North & South
10 Reasons Why We Should Read Every Day
1. MENTAL STIMULATION
Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of (or possibly even prevent) Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, since keeping our brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power.
2. STRESS REDUCTION/MINDFULNESS
A well-written novel can transport us to other realms, while an engaging article will keep us in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing us to relax.
Everything we read fills our head with new bits of information, and the more knowledge we have the better equipped we are to tackle any challenge (you never know when it will come in handy).
4. VOCABULARY EXPANSION
The more we read, the more words we gain exposure to, and they’ll inevitably make their way into our everyday vocabulary.
5. IMPROVED MEMORY
When we read a book, we have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds and history, as well as various arcs and subplots. Every new memory we create forges new synapses (brain pathways) and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilising moods.
6. STRONGER ANALYTICAL SKILLS
If you’ve ever solved the mystery before finishing the book, then that’s down to critical and analytical thinking. The same ability also comes in handy when critiquing the plot or characterisation, etc.
7. IMPROVED FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION
In our internet-crazed world, attention is pulled in multiple different directions. This Add-type of behaviour can cause stress levels to rise and lowers our productivity. But when we read a book, all our attention tends to focus on the story instead of external distraction.
8. BETTER WRITING SKILLS
Exposure to well-written work can have an effect on our own writing, as observing the cadence, fluidity and style of other authors will invariably filter through. Just as musicians influence one another and painters use techniques established by previous masters, so writers learn how to craft prose by reading the works of others.
As well as the relaxation that accompanies reading a book, it’s possible the subject matter will also result in greater inner peace and tranquility. Reading spiritual texts has been shown to lower blood pressure, while reading self-help books can help those suffering from certain mood disorders and mental health issues.
10. CHEAP/FREE ENTERTAINMENT
Reading is free and/or cheap at your local library or through downloading free e-books. So step away from your computer, open a book and replenish your brain and soul.