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10 Reasons Why You Should Read Everyday

Kenna is a freelance editor, writer, and blogger who likes to share her knowledge with others.

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Why read?

Everyone should read even if you don’t like reading. Why? Well, I will tell you why. Here are 10 reasons why you should read, even if it is a little or a lot every day. A simple good rule is to read daily. Whether this be the news, a book, a textbook, an article, a blog, a series of texts, etc. As a fun exercise, try noting down in a day how much reading you actually do, I bet it will surprise you.

1. Exercises the brain

Reading mentally stimulates both sides of the brain. The right side helps imagine what the story is, while the left brain reads words and patterns out the prose. The more complex the work, the more the brain will work.

If you want to learn a new skill, improve a skill, discover new skills—reading about them is a good way to do it. For instance, if you have played the guitar for 12 years, but want to learn new chords, new songs, more scales, new hand positions, a book is a great resource to read.

Also can help exercise memory. When reading, you are remembering, this helps keep the short-term memory fresh, in practice, and recycled. It is said a person can remember 5 to 9 things at a time in short-term memory. If the brain deems important, it is moved into long-term memory. A good way to check this is how many phone numbers do you know without looking them up, if you remember 8 phone numbers, then you have a good short-term memory. If you don’t know any phone numbers, how many addresses do you know? Short-term memory in reading also helps with comprehension of a story by being able to remember it.

2. Expands Vocabulary

A Lexicon is your bank of words, how many words do you know, your vocabulary. As an adult, the average speaker/reader/writer should know roughly around 42,000 words. Do you remember learning that Shakespeare was a master wordsmith? He contributed 20,000 words and maybe even up to 30,000 words to be added to the English language within just his time of writing plays and poetry during the renaissance. There are 250,000 words within the English language, and the avid—very avid reader or writer—would know more than 60,000 words. So, what is your lexicon?

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3. Stronger Beliefs and Culture

This doesn’t just apply to religion, but let’s start there first. If you are religious, then there are religious texts like the Bible (Christianity), Quran / Hadiths (Islam), Tipitaka (Buddhism), Vedas / Upanishads (Hinduism), Tanakh / Talmud (Judaism), Kojiki (Shintoism), Dao De Jing (Taoism), The Book of Shadows (Wicca), and many more. These texts are usually teachings, sacred rituals, events, etc., but they make the reader closer and more knowledgeable about their religion, which strengthens their beliefs. Now for the spiritual seekers, curious minds, and thinkers: reading can strengthen your belief on the subject. For example, take a budding scientist who reads every text they can get to learn about how the moon was formed. They will develop strong beliefs in how it was formed, based on the knowledge they gained from the many different theories out there.

For culture, Sociology is the study of how people interact within a society, social institution, personal life relationships, the cause and effect. A lot of norms can be collected for a person who is traveling to another country, or who could be moving there and need to be accustomed to beliefs, norms, language, culinary favorites, greeting preferences and such. However, a lot can also be learned by reading how culture was to what it is now and how that change occurred. For instance, how people dressed, bathed, ate, talked, socialized, is very different to how people do those things today. The culture changed and is preserved somewhat through words.

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4. Helps with analytical thinking

When we read, we are also thinking, we are detecting, we are solving, we are retrieving new information—gleaning from the words on the page. All of those things help assimilate the world, characters, and story, improving our analytical thinking. By reading several of one genre, like Romance—the highest grossing genre—there becomes a pattern the reader expects from the book, like the reader already knows how the story will play out. Happy ending, soul mates existing, best friend romances, slow burns, head-over-heels, cowboys with ridiculous six-pack abs, you get the point—the reader expects two people coming close, and then even closer. The story is all about the drama.

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5. Entertaining

A lot of times people read to be entertained, to fall into a world different from their own, a single reader can live over 1,000 lives by just reading. It can also cease boredom, can keep a child engaged, can make an adult laugh, is portable magic, can cost nothing, and even allow for book club parties.

6. Peace inducing and stress relieving

Reading can be like meditating; it brings relaxation to the reader. You are focusing on yourself or someone you love like a child by reading the story. It can improve mental health, some readers have even coined the term, “bibliotherapy.”

A study was done about the effects of reading and it was found that six minutes of reading can reduce up to 2/3 of stress, you can check out the news article here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/5070874/Reading-can-help-reduce-stress.html

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7. Write Better

The golden rule is to find a writer/author/poet you like and then write like them. Maybe start out with a fanfiction of their story, in their style, with their world and characters. It can give you a sense of what your writing style is or will become.

8. Edit Better

A lot of books don’t get the editing they deserve. Like the poor Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, sorry for calling her out, but I almost had a brain aneurism while trying to read a long sentence that was meant to be two. There were switches in topics, and I got really confused because it made no sense, but that is why punctuation matters. This also makes you more aware as a writer and editor to edit better, it eliminates confusion for the reader.

9. Helps with success

It is said the average CEO reads 60 books per year. An avid reader can read from 40-70 books per year, while the average reader is 15-25 books per year. So what reader are you? CEO level, avid reader, average reader, or non-average reader. Reading can make you more successful because you are expanding your knowledge, practicing some soft skills like concentration, focus, scanning, researching, etc. A lot of self-help books can help improve habits, make us aware of what we want to change within ourselves. It also increases our critical thinking, which can help day-to-day in personal or workplace, in how we respond to situations. It can also expand your horizon to culture, language, customs, norms, behaviors, vocabulary, problem-solving skills, etc. The best things in books are what we can relate to, and that makes the book worth it because it can help us move forward.

10. Challenges imagination and brings the Inspiration

When we read, some of us can imagine seeing the scenes like movies in our head, which requires our imagination to do that. This in return can really challenge the boundaries of our imagination and the writer’s ability to describe their world. Can you imagine the setting or your favorite character in your head without a picture or fanart?

By reading what others have written, it might spark a thought, an idea, a wave of motivation to write your own story. It might encourage a person by reading a biography or self-help book to do something great, to help others, or be brave by telling their own story.

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