How often do you read? Facebook posts and tweets don't count. If you're like most, the answer falls somewhere between "very little" and "not enough."
In honor of World Book Day, here are 10 reasons you should read something, stat.
1. Mental Stimulation
Several studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow down the progress of (or even prevent) Alzheimer’s and Dementia. This is due to the simple fact that keeping your brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power and becoming a big pile of mush. Your brain is like any other muscle in the body, so it and your smarts are just like anything else, you've gotta 'use it or lose it.'
The more you read, the more bits of knowledge you have stored in your brain. Whether it's useful stuff like history and skills, or just random facts that will make you a hit at the bar - it's all good. The more knowledge you have - the better equipped you are for whatever comes your way.
3. Vocabulary Expansion
You no talk good sometimes? Pick up a book! The more you read, the more words you're exposed to and they'll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary. Regardless of your profession, being articulate and well-spoken can only help. Also, if you troll someone online and don't speak well, your credibility sucks and no one takes you seriously. If you're a non-native speaker to a language, reading is vital for word exposure.
4. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills
There's a deficit in critical thinking these days. Reading can help with that! Think of a mystery book, did you solve it before even finishing the book? If so, good job! You took all the clues and were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work. Those same skills are incredibly beneficial outside of the books.
5. Memory Improvement
When you read, you have to remember all sorts of characters, timelines, backgrounds, plots, sub-plots, and various nuances - that's a lot! You are training your brain. Did you know that, every new memory you create forges new synapses (brain pathways) and strengthens existing ones? This assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods.
6. Improved Focus and Concentration
In our social media and internet-crazed world, our attention is a million different places at any given time. This does not do our ability to focus or concentrate any favors. In fact, this type of ADD-like behavior causes stress levels to rise, and lowers our productivity.
But fear not, when you read, all of your attention is focused on the story (or it should be) - so it trains your brain to become more focused.
7. Better Writing Skills
This goes along with your expanding vocabulary. If you no speak good sometimes, you probably write no good, too. So pick up a book, and get your book learning on. When you have exposure to published, well-written content, your own writing is positively affected. By observing the fluidity, cadence, and writing styles of others, your own improves.
8. Stress Reduction
Life is stressful. Some days all I want to do is comically scream "SERENITY NOW" then actually go cry. A well-written novel or piece of literature can do wonders on your level of stress. So unwind, maybe grab a glass (or bottle) of wine, and get lost in a book.
9. Peace of Mind and Tranquility
In addition to the relaxation you'll experience, it's actually possible that your blood pressure will lower and you'll experience a sense of calm.
10. Free or Cheap Entertainment
If you're balling on a budget, get to reading. Support your local bookstores and make a purchase, visit Amazon and other sources and get digital, or hit up a library (they still exist!).
So, there you have it, go pick up a damn book!