, you’re focused on doing only one thing; reading. Your brain blocks out everything else at that time. You’re sitting still and you are training your mind to slow down, relax and do one thing at a time. This is particularly good if you find yourself to be a restless person and you feel like your mind is constantly travelling places. If you cannot sit still for a while, start reading and eventually it will come into a habit. In turn, you will teach yourself to focus on one thing and keep your concentration at the max. For me, this was the biggest benefit because I cannot sit still and I am a major over-thinker. Reading helped slow me and my thoughts down.
Would you like to read more about reading books as a great form of stress relief? https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/
2. Reading aids in language development:
English is not my first language. For most people reading this blog right now, English is probably not your first language either. When I started delving into the idea of reading books, my English was weak. I struggled to form sentences and put words together. Now, it’s like a piece of cake. Books increased my exposure to the language and took my vocabulary to a whole new level. If you think you still have room to improve in a certain language, head to your nearest library and borrow a book written in that language.
When I was learning French in high school, the only way I could absorb the language was through reading children’s books written in French. After all, children’s books are written so that younger kids can learn the language. When it comes to learning a new language, we are no different than children.
3. It gives you greater perspective:
Reading allows you to have a deeper perspective on the world and your surroundings. It ensures that you see certain situations from an outsider’s or a third person’s point of view. It takes us outside our comfort zone and forces us to explore more. For me personally, reading something written from another person’s point of view makes me think “huh, I never thought of that” or “I would have done what (this character) did”. This is a good skill to acquire because it is something you can apply in real life. It will help you step into another person’s shoes and understand their thought process and actions.
By reading, you expose yourself to many different genres such as fantasy, horror, thriller. Some of these are far from reality or something that you may never have experienced firsthand before. It broadens your imagination and enforces you to draw pictures in your mind.
I know it doesn’t seem like it most times, but reading is actually a great form of entertainment! It’s cheap or it could be free. It is actually fun if you get into the book properly. Once you start reading and discover a love for books, you will realize that you have been missing out on a world full of opportunities.
Books are wonderful. They transport us, teach us, and provide us with a safe space. It is a break away from reality. Please, do yourself a favour and just pick up a book. The difference between the “current you” and a “better you” is just one book.