It is ironical that it’s in an age of information explosion that ignorance abounds more than ever. Many have truly abandoned the reading part of life. For others, it may simply be lack of good reading habits. Sadly, many who happen to read social media posts and feeds due to its usually brief contents are mainly exposed to less quality works. Sometimes, what we really need to motivate us to action is to know why we ought to do some things. Here are some of six reasons why I read—and why you should read too:
1: READING HELPS MENTAL STIMULATION
Reading actually does activate the mind in the same way that we activate muscles when we lift weights. The more active our minds are, the more agile they become… .— Ben Carson , Think Big
Whenever you read, you keep your brain active and engaged; and this, in turn, prevents it from losing power. Studies have shown that reading can help slow down the progress of (or possibly prevent) Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia because it keeps your brain mentally stimulated. You may probably not appreciate this benefit. Considering what Dean A. Haycock said about Alzheimer’s disease in The Everything Health Guide to Schizophrenia:
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It produces a gradual but continuous decline in memory and intellectual abilities. Victims have trouble performing once familiar tasks, earning new things, paying attention, and generally understanding events.… Besides memory loss and confusion, people with Alzheimer’s disease may also develop paranoia, other delusions, or hallucinations and behavioural changes.
The brain is like any other muscle in the body. Just as your muscles need to be exercised to make them strong and healthy, the brain also needs to be exercised to keep it active, strong, and healthy. Reading is one way to carry out this exercise. Your brain (mind), like all good computers, needs to be fed information to keep it satisfied and stimulated. Reading is still the best source of input you can feed the brain.
2: READING HELPS YOU BECOME MORE EXPERIENCED
It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior mind s. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours. God be thanked for books. They are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. Books are tru e levelers. They give to all who will faithfully use them, the society, and the spiritual presence, of the best and greatest of our race . –William Ellery Channing. While you might have been involved in different events or situations which might have added to your experience, the fact is this: NO SINGLE PERSON CAN EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING IN LIFE . Nevertheless, through reading you can become more experienced. For example, fiction books can engage you in a world apart from yours. There you can have a glimpse of what goes on in the lives of others (many fictional characters) where you can experience empathy, sympathy and other range of emotions. More so, through reading, you can connect with other people and their experiences including their culture.
Yes, some of the great books have been written by some of the best and most creative minds. Through reading, you can delve into the inner world of the great thinkers; and by doing so you can expand your own mind.
3: READING EXPANDS YOUR VOCABULARY AND IMPROVES YOUR WRITING SKILLS
Whether or not you’re aware of it, reading fills your head with new information (words) and you never know when it will come in handy. –Anne E. Cunningham, “What Reading Does For the Mind”
Reading books makes you articulate and well-spoken and this is of great help in any profession you may find yourself. When you read books, you get exposed to new words which, with time, will become part of your own vocabulary. Reading books is also vital for learning new languages. As you gain exposure to words used in context, it will ameliorate your own speaking and writing fluency. Yes! Exposure to wellwritten published work not only expands your vocabulary, it also makes you a better writer (this is important to everyone, but especially to you, if you wish to become a writer someday).
In this sense, reading a good book is like listening to good music; it can influence your own style. A study at the University of California riverside found that exposure to well-written published work has a noted effect on one’s own writing, as observing the fluidity, cadence, coherence and writing styles of other authors will inevitably influence your own work.
4: BY READING, YOU BECOME KNOWLEDGEABLE
“Knowledge is power” — Francis Bacon
You, no doubt, agree with what Francis Bacon said about knowledge. Information and knowledge can, indeed, mean power, especially when you apply them to help you improve your life. Becoming knowledgeable gives you more advantages in life! It is exactly as Lana Winter observed: “The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.” Lack of high self-esteem has often posed a challenge for many individuals, especially among teenagers. Becoming knowledgeable can actually make one develop high self-esteem, as one is able to contribute meaningfully to discussions and social interactions thus enabling such person to enjoy a healthy social life—an essential ingredient to living.
5: READING OPENS DOORS OF OPPORTUNITIES
Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself; to multiply the ways (in) which he exists, to make his life full, significant, and interesting. — Aldou Huxley
Reading is like a key that opens doors of opportunities and privileges. The Director for National Year of Reading, Wilson Fletcher, once said that reading “opens doors and makes life easier, so at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you read….” If you are familiar with the story of Ben Carson – an inner city Detroit kid who rose from his tough life to one of amazing accomplishments and international renown as a professor of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, oncology, and paediatrics at Johns Hopkins medical institutions and has authored bestselling books like Gifted Hands and Think Big , you’ll agree that reading opens doors of opportunities. Here is what he said in his book Think Big :
If we commit ourselves to reading thus increasing our knowledge, only God limits how far we can go in this world.
Many jobs, and other life-changing opportunities, are often missed by many simply because they fail to read job adverts placed on billboards and newspapers; or others posted on websites. Also, many students miss out on academic and social programs (such as scholarships) because they do not read notices on Notice Boards. The saying is true of such cases: one who doesn’t read is no better than one who can’t.
Nearly all successful people will tell you that there is at least one book that they read that completely turned around and transformed their life. Books are indeed very powerful as they can change and transform lives.
6: ONE FINAL THOUGHT
If we make every attempt to increase our knowledge in order to use it for human good, it will make a difference in us and in our world. – Ben Carson
While you were reading some of the benefits of reading as outlined and discussed above, did any of these strike your interest? The truth is, for you to experience the benefit of reading, you must make sacrifices such as the amount of time you spend in the act, the amount of money you spend getting the books (reading materials) though you can scale through this path by borrowing books and reading free downloadable materials on the internet, just to mention a few.
Reading can help improve your ability to remember things. Do you know that with any new information you read, your brain forges new synapses (brain pathways) and strengthens existing ones, which assist in short-term memory recall?
Furthermore, reading is one of the very important things to do if you want to become successful in any endeavour you decide to pursue—whether spiritual or secular, or both. One thing that all successful people have in common is this: the way they think; so if you are to be successful, you must learn to be a good thinker. Leadership expert and New York Times bestselling author, John C. Maxwell, explaining how one can become a better thinker, wrote in his book, How Successful People Think :
Do you want to master the process of good thinking? Do you want to be a better thinker tomorrow than you are today? Then you need to engage in an on – going process that improves your thinking. I recommend you do the following:
1. Expose Yourself to Good Input
Good thinkers always prime the pump of ideas. They always look for things to get the thinking process started, because what you put in always impacts what comes out.
Read books, review trade magazines, listen to tapes…
You would agree that he couldn’t have expressed better, the point that reading helps you become a good thinker—a quality of successful people.
While any form of reading requires some measures of effort and sacrifice on your part, reading can also be FUN! Reading can bring you great enjoyment and laughter (especially comedy plays). What’s more! There is a book for EVERY ONE! Whether your tastes lie in classical literature, poetry, fashion magazine, biographies, religious texts, young adult books, romance novels, self-help guides and any other genre, there’s something out there to capture your curiosity and imaginative powers. So what are you waiting for? Get a book and start reading all the way! Thanks for reading this, anyway.