In society, reading is for 'nerds', but what are the benefits of picking up a good book?

 

People typically tend to stream Netflix and watch a movie rather than buy a book and read it; what a lot of people don’t realise is that reading has a lot of positive impacts on you, and if you don’t read books then you are missing out. It’s pretty obvious that sitting in front of a screen watching TV is bad for you, so here are some reasons why you should read books instead.

1. It helps your mental health.
Studies have shown that reading can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s and Dementia because reading keeps your brain active and engaged, preventing it from losing power. Just like your body, your brain needs exercise, and reading is one of the ways to keep your brain healthy and strong.

2. It helps with stress.
Everybody has stress in their lives – whether it is because of work, personal relationships etc. it can still be helped with a good book. Nothing is more relaxing than sitting in a quiet, peaceful spot with a book and having a good read, you can escape your own world for a while and be inside someone else’s.

3. It helps your learning.
Reading can teach you a lot, from vocabulary to facts about everyday life – even fiction books can teach you a lot of facts. If you struggle with English at school or in everyday life, reading a book is the most fun way of improving your English.

4. It improves your concentration.
When you read a book, all of your focus is on that story, and the rest of the world seems non-existent for a while. If you read for 15-20 minutes a day (on public transport, in the morning, before bed) you will be surprised at how your focus and concentration improves – studies have proved this.

5. It improves your writing skills.
Even without knowing it, whilst reading you are picking up on writing skills; when you come to writing (whether it’s for school, work or just for fun) you will find that not only has writing improved your writing skills but it has also made writing more bearable/fun.

6. Entertainment
You may think that books are boring, but many of the most popular films of all time have been based on books (for example, Harry Potter) and sometimes books can be more enjoyable than films, you can let your imagination go wild when you are reading an interesting book.

Of course, even though reading has many perks for your health, it also has many perks for you. You may get a book just for the mental stimulation and then find that you actually enjoy the book, you can surprise yourself by really enjoying a book when you may have originally thought reading is boring. When watching TV, everything is right in front of you for you to see, but when you’re reading, you are leaving your imagination to it, letting it run wild. Instead of seeing what is happening you are imagining it, meaning you can make a story your own with your mind – that is the power of reading.

Even if you are a TV addict, you can buy a book that your favourite film/TV show is based on and you can compare the two – sometimes reading the book is better than watching the film.

Although book readers have stereotypes, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a book in your spare time, it has many benefits and you never know, you may just end up loving reading as much as I do.

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