For many people, the art of reading has become something of an everyday exercise that extends to little more than the reading of Facebook posts, emails, and short articles. While it still remains an interest enjoyed by many, the act of reading – particularly books and novels – is becoming something of a dying art in a fast-paced society where attention spans are becoming progressively shorter, and the perceived need for excitement and stimulation has increased exponentially.
Perhaps it is time to re-kindle the spark with book reading. The side benefits of reading may well surprise you, and for those who count themselves amongst the growing numbers of ‘non-readers’, there is potentially a whole new world waiting to be discovered.
Nurturing or developing the love of books
Perhaps there is already a book lover in your life. Or perhaps this article might inspire you to take up the challenge (and the joy) of reading more. Either way, a reward of coupons for book lovers makes for a good start on the path to an extremely rewarding pastime. So a look at some of the gifts for book lovers should inspire.
Stress reduction and escape
Everybody needs a period of relaxation or ‘down time’, and the increasing pace of daily life has meant that relaxation time is similarly becoming increasingly valuable. For many people, escape from the rigors of daily work and family life takes the form of passive entertainment – computer gaming, movies, and TV.
Book reading provides the same lure of relaxation and escape with a significant difference – while reading, the mind is actively engaged in forming the imagery conjured by the words that we read. In that sense, it is the most basic form of virtual reality!
The benefits of mental stimulation
The difference between the active mental engagement associated with reading and other passive forms of entertainment like watching a movie is an important key. The mental stimulation associated with reading has several recognized mental health benefits, including delaying the onset (or even preventing) conditions of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
As well as the potential mental health benefit, reading books triggers a number of related positive side effects:
- Increased concentration span. One of the major downsides of our current fast-paced lifestyle is reduced attention span – advertising agencies and media outlets are very much aware of this, and we are conditioned to receive information and messages in short, dramatic bursts – adverts, short, simple articles, and social media messages, memes, and text messages are all examples of this phenomenon. Immersing oneself in an interesting book or novel actually works to counter this, with the positive reward of improved concentration over time.
- Improved analytical skills. Mentally following the plot of a written work further hones a reader’s ability to observe and analyze a situation – this benefit can be applied to a range of scenarios in the reader’s working and home life.
- Increased memory capacity. The act of remembering a story’s plot, the names of characters, and their interaction with one another, improves memory and recall.
Better communication skills
A positive benefit of habitual reading is the improvement in the ability to communicate, both orally and in writing. Reading widely has the potential to increase vocabulary and command of the spoken word. In addition, moving away from the ‘lols’ and emojis of text messages and emails further improves writing skills.
Reading is easy and accessible
With potential benefits and skills which can be applied in both the workplace and the home, the art of reading is well worth investigating. The bonus is, it is inexpensive, accessible to everyone, and easy to get started.
Congratulations – you’ve read this article, and you’re on your way!