The Importance Of Reading Books: 20 Benefits of Reading

BookSummaryClub Blog The Importance Of Reading Books: 20 Benefits of Reading

Of all the skills you’ll ever learn growing up, arguably none are more important than the ability to read. Each book that you read is an opportunity to learn something new. You can expand your vocabulary, train your brain, increase wellness, lower stress, and discover something new about yourself.

I still find the human mind amazing. You can see what is ultimately a bunch of scribbles on a page, decipher them into sounds, turn those sounds into words, and then turn those words into thoughts and emotions.

In this article, we’ll look at the value of reading and how you can benefit from reading more, even as an adult.

Why Reading Books is important

In this section, we’ll cover the importance of reading books.

Why is reading important in today’s society?

According to the One World Literacy Foundation, a person who can read can educate themselves in any area of life they’d like to.

We are in an age that is overflowing with new information. Reading, and more importantly, critical reading is the best way to rationalize and relate to further information.

Why is reading important for adults?

It isn’t just children that benefit from reading.

Reading is one of the best forms of self-education for adults too. While it can be easy to watch a YouTube video or listen to a podcast, reading still takes the cake when it comes to comprehension and increasing your education.

As you’ll see when you read on, there are plenty of benefits that you can get from reading.

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20 Benefits Of Reading Books

Below you’ll find a list of twenty-one benefits you’ll see when you start reading more.

Although, if you’re a reader, you’ll probably notice some bonuses that we haven’t even mentioned yet.

1. Increase your vocabulary

I am a huge advocate for the importance of an extensive vocabulary. If you don’t know the specific word for something, then you will have fewer nuances of it’s meaning.

When reading, you’ll expose yourself to more words, which allows for understanding on another level.

Reading an hour a day will expose you to four million words per year.

2. Improve concentration

Reading takes time, patience, and concentration.

Basically, reading forces you to use your brain. In thoughts shared by the One World Literacy Foundation, when you read, you need to “reason things out which are unfamiliar.”

3. Reading can help with depression

According to studies by the University of Liverpool, reading helped patients suffering from depression with their social well-being.

Reading helped build self-confidence, lessening cultural isolation, building a sense of community and fostering increased communication skills.

4. Reading assists mental wellbeing

In the studies from the University of Liverpool, reading can help your wellbeing by improving powers of concentration.

Reading can also help wellbeing by encouraging enthusiasm in learning. You’ll also increase verbalized and
internalized thought.

person reading book while drinking beverage

5. Enables you to understand others

Reading can help you connect with people that you would usually struggle to understand.

For example, reading books about other people’s cultures or other countries can help you create connections to that place.

Reading books based on the lives and experiences of others is one way to get a small insight into someone else’s life.

6. Reading improves empathy

Empathy is being able to relate to or understand how another is feeling.

Reading, fiction or nonfiction, is about as close as you’ll ever be to being in another person’s head.

Reading the thoughts from others are understood in our brains on a different level to a TV show or film. Through film, you only see the actors’ actions rather than thoughts.

Studies on reading fiction show that readers have a better ability to have empathy.

Now, there’s no way to properly measure empathy, but still, the findings were pretty cool.

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7. Reading makes you more intelligent

Patterns of Reading Practice 1996 by Terrance D. Paul state that practicing reading is the best predictor of academic performance.

Simply, reading makes you smarter.

Reading is kinda like weight training for your brain. If you read regularly, you’ll get significant academic gains.

8. Reading something is just about as good as experiencing it

Have you ever been so into a good book that it basically feels like you’re there?

If so, you’re not alone.

Studies have shown that the same neurological regions are stimulated when you read as to when you’re experiencing something.

This is because a good book makes you feel a part of the story. It is your mind’s eye that is creating images, as opposed to a TV show, where you’re a clear observer to another person’s vision.

9. You’ll become a better communicator

With an increased vocabulary, you’ll become a far better communicator.

It is crazy how many situations I have been in where a better vocabulary could have saved a headache or two.

Think about it this way, if the only two emotions you knew were happy and sad, then how would you let someone know if you were hungry, frustrated, depressed, anxious, or tired? All could be described as ‘bad,’ but each needs a different solution.

10. Increases imagination and creativity

The written word stimulates your mind to create images.

Researchers have found that visual imagery is simply programmed into the human brain.

We identify photos of objects a lot faster when we simply just read a sentence that described the appearance of the object.

Basically, when we read a sentence, our mind will automatically bring up images. Even without us trying.

11. It helps your writing

As you could imagine (get it), the increased creativity, communication skills, and vocabulary gained from reading much improve your writing.

If you need to write for any part of your day-to-day life, then the best way to improve is to read more.

I freelanced for a while as a sales writer, and a mentor of mine once told me that the best way to improve was to get the work of great writers, read it, and copy it out word for word.

By reading and engaging with the work of others, you’ll be able to entirely focus on their techniques, their ‘voice’ and how they portray their messages and themes throughout their writing.

books on brown wooden shelf

12. Reading helps you make neurological connections

Have you ever read a nonfiction book or an article expecting to learn something, and come away thinking the content was too obvious?

Well, there’s a good reason for that.

Sure, sometimes you simply pick up a book that is at a level of understanding you’ve passed. However, put the pride away a little bit and read books that don’t feel like they’re making you smarter.

It is easy to put a book down and say to yourself, “I already knew that,” but did you?

If I had asked you yesterday, would you really have been able to answer basic questions quickly and confidently?

Reading helps you make connections between things you already know.

Want to fit more reading into your life? 🧠 📘

Have you considered starting with book summaries? Blinkist is a book summary app where you can digest the best books from the top authors of the world. Read or listen to one in only 15 minutes. The perfect night reading routine to fit more reading into your life! 😴

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13. Reading gives you the ability to re-read and remember a text

When you watch a film, TV show, or even listen to an audiobook, the content comes and then disappears.

However, when reading a book, you’re looking at an entire page until it finishes.

Kinda like a built-in pause button made specifically for greater understanding.

You have a unique opportunity to comprehend content when you’re reading properly. I know that I automatically re-read over some parts of a text, however, if it were a film or even an audiobook, it would keep playing.

Note: Reading always gives you time to comprehend when oral language (film, TV, or audiobook) continues to play.

14. Reading can give you a ‘how-to’ guide

If you want to know more about the how-to for almost anything.

No matter the skill you’re looking for, there’s almost definitely a guide on how to do it.

15. Reduces stress

A study by Sussex University showed that reading may lower pressure by as much as 68 percent.

As cognitive neuropsychologist David Lewis​ told The Telegraph, “It really doesn’t matter what book you read. By losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination.”

Reading spiritual texts can even lower blood pressure and bring about an immense sense of calm.

16. Reading helps you sleep

If you’re struggling to go to sleep at night, 10 minutes of reading can do you wonders.

The previously mentioned study from the University of Sussex found that lower stress levels brought about from reading also helped battle insomnia.

Furthermore, a nighttime routine that involves reading can help you sleep more. Just make sure that you’re not reading on your phone or laptop, as the lights from devices have been proven to suppress melatonin at night time.

17. Reading helps you collect the thoughts and views of others and develop an educated opinion

One of the best parts about reading multiple books is that you can collate the thoughts and ideas of others.

For example, if you wanted to learn about marketing your business, you wouldn’t just read one marketing book and say “awesome, I’ve got it.”

Instead, you’d read multiple titles from different authors.

Like Mortimer J. Adler discusses in the classic How To Read A Book, it is in the comparison of different people’s ideas where you fully begin to understand a topic.

The purpose is not to fully understand a particular book. Still, the point is to have a more in-depth knowledge of the topic.

By reading multiple texts on the same topic, you’ll be able to identify and fill your knowledge gaps.

Once you start collating the views and tips from different people, you’ll be able to develop a more informed opinion than you would have had otherwise.

person on body of water reading book

18. Reading improves memory

Reading is truly an all-in task for your brain. It is a real neural workout that stimulates parts of your brain responsible for vision, language, and associative learning.

So, as you’re reading this article right now, you’re “stimulating parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions—such as vision, language, and associative learning—connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging,” says Ken Pugh, PhD, president and director of research of Haskins Laboratories.

So, it’s a lot more than just looking at words on a page.

All this mental dancing makes your mind agile and flexes your memory muscle constantly.

Studies have even shown that some mental challenges like reading or completing crosswords may help maintain brain health and stave off signs of Alzheimer’s in old age.

Want to fit more reading into your life? 🧠 📘

Have you considered starting with book summaries? Blinkist is a book summary app where you can digest the best books from the top authors of the world. Read or listen to one in only 15 minutes. The perfect night reading routine to fit more reading into your life! 😴

Blinkist 7 day FREE trial + 35% OFF

19. Each time you read a book, you’ll get another insight

One of the beautiful parts of reading books is that the right book has a way of finding you at the right time.

There are times when we try to read a book, and for some reason, cannot get into it. However, pick up the same book a year or two later and all of a sudden you can’t put it down.

The book didn’t automatically get better, and you probably didn’t become more patient.

Instead, we gravitate to books with a particular message at specific points of our life.

Similarly, you can read the same book at two different times and get a completely different takeaway after reading.

20. Reading is enjoyable!

Most of all, reading is fun (and cheap).

If you read book summaries, eBooks, or even just love curling up on the couch with a good hardcover, reading can be an incredibly rewarding and peaceful pastime.

Also, learn to love your local library! There are millions of hours of reading there for free.

Final Thoughts

The importance of reading books cannot be understated.

Obviously, the benefits you’ll get from reading are more significant than the twenty we’ve listed.

If you’re struggling to start reading, I do encourage you to stick with it. Find some time to fit reading into your schedule every day. Even if it is only ten minutes before you go to bed, you’ll still see a lot of the gains you’ll get from frequent reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is reading important in today’s society?

Yes. As technology mover further and further away from books, the more we need them. The constant mental stimulation that some of us used to get from frequent reading has been somewhat lost as many of us compensate reading with video and audio.

Does an audiobook have the same value?

The spoken word still does put your brain to the test and develop creativity and imagination. So, while audiobooks may not be as beneficial as reading, you always get a lot of the advantages combined with the accessibility of audiobooks.

Does it matter if I read on a Kindle?

While it feels weird to pick up a kindle and start reading, it has been shown that it takes people seven days to become used to new technology.

Can I read one book a day?

You can read an entire book in one day, but it isn’t recommended. However, you can read book summaries daily as a way to fast-track your learning.

Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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