- Books, Literature, and Writing
How Does Reading Benefit You
Growing up reading was a reward my parents would put in front of me to try to get me to do chores. Living in a small town that didn't have a library and not having the finances to purchase our own books we used a program called books by male. In this program you could order as many books as you want, and at first my parents would only allow me to borrow 3 books at a time. Eventually as I got older 3 became 5 and I would read those 5 books and still have weeks to spare before they were due.
As I got older and my parents started making more money, we started watching more TV then reading books, we also got a computer and internet and books almost overnight became a thing of the past. This is probably similar to many of you who are reading this. However, reading is a wonderful joy that all should participate in. Not only that it has many benefits that TV and the internet couldn't possibly offer.
When you read, there is no limit to how far that book can take you from your own life and anxieties. Even if a character is described in a book, there are always certain details that the book doesn't cover and your mind fills in the rest. If a city, or forest, or island is described than you place from your own mind exactly what it looks like. Now if you are a diehard TV/Movie lover you could be saying something like. "Yea but a movie gives you a character and location and you don't have to try to imagine it, not only that but most good books become movies now so I don't have to read a book I just have to watch the movie." Truth is most books are way better than the movies. Now calm down and let me explain it. A movie to keep your attention is around 2 hours. Look at a popular movie Harry Potter, those movies are some of the most popular of all time. But, look at the size of the books. Do you really think that everything that the writer put in the books found a space in the movie? It's not possible, and if you like the movie than the book will give you everything the movie does and then more.
Another benefit of reading is that it teaches you new things. Not all reading is fiction, and not all non-fiction doesn't teach you. For instance, there are many many personal finance books, cook books, do-it-yourself books, mechanic books, and self-help books. All of which help you learn something that you can change in your own life. Fiction books also can help you learn things, for instance a fiction book based in a different time, different place, or different cultural will show you what those types of places could be like or were like and can also add to your own knowledge of things. A warning here, just because something sounds like it's actually history or actually a truth in a fiction book does not make it so, do a little research before starting to spread things as fact that "sound right" in a fiction book.
If you have a desire to write than reading is a requirement. Think about it in sports terms, if you want to be the best baseball player you can be than you study the greats, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Willy Mays, or Derek Jeter. If you want to be a good jazz musician you study Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, or Louis Armstrong. So if you want to be a good writer, then you have to read good writers work to become one. And don't just focus on exactly what you want to write about. For instance, if all you want to do is write hubs, then read other hubs but also read blogs, books, and magazines. If you want to write a book read more than just the subject you’re going to write about read everything and use the style of writing you see, and make your own. By reading often you can become a better writer.
After picking up my love for reading back up about 3 years ago, and answering the question "what do you do for fun" by stating that I read. People automatically think I'm much more intelligent than I really am. Or that I'm wealthier or more sophisticated. None of this is true about me, I don't feel smarter, I’m defiantly not wealthier (the opposite is probably more true) and I’m the least sophisticated person I know. So why is it that people feel that way? Because reading takes time, it takes discipline, and the world we live in doesn't grow much time or discipline so you must be special in some way in order to read, and not only that but enjoy reading.
Ever since I was young I have loved reading, though at the time the benefits seemed just enjoyment, now I realize that there are many more ways to benefit from reading. My hope is that everyone would do what I do, it isn't that hard to do. Instead of working all day and coming home and turning the TV on, I open my book. I urge all of you to do the same. If you already do read regularly, then start reading things out of your comfort, for instance I do not enjoy reading fiction anymore. To me life is far too interesting to read other stuff. So for me I need to read more fiction. So in the comments please tell me books that you have read and enjoyed. Or books you have read and haven't enjoyed. Tell me other benefits you have found from reading. I really look forward to hearing from you.