Benefits of reading: Advantages of reading newspapers, books, magazines and blogs
What are the benefits of reading? Two decades back the answer to this question may have been limited to a few pointers however technology calls for a wider perspective. There are different benefits of reading different platforms including newspapers, books, novels, magazines and blogs. Here are some of the top benefits of each medium that apply to children, teenagers and adults alike.
Benefits of reading magazines
1) Keep up with changing trends
Magazines package information in a glossy and attractive way for its readers. They carry updated information about what is trending, whether it is a generic lifestyle magazine or a magazine on a niche subject.
Keep up with changing trends whether it is a local buzz, a new fashion accessory in the market, Justin Bieber's latest tattoo or opinions about a new law in your country. Flipping through magazines makes for light reading and can be beneficial for those who can't take very heavy writing or can't sit at one place to read a book for more than fifteen minutes.
2) Increase your knowledge in a niche area
Almost every existent field of knowledge is likely to have a magazine on an associated subject. From women's magazines to science and tech magazines, from sports magazines to Reader's Digest and from fashion and lifestyle magazines to photography magazines or health magazines – readers have many of choices in magazines when it comes to niche interest areas.
If you are a fashion enthusiast, subscribe to Harper's Bazaar or Vogue. If you want know about all things business, read Time Magazine or Forbes Magazine regularly. Increase your knowledge in a certain hobby, niche or interest by reading magazines.
3) Pass time without wasting it
Reading magazines may seem like a good pastime on a boring afternoon, but you could be subconsciously gathering a lot of trivia as you lazily flip through its pages. One of the main benefits of reading magazines as a mode of time pass is that you don't know which bit of information might stay in your memory.
You may not think of this when you are going through a magazine waiting for your turn in a doctor's office. But when you abruptly recollect something while having a conversation with someone later on, you may be reminded that you picked up that trivia in a magazine.
4) Reduce stress
Reading magazines of your interest are likely to lighten up your mind and reduce stress levels. Notice how refreshed and rejuvenated you feel after reading a magazine that you love.
Flipping though a magazine can also give you a lot of random ideas, a burst of inspiration or can suddenly uplift your mood if you spot something interesting to catch up on later in the day.
Benefits of reading books and novels
1) Increase your vocabulary
Reading books or novels is directly proportional to increasing vocabulary. The added benefit of reading novels, whether they are classics or not, is that they also teach you the context and style in which words should be used.
Whether you are reading Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Robin Cook's Coma, Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games or Steve Job's biography by Walter Isaacson, you are likely to encounter new words.
This may force you to pause, look up that word in a dictionary and continue reading. Every time you finish reading a book you may garner a bank of hundreds of new words in your vocabulary.
2) Enhance your power of visualization and imagination
Kids studying in school or college are often pestered by parents or teachers to read the 'classics' without really explaining why Classics are upheld with high regard because they are meant to inform the reader about an era gone by. They spark their imagination about character, universality, plot, story and interpretation.
While Shakespeare's Macbeth reiterates the universality of the victory of good over evil, Hemingway's narratives speak of America's war aftermaths. While Steinbeck's stories recreate the dry and arid American Midwest, Virginia Woolf's writings introduce a new style of writing called the Stream of Consciousness. This exposure is beneficial to allow the mind to wander, interpret and imagine without boundaries.
3) Get inspired and motivated
Novels are not just limited to classics. Novels are of innumerable types that include fiction, non-fiction, romance, thrillers, biographies, fantasy, contemporary, regional, science fiction, westerns, autobiographies, self-help and historical novels among others.
You can pick a novel in a category or genre according to your choice and interests. Pick up Bill Gates' biography if you are a tech freak or read a period drama if you are a fan of subjects like history and sociology. Use novels to get inspired, motivated and surge ahead in the direction you want to.
4) Develop the ability to sustain a conversation in well read circles
Over a period of time reading can subconsciously build a whole library of references in your mind. This enables creating associations which in turn help in sustaining conversation, especially in well read circles.
For instance, if someone tells you that they will make you an offer that you can't refuse and start chuckling, you will not be able to make anything of it unless you know that it is a direct reference from Mario Puzo's famous novel The Godfather.
Benefits of reading blogs
1) Get everyday tips for everyday experts
The most useful advantage of reading blogs is that you get to tune into everyday tips written by everyday experts.
From tips on how to fix a leaking sink to tips on how you can style your hair like a celebrity to how to look like a hipster – the world of blogs is full of intriguing reads that are sure to help you in the quirky corners of life for which there are no official guides.
2) Know what netizens are opining about
Blogs tend to have a mixed bag of audiences. While some readers specially visit their favorite blogs to eagerly read the latest post, there are some readers who hop from one blog to the other just to get a feel of who is saying what.
Anyone and everyone can comment or write on blogs and that is why blogs thrive with opinions. Surf a bunch of popular national daily blogs, famous tech blogs or fashion blogs to get an idea of what the world is talking about.
3) Connect with people who share similar interests
Reading blogs on the internet can help you in connecting with likeminded people who share similar interests. People who read a particular blog regularly are likely to follow and comment on it. You can share your opinions with such people and further follow them on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Many cases of bloggers meeting their followers in person have surfaced in the news before. Whether you get an opportunity to meet your online pals in person or not, reading blogs can definitely connect you to people with similar interests.
4) Read product and service reviews
Reviews and feedback about newly released products or services get published within a matter of minutes of a release in the form of eager blogging.
By reading blogs regularly, you can keep in touch with the latest reviews about a new LCD TV, hype about the next iPhone or opinions about a certain product on Amazon. Forget reading or viewing advertisements, blogs are what you should be reading to be in tune with what is hot and what is not.
Benefits of reading newspapers
1) Stay updated with the latest around the globe
Knowing what is happening around the world is one of the most obvious benefits of reading newspapers. Skim through the newspaper to catch up on the latest in politics, business, entertainment and international headlines. All these contribute to increasing your general knowledge.
The core advantage of reading newspapers is that all sorts of news can be accessed in one go. You can choose to focus on the areas of your interest in detail. But a quick read every morning can keep you updated with the latest.
2) Discover information that you may not have searched for in particular
Arguments and discussions about newspapers gradually becoming irrelevant and redundant due to their online counterparts are surfacing. This may not hold entirely true because newspapers don't give readers an option of giving information which is searched for. Everything is on a platter and it is the reader's choice to read what he or she wants to.
For instance, you may chance upon an interesting debate while reading the newspaper which you would have never come across on the internet because you wouldn't actively search for it. This is also one of the reasons why kids in school are repeatedly told to read newspapers – to expose them to information they generally would not choose to access.
3) Follow a news story or a case thoroughly
Newspapers are known to carry well investigated and thorough journalistic pieces generally impregnated with insightful opinions. Whether it is a nationwide protest, controversies in an election, an economic crisis or gender based harassment, newspapers can be rich resources to follow a case or a story, detail by detail.
Follow a story and get in depth knowledge by knowing what the government is saying about it, how the common man is reacting or the two cents that celebrities are throwing on the issue.
4) Keep an eye on the latest in your local area through classifieds
Reading the local pages of classifieds in the newspapers can increase your working knowledge of your locality. Find out which apartment is on rent, which plumber is offering a bulk discount, which restaurant offers free home delivery or which florist is offering an exciting scheme on festive bouquets.
Reading classifieds can help you become a resourceful person. Even if you don't happen to use any local services yourself, you can recommend them to other people in need.