Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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5 Benefits Of Reading - Why Books Are So Important

1. Entertainment & Escapism

For most readers, this is the main reason to pick up a book and turn page after page, until the last sentence has been processed within the dream-factory that is our brains. Reading empowers us to escape our reality temporarily in order to experience another, like a wanderer between worlds. As George R.R. Martin puts it “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

2. Train Focus & Concentration

To be able to zoom in on something is a vital skill, nowadays even more than ever before. It’s easy to let your attention drift away during most modern pastimes, but with a book, you truly have to focus on the story you’re reading or else it just won’t continue. Have you ever felt completely absorbed into the illusion of a fantasy world or a particularly interesting piece of nonfiction, all while your eyes and mind subconsciously continued doing the reading work? If your answer is yes, you perfectly understand what I mean.

3. Boost your Imagination

While other media like movies and video games are certainly entertaining and can, in fact, teach you quite a lot, there’s one important aspect that will always be the greatest strength of reading: It gets your imagination going like hardly anything else. Unlike other forms of entertainment, reading doesn’t do all the visual work for you. It forces you to activate the artistic parts of your brain, to let the letters come to life. Every reader experiences a book differently, and in a way, you’re creating whole worlds within your mind, as well as the characters that journey through them - and the books you read are the recipes for doing so.

4. Level Up Writing and Language Skills

Reading expands your vocabulary significantly and gives you a better feel for the writing style as well as the story structure. Even if you don’t actively focus on the details of the craft while enjoying a good story, you can’t help to improve at least a little bit. More so, if you actually pay attention to which elements work, and why. If you’re not a novelist yourself, you can still benefit from this effects, as you not only become better with written words but also with expressing things in your everyday life.

5. Get Smarter All Around

I think it’s safe to assume that whoever reads much, knows more. This rule doesn’t only apply to non-fiction, but every other book as well. While a fantasy novel might not teach you accurate historical facts, and a sci-fi action story probably won’t turn you into an expert in astrophysics, you’ll definitely learn something valuable on another level. A well-crafted story always contains some kind of underlying theme, some point of view that the author wanted to share, and every book may cause you to look at the world from a different angle, thus making you smarter with every one that you read.

About the Author
Ben Wendtner is an Austrian author and the creator of the online writing platform Belletristica, a place to publish, enjoy and chat about written words of all kinds.

*Image credits: Pixabay

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