10 Reasons to Love Reading
What can reading do for the mind, body, and soul?
In today’s global age, we can feel overwhelmed. The demand for our attention spans from fast-paced video games to the endless scroll of social media. Even the term “attention economics” is used to describe the commodity of time. We are advertised to in subtle ways that never used to grace our learning spaces. Because of this distraction, it feels like our love for reading has vanished. This can make English reading for beginners a tall order.
Since this explosion of media outlets, our relationship with the simple act of reading has changed. In the Article “Reading and Happiness” by Lawrence Baines, it’s stated that “The last time Americans spent more time reading than playing video games and surfing the Internet was 1996 [..] Despite the lure of immediate gratification, a life built around the endless pursuit of “Type I happiness” can quickly become shallow or empty”.
Type I happiness is the kind we don’t need to make time for. It’s centred around fleeting moments like eating junk food, impulse shopping, and adrenaline-fueled past times. Reading is highly beneficial for those seeking Type E happiness. This is reached through tasks that stimulate long term goals, creativity, and delayed gratification.
In this blog, we will explore the emotional benefits of reading, its contribution to our well-being, and its impact on life. Reading can benefit how we live, how we sleep, and how we communicate. Below is a comprehensive list of what a good book can do for you. Keep reading to learn why it’s high time you fell back in love with reading.
1. Physical Health Benefits.
English reading texts have plenty of health benefits. Including reading in your daily routine can have a substantial positive impact on your physical health. Recent studies have shown that it can prevent strokes by stimulating your brain’s neuron system. If your brain receives ample blood flow, the rest of your body can carry out tasks effortlessly. It’s important to keep your mind as stimulated and active as possible as you age to retain function.
A recent study yielded surprising results: 3,635 people were studied over a period of 12 years. Among this group, those who read regularly lived about 2 years longer than those who did not read. The same study concluded that those who put aside 3.5 hours of their week to read were 23% likely to live longer. By putting aside just a small amount of time to enjoy a good book, you could be reaping the benefits of reading long term.
2. Aids Sleep.
The act of reading allows your body to switch off and forget about stress from the day. In fact, the Mayo Clinic advises people to include reading in their nightly routine. If this habit is maintained for a long period of time, your brain will associate reading with your body’s clock. This combined with a quiet and calm environment will help you fall asleep much faster. Reading a story for a chapter or two is the perfect way to practice good sleep hygiene and avoid distractions. Just be sure to avoid any subject matter that could keep you from putting the book down!
3. Reduces Stress.
The immersive quality of loving reading allows the brain to relax and be more present. The University of Sussex observed that reading allows the brain to reject ⅔ of the daily stress a person faces. Reading is a grounding activity, and brings the reader into a feeling of “here and now”. Thirty minutes of reading has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and negative feelings as effectively as meditation or yoga. Next time you feel caught up in the noise of modern society, try reading for 30 minutes and see for yourself.
4. Increases Happiness.
Reading is a form of delayed gratification and benefits your mood long term. In a society that focuses on momentary happiness, the sense of accomplishment that comes with knowledge can bring long-term joy into the reader’s life.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle claimed enduring satisfaction in life was achieved through the following: conversing and reading, developing intellect, seeking virtue, and finding happiness. Spending time enriching your life through the joy of reading can bring you a sense of fulfilment and positive energy.
5. Improves Memory.
A love of reading improves the brain’s word retention. Exercises like reading stimulate the four components of working memory: central executive, phonological loop, visual-spatial layout and episode buffer. All of these cognitive functions are essential to perform daily tasks. Reading exercises the brain and its ability to encode, store, and retrieve.
In other words, reading books in your daily routine exercises the mind so you can perform in all aspects of life. Much like the big meal you need before you go on a long hike. Feeding your brain with reading might give you the confidence to leave the map at home.
6. Benefits Mental Health.
Mental health concerns are often cured with a hands-on medical approach. Doctors have begun to branch out with alternative medicine in patients. In a 2010 study, the program “Get Into Reading” tested subjects with depression, and the effects reading had on their mental health. Information gathered from this study showed that there was a direct correlation between reading and lessened depression symptoms.
Studies show that different genres of literature can also improve your well-being. If you are feeling depressed, a self-help book can give you a practical approach to facing problems. Alternatively, a work of fiction might provide a welcome escape from life for a moment. Whatever you choose, the act of reading can help with the feelings of isolation and hopelessness that often accompany depression.
7. Develops Empathy.
A love of reading has been shown to improve the reader’s empathy and relating skills. The process requires looking through the lens of someone else. This makes it easier to relate to others. Children are encouraged to read as a method of social learning, which encourages empathy on the playground.
In this Scandinavian Study, they found that stories can expose readers to problems and solutions they would have never known:
“Readers come to ponder a foregrounded expression, experience novel feelings and worldviews in response to it, and move on to align these”.
Reading develops empathy – by exposing people to “novel feelings” and familiarizing it. Maintaining this habit provides a broader, richer inner-world than before.
8. Stimulates Intellect.
When a person does not challenge themselves, the brain begins to lose the skill of repeating simple tasks. This process called “synaptic pruning” can be benefited by stimulation that comes from reading.
The brain is capable of diminishing and expanding throughout the course of a lifetime. No matter how old, a person can always develop new neurons – and lose them. Studies have shown that the only way to prevent the gradual decline of brain activity is to keep it stimulated. This is why reading is often prescribed to people with Alzheimer’s disease.
A person without a love for reading might find themselves intellectually wasting away. An idle mind can turn to boredom-fuelled tasks like binge-watching 25 hours of a TV show they never planned to watch. This lack of purpose in your recreational time can slowly wear away at your desire to learn new things. Instead, it traps you in a cycle of passive consumption. This is avoided by planning your leisure time in advance with reading activities.
9. Improves Social Skills.
Alongside the health risks, the lack of reading love can impact your outlook on life. In the words of Dale Carnegie: “To be interesting, be interested”. A person who spends time enriching their mind will go on to enrich the minds of those around them. Reading a wide array of subject matter is an excellent source of conversation starters and perspectives.
For those who spend a lot of time in solitude – fictional works can also help prevent loneliness and social anxiety. Think of it as a practice run for future social interactions. Reading books provides people with the “Theory of Mind” which helps a person understand different mental states. This can help you navigate conflict, and reach desired social outcomes.
10. Convenience and Accessibility.
Reading material is available worldwide with endless possibilities for resources. Among the classic models of reading, there are books, newspapers, magazines, and journals. However, these resources have their limitations. First of all, they only offer one source at a time and don’t include the plethora of options online. Secondly, they can’t be accessed easily unless you plan ahead. Finally, they often exclude readers who are visually impaired and rely on audiobooks.
1. Reading improves brain function. Numerous studies have shown that reading can help to improve memory and cognitive skills.
2. Reading reduces stress. When you lose yourself in a good book, it can help to take your mind off of your own worries and stresses.
3. Reading promotes empathy. By reading about other people’s experiences, you can develop a greater understanding and compassion for others.
4. Reading increases knowledge. Books offer an opportunity to learn about new people, places, and things that you might not otherwise be exposed to.
5. Reading improves communication skills. By reading books, you can improve your vocabulary and written communication skills.
6. Reading enhances imagination. Books provide a rich source of material for your imagination to draw upon.
7. Reading is enjoyable! Perhaps the most important reason to read books is simply that it’s enjoyable! Curling up with a good book is a great way to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.”
Reading has a number of benefits, both for individuals and for society as a whole. First, reading helps to develop critical thinking and analytical skills. In order to understand a text, readers must be able to identify the author’s main idea and supporting evidence. They must also be able to spot fallacies and assess the quality of the reasoning.
Second, reading plays an important role in developing empathy. By reading about other people’s experiences, we are able to better understand their perspectives and feelings.
Third, reading can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Studies have shown that reading can lower blood pressure and heart rate, while also increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin, which have mood-boosting effects.
Reading is a proven way to improve your brain power. In fact, reading has a host of benefits for your brain, including reducing stress, improving memory and concentration, and even slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. And while any type of reading can be beneficial, experts say that reading fiction may be particularly good for your brain. That’s because fiction allows you to step into another person’s shoes and see the world from a different perspective.
Reading is a vital skill for English Learners for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it helps to develop language skills. By reading text on a regular basis, English Learners can learn new vocabulary and grammar structures in an immersive and contextualized way.
One common reason why people dislike reading and writing is that they find it difficult to comprehend the text. This can be due to many factors, such as poor literacy skills or a lack of exposure to reading and writing. Additionally, people may find the content of what they are reading or writing to be uninteresting. Another reason why people may dislike reading and writing is that it can be time-consuming and frustrating. Especially if someone finds the material challenging, it can take a long time to read or write a piece, during which they may become angry or frustrated.
There are countless reasons to love reading. For starters, reading helps to improve your cognitive skills and allows you to better understand the world around you. In addition, reading can help reduce stress levels and can even be used as a form of therapy. Studies have shown that reading can also improve your memory and increase your lifespan. But perhaps the most important reason to love reading is that it provides you with a never-ending source of knowledge and entertainment.
Lilly’s dynamic sourcing tools, and the catch-all personal Library, offer members the opportunity to enjoy the entire LillyPad experience with just about any material that they can get their mouse on. This includes digital books (free & purchased), articles, news, blogs, PDFs, TedTalks and more!
The 4 Reading Modes:
“Read to Lilly”
This mode offers our members the opportunity to read aloud as Lilly follows behind. It tracks proper pronunciation, word accuracy, and improvements in the learner’s fluency and speed. Reading aloud improves memory retention, fluency, expression, and speed. Research also suggests that reading aloud may have strong cognitive benefits – even for experienced readers.
“Alternate Reading with Lilly”
In this feature, Lilly reads one sentence, and then our member is cued to read the next. Aside from the benefits of reading aloud, reading with Lilly supports and enhances our member’s literacy. All while continuing to build capability, knowledge, and confidence.
Repeated reading improves reading ability across the board! For example, Lilly reads a sentence: then cues the member to repeat the same one. This exercise provides our members with the opportunity to mimic the fluency attributes and enunciation.Studies suggest that repeated reading leads to better reading performance including fluency, speed, and confidence. As a result, the biggest payoffs are with word reading. It also improves reading comprehension (the most frequently reported area of improvement).
Our “Pad Cast” technology turns “All” of our member’s personal Library into a tracked audiobook. The innovative “Pad Cast” tracking technology allows our members to watch and listen. Then Lilly pronounces each word as it is highlighted and spoken. This exercise continues to support and enhance our member’s experience. While continuing to build upon capability, knowledge, fluency attributes, pronunciation, and enunciation.
So, what do you do if you want to improve your reading skills? You hop on over to LillyPad, that’s what!
Do you want to improve your English? Visit www.lillypad.ai.
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Bethany MacDonald has contributed articles LillyPad.ai since 2020. As their Blog Lead, she specialises in informative pieces on culture, education, and language learning