Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Why is it important to read? 7 reasons you need to know

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We have always been told that reading is important, but no one has ever told us why. In this article you will find 7 reasons that will convince you to pick up a book more often.

“I discovered very early that the best travel companions are books: they speak when you need them, they are silent when you want silence. They keep company without being intrusive. They give a lot, without asking for anything. ‘

Books improve communication

Reading gives us the opportunity to enrich our vocabulary and express ourselves better . This positively affects both the way we write and how we speak, allowing us to use words that are more appropriate to the context and to make a better impression on those who listen to us or read us. 

Generally, having a better dialectic means having a greater authority attributed to us, not only in the workplace but also in the personal one. How many times has it happened to us to “not find the right words?” 

Here, often those words are given to us by the writers we read. 

Girl in front of a library looking at books

Books change the way we interpret life

Reading allows you to look at the world from the perspective of the writer and the characters who experience the stories. This means temporarily abandoning our beliefs and our personal convictions to look at the facts with the eyes of others. 

It is true, in fact, that each of us interprets reality in our own way, often distorting it and adapting it to what is most convenient to believe at a precise moment. Looking at the world from different perspectives helps us to reach new awareness, to improve our relationships with those around us and to find alternative solutions to existing problems. 

Reading helps reduce stress

In a world where we are constantly bombarded with notifications, messages and emails, reading allows us to stop and unplug. As we read we abandon all thoughts of the external world, forgetting anxieties and fears, to immerse ourselves in a parallel world to which reality has no access. 

A study conducted by the University of Sussex has in fact shown how, with only 6 minutes of reading, the heartbeat and muscle tension decrease, considerably reducing the accumulated stress. 

Reading allows you to develop empathy

Identifying with the characters is a great exercise to develop our emotional intelligence. This is especially true for genres such as novels or poetry, where a profound analysis of the characters’ personalities and feelings usually prevails. 

The act of putting yourself in other people’s shoes strongly develops empathy towards others, improving in understanding their desires, feelings and thoughts. 

Top view of Livraria Lello, in Porto, Portugal

Reading improves memory and concentration

Contrary to what seems to be true in everyday life, multitasking does not cause any positive benefits, quite the contrary. Often it does nothing but decrease the efficiency of the work and the quality of the result, resulting in stress and waste of energy. 

Reading allows us to improve concentration because it “forces” us to pay attention to one thing: the story between the pages. 

In addition, frequently stimulating the brain to remember events, dialogues, names and dates, to imagine, to interpret words and learn new ones, constitutes an enormous daily training for our brain, improving its memory. Oprah says so too. 

Reading increases our self-confidence

All of the points mentioned above contribute to fueling our self-esteem as people and as social beings. Improving our thinking, becoming better communicators and knowing more are all activities that stimulate our brains and make us smarter. 

This means that we are able to relate to others with greater confidence and less anxiety about their judgment. How often do we feel “behind” on a certain topic compared to the other participants in the conversation? Here, reading can help overcome this obstacle, offering us interesting ideas for conversation and entertainment. 

Books make us travel while remaining still 

Reading means exploring new historical periods, new places and new horizons. It allows us to know what in everyday life we ​​could not know and travel to unknown destinations.

“Those who do not read at the age of 70 will have lived only one life: their own. The reader will have lived 5000 years: there was when Cain killed Abel, when Renzo married Lucia, when Leopardi admired the infinite, because reading is an immortality backwards. “

(Umberto Eco)

Reading is a low-cost, stress-free journey, requires little (if any) organization, and can last as long as we want. 

Among the pages of books we meet people who, as in travel, deeply mark us and change our way of thinking, we find something of us that we thought we had lost and we discover what we didn’t think we had. 

Why it is important to read: it is good for the mind and soul

In short, the benefits of reading are undeniable, both for our mind and for our soul.

Not surprisingly, a survey conducted by the Center for books and reading (Cepell) has shown how in the last year, in Italy, there has been an increase in readers: the anxiety and fears brought to people by the pandemic, together with the quarantine measures and travel restrictions, they have caused many to approach reading, immediately noticing the great benefits. 

The physical distance imposed by the rules has also contributed to the need to “make a group” virtually and books are a useful and at the same time pleasant pretext to meet new people and feel part of a community. Just think of the #GDL (Reading Groups) phenomenon that exploded on Instagram, to which anyone can freely join and discuss the book. Who says reading has to be a solitary activity?

Well, I hope I have convinced you why it is important to read and that now you feel ready to choose your next reading! 

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