They say you should never judge a book by its cover. Yet people are most certainly judged by what they read, and if they read. There is a lot you can tell about someone by what they read.
If someone has read all the Harry Potter books for example, they clearly like fiction and fantasy. While someone who can recite every word from The Origin of Species are more into real-life and human behavior than some magical fantasy story.
Whatever it is someone chooses to read. The act of reading in itself has a lot of positive mental, emotional and social benefits. Although reading is not for everyone, I’d go as far as to say that reading will certainly enrich your life.
If you needed any more convincing that you should start reading, or maybe reading more. Here are 6 ways reading stimulates and enriches your life.
Reading Broadens Your Vocabulary
Reading does wonders for your vocabulary and gives you more words to fall back on when you’re communicating and explaining yourself. Helping you become a better, and clearer communicator. Skills that are incredibly important and can make a huge difference to your life.
If you come across a word you are not sure of when reading always take the time to look the word up. Make sure you understand it fully and within which context it should be used.
Trying to sound clever and making mistakes when talking with others can be embarrassing and confusing. So take it slowly as you add new words to your vocabulary and only use them when its relevant.
Reading Improves Brain Function
Most of us read less as we get older. With our peak being in colleague and university when we are studying. But think back to those days, do you remember how you were taking in all that information and how it felt?
It’s a scientific fact that the left temporal cortex is stimulated while reading. This promotes healthy brain development. The brain requires stimulation and training just like muscles, and will be stronger for it.
You can improve your focus and concentration, not to mention the added knowledge that will come in handy. It often requires forming a good habit of reading a certain amount of pages per week as we get older. But it’s a worthwhile habit to set.
Reading Stimulates Imagination and Creativity
This is most evident in children. Reading bed time stories, or leaving a child to read a book for themselves is great for creativity and imagination. They will often share their new ideas they have thought of inspired from a book. Things they would never have thought of otherwise.
Reading can have a much bigger impact than watching a movie. The words give you a chance to go over certain bits of story again and again. Or pause to think about what you’ve read. Or, leave space for your imagination to fill in the gaps. It’s a totally different experience.
If you want to test this just read a book that has a movie release. Have a friend watch the movie and then discuss the story. You will find you have a deeper feel for the story and will have formed more of your own opinions.
Reading Helps Bring People Together
Book lovers love talking about books. There are book clubs online, real life meets, gatherings at libraries, the opportunities are endless. If you start reading you will easily make new friends with similar interests.
There is something special about comparing thoughts over a good book. Seeing how other people interpreted the book differently, and sharing hoe much you enjoyed the book.
It’s always a great conversation starter at social events too. There is always someone who reads or wants to know if someone has read a certain book. Reading may be an activity best done alone. But it has a huge social impact.
Reading Helps You Become More Empathetic
Empathy is a powerful and important emotion. Reading is known to increase a person’s empathy towards others. Books are able to take us away from our reality and into the shoes of the person in the story.
You can’t help but feel empathy and be moved when reading a story about heartbreak and struggles. The best books are the ones that rope you in deep and really dig deep and stimulate your emotions.
Reading Can Help Life Your Mood
The large publishing company Penguin carried out a study in which they asked a group of people to track their moods while they read twenty minutes a day. After then days the results were looked at and there was a marked improvement in mood, awareness and alertness.
This is largely attributed to the feeling we attach to becoming invested in the book we’re reading. Regardless what the book is about, it makes us feel more involved and stimulates our emotions.
So if you’re feel down pick up a good book and read an uplifting story. If you struggling in your career read a biography of someone successful and draw some inspiration. When it comes to reading, the sky’s the limit.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.