There are numerous benefits of reading. For instance, it is easy to grow an emotional attachment to the characters in books, exposing you to people with different mindsets and perspectives. Books can also help you expand your general knowledge and vocabulary to be more well-versed in your writing and speaking. Additionally, reading is a relaxing activity that helps decrease anxiety and stress. With these benefits in mind, you must be eager to search for books. Before you do, developing a deeper understanding of exactly how reading can help you is critical.
1. Reading Assists with Emotional Development
The first of many reasons to read books is that they can help you mature emotionally, which will help you to understand people better. Reading stories exposes you to characters’ emotions and how they think, helping you to better understand how people feel about different situations they experience. Acknowledging these emotions can equip you with the vocabulary to better describe different feelings. This enhanced lexicon can help you connect to the broader human experience by accurately defining your emotions.
Additionally, books help develop your emotional intelligence. When you read various stories and grow attached to the characters, you can “put yourself in their shoes.” Living vicariously through the characters you read about can help you relate to others in your daily life. This is especially important when learning to navigate relationships, which, as we all know, can be complicated. Certain books can help you recognize complex relationships by exploring characters’ mental states and perceptions. For example, when reading a story that focuses on bonds and friendship, you can take lessons from those characters on how to connect with people. Therefore, the more you read, the more equipped you will be to engage with others.
Reading is also beneficial to children because it improves empathy. Through reading, children learn about the range of emotions people can experience. For instance, children can learn to process negative emotions when reading about characters’ struggles. When characters overcome challenges and reflect on their growth, children are encouraged to do the same.
2. Reading Expands Knowledge
Reading is in your best interest if you want to improve your memory and expand your vocabulary. This is because reading strengthens your brain by igniting neural pathways. According to cornerstone.edu, as you read and learn about the characters and plot, your brain retains that information, creating new synapses and strengthening old ones. This process improves your short-term and long-term memory.
Reading also improves your vocabulary even more so than dictionaries. Words in a dictionary are presented with abstract definitions. However, reading words within the context of a sentence or story details makes them much easier to remember and apply in different contexts. A well-developed vocabulary it is an excellent way to showcase your intelligence to teachers and employers.
3. Reading Aids Brain Health
Reading is an excellent option to decrease stress. “A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%.” This is because reading books engage your focus and imagination, thereby reducing stress. As stated by Takingcharge.csh.umn.edu, reading books also relaxes your body, lowers your heart rate, and eases the tension of your muscles. Life can be challenging, but taking time to read each day can ease your mind.
In addition, reading can delay memory loss that comes with aging. When you are reading, new brain cells are made and connections are created between them. These connections can improve your cognitive reserve, which, according to elderwood.com, refers to the brain’s damage resistance and information storage. Your cognitive reserve helps your brain to function better and adapt to changes. If you want to strengthen your cognitive reserve, reading is a fun option.
Determining Your Favorite Genres
Now that you know the benefits of reading, you are ready to find books that suit your interests. This search can be daunting because there is a large variety of genres and subgenres to explore. As reported by purplecrayonyourworld.com, you can narrow down your genre preference by first thinking about your purpose for reading. That is, ask yourself: Do I read mainly for information or for entertainment? If you prefer to read for information, look for books in the non-fiction genre, including autobiographies and historical nonfiction. If you like to read for entertainment, seek fiction books like mysteries and fantasies.
For those who read mainly to acquire information, consider the topics you want to learn more about. Nonfiction comes in many different genres including Memoir & Autobiography, Biography, Food & Drink, Art & Photography, Self-help, History, Travel, True Crime, Humor, Essays, Guide/How-to, Religion & Spirituality, Humanities & Science Sciences, Parenting & Families, and Science & Technology. What interests you?
Another approach is to consider the types of television shows and movies you enjoy watching. For instance, if you love shows like This is Us you may want to explore the genres of Contemporary Fiction or New Adult. If you enjoy shows like Bridgerton, consider the genres of Historical Fiction and Women’s Fiction. If you love Stranger Things and show like it, try reading books in the genres of Science Fiction and Magic Realism. If you enjoy shows like Yellowjackets, consider the genres Action & Adventure and Thriller & Suspense. Other fictional book genres include Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery, Horror, Romance, Literary Fiction, Young Adult, New Adult, Graphic Novels, and Short Stories.
If you are still completely lost on where to start, WorldWise Tutoring has a Recommended Reading List that features our favorite books in order of increasing difficulty. These books are also approved for children of various ages.
When you do find a book you really enjoy, note the genre and other qualities you liked, such as plot twists, flawed characters, historical periods, or how morality is presented. By recognizing these aspects, you can more easily find more books you will love. You can use sites such as goodreads.com to explore genres you are interested in and rate the books you like. In doing so, the site can recommend books based on your personal interests.
There are countless benefits of reading. You can improve your emotional intelligence, vocabulary, and mental health by regularly reading books for enjoyment. If you would like help finding and understanding books, the experts at WorldWise Tutoring can help!
Written by Xavien Timoll