Books have been one of the most popular forms of entertainment ever since printing was invented. During the last decades, however, there has been a significant decrease in the percentage of the reading population, along with a decrease in the hours of reading per week. According to studies, the main reason appears to be lack of time, along with the distractions of modern age. It is, for many people, a lot easier to sit and watch a movie or play video games than to engage in a good story. Whatever the reasons, however, for a lot of people, books will always be more than a hobby. It is a part of an everyday relaxing routine. And these are some of the reasons book will always be our best friends:
- Entertainment…of course!
Probably the most important reason to read. Literature is one of the most popular forms of entertainment. A book is easy to carry, it can travel everywhere in your bag, and each one is a different, exciting new story. It can also be (relatively) cheap, since you can find a lot of books really cheap on- line in the form of e-books, plus you can find free e-books from online libraries. And let’s not forget the traditional way of access great stories for free- lending libraries.
- Reading enhances your imagination
There are many ways to set your imagination in motion; there is one, though, that will make your imagination run wild: Books! Reading is a means of time and space travel. Seriously. Think about the last time you read a good story. What did the hero look like? Where were they? Do you remember the sounds and smells? Although all writers will set some basics for you in their stories, most of what you remember is of your own making; this is partly the reason movie adaptations of books almost always fail to come up to your expectations. The same story can be read by a thousand people, and if they had the means to make it into a picture or a movie for you, you would end up with a thousand different pictures. And the more you read, the more things your imagination creates. All in your own, unique way of thinking.
As any other muscle of the human body, brain needs its own form of exercise. Studies have shown that activities that assist in staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. A new research, appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found elderly people who regularly read or play mentally challenging games are 2 ½ times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
- Stress Reduction
Whether a fan of fiction, psychology books or children’s stories, reading time helps you fight of stress. Studies have shown that reading just before going to bed is one of the most helpful ways to relieve yourself from stress. Even reading a newspaper or a short scientific article can distract the brain enough from everyday problems.
- Gaining Knowledge
Every book you read is a new piece of information. It might be a scientific book, which can be considered pure new knowledge, but it can also be a fiction novel; knowledge is manifested in more than one ways. The style of writing, the vocabulary, even the story itself is knowledge, since it can provide you with different perspectives. Reading books is an essential part of learning new languages, as you gain exposure to words used in context, thus improving your fluency.
6. Reading can increase your empathy.
Do you find relating to other people’s emotions hard? Dive in a good book. Studies have found that reading can enhance our ability of relating to others, understanding their emotions, even helping. Literary fiction in particular is very helpful; reading about other people’s perspectives and feelings will familiarize you with what others are thinking or feeling.
Exposure to well-written work has an effect on your writing. , so if you are interested in writing and want to improve, reading can help you. A good book can enrich your vocabulary as well as your style of writing, so go ahead and grab a book!
- It is the second best way to understand a culture
The first, of course, is direct contact. But when that is not possible, books can be a lot of help. Imagine, for example, wanting to learn more about Egypt and its culture, but not having the means to travel there and meet it firsthand. The second best thing is a good book about it. It can be a language book, a historical one or literature from that specific place. Whatever the specifics, books will always be your little helpers!