10 Benefits of reading - why you should read every day

Reading can be for pleasure or for becoming well-read. People have different reasons for reading. I read a tremendous lot and reading to me is more than just a pleasurable pastime. I share my reason for reading, do you relate to them?

I read this article, written by Dipti, a new member, in which the author described the advantages of reading. I read every day and have been doing so since my childhood days. I have an insatiable appetite for reading and an unending love for books. My home has a library, with all four walls, of a room, lined with book cupboards, stacked with books. Every room in my house has a bookcase, even the kitchen. That's my love for books, defined.

Anyway, the article made me introspect – I questioned my love for reading; why I love books and how do I benefit from reading. I wasn't surprised by the answers my inner-self threw back at me.

Books and reading have substantial benefits. Let me walk you through them –

Books provide mental stimulation

Reading is a wonderful stimulus for the brain that helps in activating its various applications. It keeps it alert and sharp and responsive.

  1. A book (reading) can get the reader involved in the plot, which in turn increases connectivity in the brain, and in the process nurtures the brain's functionality, by creating neural pathways
  2. Reading pushes us into conjuring images in our mind. It prompts us to visualize the fictional reality of what we are reading and paint the scene in our heads. It gives wings to our imagination

Books reduce stress

You'll always find a book on my bedside table. I sit on my bed at the end of each day and read a few chapters, before calling it a day. No matter how physically or emotionally draining my day is, just flipping through the pages of a book washes away all the stress.

A good book can transfer the reader into different realms and distract from them from the here and now. It's a great way to relieve tension and just relax.

Books enhance knowledge

Every book that I have read has sharpened my knowledge. My brain is chock-full, with bits of information and it is quite valuable and advantageous. I can make intelligent conversation and participate in discussions.

Knowledge equips you in/for life; you feel more confident. I am more aware than most about literary works and classics. I have acquired knowledge about scientific innovations and major global events, especially from the past. I am labelled 'well-read' because that's what the reading of books does, it makes you knowledgeable about a lot of things.

Books improve vocabulary

Though I grew up speaking English, I owe my vocabulary to reading. It goes without saying that reading enriches the vocabulary. Reading exposes us to new words, which inevitably find their way into our vocabulary. Reading has made me articulate and eloquent and this aspect has helped me to channelize myself into different roles.

My vocabulary is a tremendous confidence booster, it gets me respect from various quarters.

Non-native speakers of the language can enhance their vocabulary and improve upon their language skills, just through reading.

Books boost memory

I have an excellent memory and I take pride in it, but I give credit for it to my habit of reading. Reading keeps me alert; I'll fail to enjoy books if I am not alert. To understand the plot, I have to remember everything that is described in a book – characters, their names and how they are connected, their behaviour and experiences and every little nuance, in addition to following the many subplots and the narrative arcs that interlace into the story at the turn of each page.

That's quite a reasonable bit of information to remember, right. But, the brain has an amazing capacity to retain information. Every piece of information can be transformed and stored in the brain as a memory, because neural pathways are created in the brain, as explained in the article.

Books arouse analytical thinking

Each time I pick up a whodunit book, my brain starts sifting through the information, cataloguing everything, and attempts to solve the mystery, before the book ends. I use the details I have collected in solving the mystery and in doing so engage my analytical powers.

This whole exercise allows me to discuss and critique the book if the need arises. You see I spend time reading through the pages and form opinions. My analytical skills help determine whether the plot was well-written and if it ran smoothly or if the characters had personality etc.

Books develop focus and concentration

I am proficient at multi-tasking. In fact, I multi-task for the most part of my day; working on ongoing projects, checking emails, making conference calls with clients, chatting with my loved ones, managing things on the house front and more.

I have too many irons in the fire, yet do not lose my focus. I can concentrate on individual tasks, without getting flustered.

I believe this to be my forte, and I credit it to my reading habit. Reading a book requires attention; I get immersed in what I am reading and put everything else on standby. I transfer the same skill to the tasks I have at hand.

Books better writing skills

I make a living writing; it pays for my expensive taste. Reading ameliorated my writing skills. I mentioned how it meliorated my vocabulary, but that's not all. I am constantly exposed to the literary works of noted authors, I savour different writing styles and somewhere it has had a noted effect on my own work.

Books foster solace

I also use books for aesthetic purpose as decor pieces. And my library always gets the approval of anyone who walks into it. It's got a 'wow' factor.

I am in a happy place when I walk into a bookstore. I am in a still happier place when I purchase a book. The smell and sight of books calm and soothe my nerves. Reading is not something that I do as a hobby or just to kill time; a good book relaxes me. I find tremendous solace and tranquillity, with a book in my hand.

Books are also said to be great mood enhancers, especially books with inspiring stories. These can motivate you and change you for good.

Books are entertaining

I'd rather pick a book than sit through a movie. They offer the perfect entertainment for me. They make a leisurely read and I can carry them with me anywhere. From the bedroom to the sofa in the hall or the dining table or perhaps the balcony. They provide absolute entertainment, without disturbance.

Besides, there are so many genres. Though I prefer reading thrillers, mysteries and detective & crime fiction, I also read self-help books, biographies, classics and mythology, books on humour etc. Each genre of books provides entertainment of a different kind.

Books have always fascinated me and I have my mother to thank for being instrumental in encouraging my love of books. There was never a Christmas or a birthday when books weren't part of the presents.

Do you read? What kind of books and how do they help you?


Author: Umesh17 Aug 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 10

An excellent article on reading and its benefits.

I also have an interest in reading and due to my intense interest in books on different types of subjects, I understand their importance in our life. In fact, books not only increase our knowledge and understanding of the world in which we live but also are a great pass time for people having leisure time.

During my school days, I was living in a small remote town where there was not much exposure to the outer world. There was no TV, no mobile phone, no sports club and no modern fun and entertainment avenues. But, there was a Govt library full of Hindi and English books. As a default, I became a member of the library and started to bring books to home for reading. I did not know much English and so did not take those books.

One day I found that there are some Hindi translations of popular English books and due to the curiosity I started reading those books and then tried their English originals also. I was surprised to find that those books seemed more fascinating and exciting to read.

This went on for few years and one day I found that there are very few books left out that I had not read. At that time I took it as an ordinary thing but later when I moved to bigger cities for my higher education and joined my job and had the opportunity to take part in delivering lectures, group discussions etc, I found that I was able to manage all that very easily and many of my friends took my help or opinion when it came to writing something on some subject. I have no formal diploma or degree in creative writing or literature. I am basically from a pure science background.

But today whatever I am able to write or comment is all due to my reading habit that was inculcated during my school days.

So definitely, reading is a great habit.

Author: Anauj18 Aug 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Absolutely, books have this invisible power that can change you. Each book is different, yet every book has something to take home. There is so much to grasp and learn from books; they are a whole new world. They widen your perspective of life and the world in general. They offer wonderful nuggets of wisdom. I would not be half the person that I am had it not been for my love of reading.

I just finished reading ‘A Dance with Dragons', by George R R Martin, and the following quote from the book sums up what you can achieve from reading - “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one."

Thank you for sharing your story here. It is so inspiring. I am sure anybody reading it would want to follow in your footsteps. I believe it's never too late to begin reading.

Author: Reena Upadhya05 Sep 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 8

All the 10 benefits are very well explained by the author. Reading is truly a pleasurable task.

Books are capturing. Stories, poems, and narrations written in them get absorbed into our minds. Reading helps our imagination to take a flight. When we read, we, in our little imaginative world, start building pictures and images. We imagine faces of characters and settings where the whole scene is taking place. We feel as if we are literally present over there. In short, reading helps our creativity to flow freely. It stimulates our creativity. We are able to very well connect ourselves with our creations. We, without knowing consciously, keep making changes in our creative little world when we shift from one scene to another.

Reading is the best method to widen the perspective and views towards worldly affairs. Internet, television and other modern means are not legit ways to widen the perspective. These means are deceptive. The knowledge that they impart might influence us in a wrong way. We do not have to be susceptible and feed wrong information given to us. Why not allow the mind to explore the innovative world of literature by indulging in reading. Let us widen our ideas and imaginations on various circumstances and subjects by taking help of these books. Books force us to think and when we think we develop new perspectives.

Reading does not only stimulate the mind and sharpen the memory. It can have an impact on overall health too. If the mind is in sound and healthy state, it will definitely exert a positive impact on the physical health. When both the mind and body are healthy, we are going to enjoy excellent overall well-being. Reading is the best means by which we can deviate ourselves from the stress and depression. When we create positive distractions in our lives, we get rid of miseries and enjoy the real happiness and contentment.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha08 Sep 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Reading is definitely a healthy mental exercise offering the mind a scope to explore all possible horizons with the new books. In fact, the mind needs a stimulating environment be it be in the form of entertainment, reading or indulging any hobbies which will create a soothing effect on our mind. A lot of experiments on the reading habits were carried out by me in the past including the visit to national libraries. A greater enjoyment could be experienced while suggesting the mind to look out for the different topics in the same field such as the functioning of hearts and the most effective steps to clear the blockage. With the reference of so many books consuming a lot of time, there could be exciting moments where we could notice simple tricks that may work wonders in strengthening the heart muscles.
Gradually my interest in this direction multiplied and my regular visit to the library for a couple of years has aroused my interest for regular reading.
A good write up by the writer dwelling valuable insights into the learning process.

Author: Jagdish Patro04 Dec 2018 Member Level: Gold   Points : 12

I was just going through this article and it really inspired me a lot for the way it was presented. The attachments to the article were more impressive and will surely tell the reader without saying how a house should be and how your books need to be arranged. A picture speaks more than the words. Here the words and pictures narrated what they intended to speak.

'A shelf without books is just like a body without a soul' is an old saying. It doesn't mean that we decorate our books keeping them in shelves and make them a showpiece in our home. An orderly arrangement of things makes a visitor or even the resident feel more lively and fresh. A good display of books can itself make you a good reader. Here I am speaking about the congenial atmosphere to be created for cultivating a reading habit. The benefits of reading were already discussed in the article and in the responses of my friends here.

In our times, we used to go to the library regularly in the evenings and it was a usual habit for us. We used to take out the daily newspapers to learn about the current affairs and sports news as well and the weekly magazines to follow the stories and serial articles. It used to give a fresh thought and a peace of mind and after finishing the read for the day, we continued our daily walk discussing, most of the time, what we had read. Unfortunately, due to the busy schedules and the pressure created for children and students today, they miss this routine and I suggest them to tune their timings and routine in a different way, which suits them, to cultivate the reading habit.

The arrangement of books in a house will definitely help to pick up a book of our choice and to continue to read. So, parents need to give some space for such arrangement of books in their house so that everyone in the house can spend some time reading.

Author: Anauj12 Jan 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

Thank you for summarising the benefits of reading, ever so eloquently. People who love to read find solace in it. It is a kind of inexplicable kinship.

I look at books as a door into the unknown, which I walk through and wander off, with each flip of the page. Every book I pick up has something to offer, something to enrich me with. I enjoy new experiences and become a part of lives that I wouldn't encounter in my everyday routines.

Books have the ability to surprise, delight and entertain me. They make me explore, they stoke and aggrandize my imagination allowing it to soar.

Author: Anauj23 Jun 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Sheo Shnakar Jha,

I like your viewpoint, you made a very interesting observation.

For me, reading is more than a passion. It has become second nature to me. I must read every day and feel incomplete if I don't. I always carry a book with me, when I am travelling. I equate reading to travelling; both are learning experiences. Books allow you to experience so many things. They change the way you think and the way you see the world. Books provide knowledge. Even a fiction novel has factual data in it. Books somehow empower you and improve your perspective of things. You become part of someone else's journey and start finding answers to all the questions and situations that arise, within a story. Books make you intelligent and boost your power to rationalise things logically.

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