With today being World Book Day – a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (generally reading) I thought I might delve into a topic I haven’t yet explored on this blog and that is: why read?
While I know any bookworm like me would scoff at this question – I know there are people out there who struggle to understand why bookworms (like me) spend so much of our time talking about, writing about and reading books.
I can relate to that. Whilst I’m blessed enough to have plenty of time to run this blog and read at least one book a week there are many people out there who simply don’t have that time. It’s easy to understand why, when we are perpetually glued to our phone’s all day absorbing all sorts of other interesting media (blog articles, videos, pictures and music). Then there is also currently a swathe of amazing television shows and movies all available at the click of a button. It’s fine I understand that but reading many benefits which can only be obtained by picking up a book and flipping through pages. Here is a small list I have compiled which answers the question, why read?
- It reduces stress Television and movies can do this too, but books are often much more longer lived than TV shows. It’s far easier to pick up a book on the train ride to work and read a few pages than stopping and starting a TV show on your phone and wasting battery.
- It can increases your knowledge Yes, even fantasy books. Reading books gives us new ways to deal with problems in real life. As well as new ways to look at and perceive the world around us.
- They are cheap There are many online stores which sell books at a cheap price. They don’t require a subscription fee – or an internet connection. Of course you can also borrow them for nothing from libraries, friends and family. Some books can even be downloaded for free to your phone/tablet/kindle.
- Reading makes you better at communicating Essentially reading helps increase your vocabulary, meaning you are better able to express yourself.
- Increased attention span I’m a sucker for doing a dozen things at once. Often I’ll be on Instagram, replying to comments, whilst cooking dinner, drinking a beer and dancing at the same time ( no joke). Reading a book requires a high attention span – otherwise you’d just miss all the important plot points.
- Improved imagination In order to understand the world being described in a book you have to use your imagination to conjure up an image in your head of what is happening. An improved imagination means your world will be filled with possibilities to create and to see things you wouldn’t have – which is something you don’t gain from watching television.
- Actually it makes you smarter in general. There are so many studies which prove this point. Search them in Google if you don’t believe me.
- Reading is fun I can’t even begin to count the amount of times reading has made me laugh, sigh, cry, scream with frustration – but it’s mostly fun.
- The world is literally at your fingertips There aren’t many topics that haven’t been explored in some way by a book. Books have the power to let you see through someone else’s eyes – the world around you and worlds that don’t exist. Reading literally brings unlimited possibilities to your fingers.
- You’re supporting a dying art. I mean, sure reading isn’t really dying. But the internet certainly has put the love of books and the love of books under threat. I was lucky enough to grow up in a generation where books like Harry Potter were cherished. I can’t help but wonder if story books will remain valid in a world which is increasingly digital.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Why do you think reading books is important?