Reading is something which is very hard at first, and then becomes easier, faster and more pleasurable the more you do it. This is because new brain connections are formed every time you create a new memory, whether the memory is a new word, or associating the shape of a word to the image in your brain. But what are the other benefits of reading?
Through reading other’s thoughts and feelings, you are seeing the world and life through their eyes. You have access to a wide variety of different people’s thought processes, which can help you to develop a deep and broad understanding of them. This study has shown that reading literary fiction enhances your ability to see things from another’s point of view, and increases your emotional intelligence.
Through reading, you are constantly committing things to memory outside your day to day life, putting them to rest when you put your book down, and relaying them when you reopen it and begin reading again, or discuss it with others. Activities that improve memory have been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, or at least reduce symptoms, and slow deterioration, possibly due to high functioning of memory, this article shows.
All of the worlds most important knowledge is available in book format, and most of the world’s population has been educated using books as an aid. Many of the world’s most intelligent and successful people have spent a lifetime acquiring knowledge, only to relay all of the most valuable knowledge from their life into a book. Whether your interests are football, poker, bodybuilding, or astrophysics, reading around each subject is fundamental to building your skills. If you read many books around your chosen subject, this will also increase your creativity, as those with a deep understanding of their chosen field, have a higher chance of forging connections between previously un-researched topics.
4. Improved Communication
You will improve vocabulary, spelling, clarity of communication, and sentence structure by regular reading and writing, as you will have exposure to a greater variety of words, and relaying well written bodies of text over in your mind will cause you to pick up good habits. Additionally reading can help you to understand and communicate in other languages.
A side effect of increased knowledge, empathy, and competence in communication is increased confidence. As you become a better communicator, understand others better, and acquire more specialist knowledge, your confidence will build. Remember, competence > confidence, if you are not confident in a particular area or skill, you should look to become more competent at it, and as you do so, confidence will follow.
6. Brain Function and Connectivity
Reading, particularly fiction, has been shown to increase brain connectivity, even after you have finished reading, this study shows. Reading over the summer months for school children can also help reduce summer learning loss.
Regular reading, and committing to finishing novels is difficult, but doing so will help you to become more disciplined, and patient. Like many things, not everything in a book will be enjoyable or benefit you, but persevering with it to get to the good bits will be well worth your while.
What have you read that has had the biggest impact on your life?