Last updated on December 5th, 2022 at 04:13 pm
The days of book reports and research projects are long over for most of us. There’s no required reading list for a grown-up. Even so, many adults love to read. Unfortunately, life as an adult doesn’t often lend to a lot of down time for the luxury of reading for pleasure. There are also those adults who don’t miss their days of reading one iota.
Whichever camp you land in, there are some really good reasons to make time to read even as an adult.
6 Benefits of Reading for Pleasure
Reading sharpens your brain.
Just like going for a jog exercises your cardiovascular system, reading for pleasure regularly gives your brain a workout. By reading, you’re improving your memory and overall cognitive function. Studies show that people who spend time reading throughout their lives slow their mental decline as they age. You’re investing in your future self by picking up a book on a regular basis.
Reading lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
As you sharpen your brain through reading, you’re fighting against Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Wilson of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago conducted a study that revealed that those who engaged in more stimulating activities, such as reading, throughout their lives had a much slower rate of memory decline than their less brain-active counterparts. Even those whose brains showed evidence of Alzheimer’s were still able to preserve memory and thinking skills. Dr. Wilson said of the results: “Based on this, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves, and our parents or grandparents.”
Reading helps you relax.
We don’t read because we don’t have time, right? So if we do make the time to read, isn’t it going to add to our already stressful lives? Not according to a study done back in 2009 that proved reading not only reduces stress but does it in record time. In just six short minutes of page turning, your stress melts away. Reading for pleasure beat out music, tea or coffee, and going for a walk for most effective stress-reducer, according to the study.
Reading improves sleep.
Calming down to a good book is an excellent nightly routine to take on. We know it reduces our stress, which makes falling into a restful sleep much easier. As long as you’re not glued to an exciting page-turner, keeping yourself up all night, consider adding just a few minutes of reading to your regular routine.
Reading encourages empathy.
Here’s why you (and your kids!) should be reading fiction: When you’re emotionally transported into a story, the result is heightened empathy. You’re becoming a better human being when you allow yourself to be immersed into a story. Reading fiction translates into real life by helping you relate to others and even making you more aware of other people’s emotions.
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Reading sets an example.
Even if you’re not an avid reader yourself, most of us desire to see our kids pick up a book just for the sheer joy of it. Our kids are watching when we choose to pick up a book rather than turn on the TV. But we can do more than that. Reading aloud to our kids, even after they’re able to read for themselves, has a whole pile of incredible benefits.
One such benefit is they’re much more likely to enjoy reading throughout their lives. Go ahead and grab a book, set that child in your lap or snuggled up next to you, and read. [Also read: Tips for Reading Aloud to Your Kids]
While I’m not at all opposed to ebooks, there’s a reason the physical, bound book is still just as popular as ever. Here’s a couple reasons to pick up your traditional book more often than your e-reader:
- A physical book that requires you to touch and turn pages allows for better understanding of what’s being read, as well as better comprehension.
- People tend to read faster out of a book than from an e-reader.
- Reading from a physical book helps you sleep while reading from a screen may actually hinder your sleep.
- Traditional books carry the nostalgia factor, and avid readers prefer them.
If you’re a lover of reading, you officially have permission to curl up with a good book on a regular basis! For those who aren’t big fans of reading for pleasure, now you know that picking up a book is a worthy investment in your own life as well as the lives of your kids.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss
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