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Pick up that book! The Benefits of Reading

This article uses academic sources to ensure accurate and meaningful evidence is provided to our audience

A woman picking up a book

Books have been a dying form of media since other media, such as videos, podcasts, and music, have increased. Fewer and fewer people are reading every day. According to a national survey in 2024, "Almost half of the respondents haven't read any books in over a year: 48.5%"

(Stoltenburg, 2024). That is less than the percentage reported in 2011, when the percentage of Americans who read was "71% in 2011" (Andrew Perrin, 2015). People are not reading as much as they used to.

Aliteracy could be called "the invisible epidemic" (Goodwin, 1996). It refers to individuals who can read but refuse to read. Aliteracy is common throughout the general population and has even become more common among students, so much so that people who read are usually socially discouraged by others.

Girl reading a book

However, reading should be included in everyone's daily life. One doesn't need to read a whole book in one day but should read a few pages daily. Reading provides benefits that can improve one's quality of life. Reading is a must, a solution. It is a way to grow, learn, and improve to be one's best self. As George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones, said, "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one."

Keep reading to learn the benefits of reading!


1. Improves mental health


Blue eye

Reading can help significantly with one's mental health. According to an academic study, "The study found that Get into Reading helped patients suffering from depression in terms of their social well-being by increasing personal confidence and reducing social isolation" (Billington et al., 2010). As depression grows universally, finding ways to combat it is essential. Reading helps reduce depression and gives one better mental health and well-being.

Mental Health is one of the most essential parts of one's life. Poor mental health can cause difficulty in social situations, ability to perform in school or work, ability to enjoy interests and hobbies, and often lessens one's quality of life. It is essential to maintain good mental health and well-being. Reading is an excellent way to do that and great to implement into a daily routine, thus improving one's quality of life over time. Do not slack on your mental health, and find yourself an exciting book to read.

Books are a great way to improve your mental health and combat mental stressors such as depression.


2. Improves Academic performance


A wall of book (small library)

The cognitive training that reading provides allows people to better prepare for academic rigor and improve grades. According to a study that focused on how pleasure reading (reading for fun) influences students. "Our data strongly suggest that pleasure has enormous power in fostering reading engagement and development" (Wilhelm & Smith, 2016). Suppose students build good reading habits and improve their reading skills. In that case, students can learn from classes more easily since reading is a considerable portion of classes, especially for college/university students. Reading more will promote involvement with the content, and if students are more willing to do their reading, they are more inclined to participate due to their confidence in knowing the content. Reading more will improve your ability to score higher grades in your classes by promoting good reading habits and promoting one to be more engaged.

3. Intelligence


A person holding an lightbulb

While the study of intelligence is still being questioned (We will be focusing on how intelligence can be nurtured for the sake of this article), it is safe to assume that reading can improve or harness one's intelligence. For example, "their mental well-being, by improving powers of concentration, fostering an interest in new learning or new ways of understanding, and extending their capacity for thought, verbalized and internalized;" (Billington et al., 2010). How fluid one's mind is in learning new content can influence intelligence. The study suggests that reading can peak individuals' interest in new forms and learning strategies, which can improve one's intelligence when approaching new situations.

Reading impacts other forms of intelligence. Another study found, "The increased cognitive processes account for the surprising finding that leisure reading was also correlated with increased math performance" (Wilhelm & Smith, 2016). Math is considered the more analytic form of intelligence, while reading is regarded as Linguistic intelligence. The high correlation shows that one good at reading is likely to be good at math, and perhaps other forms of intelligence are also improved from reading.

Reading improves an individual's intelligence in multiple areas and can make one more fluid in learning, allowing them to enhance their intelligence faster in various regions.


4. Life Lessons

An person standing towards a sunset

Books are often written for a reason, and because of that, they usually contain a theme that teaches a life lesson or multiple small lessons. For example, a high school favorite, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, teaches how wealth may not be enough to sustain one's happiness (empty house). It enforces the importance of relationships and time within the book. Many books contain lessons like this and can help one improve one's life and grow.

Furthermore, some books are purely written to teach lessons. For example, a friend gave me a book in high school with inspirational stories and lessons. While I forgot the book title, I didn't forget the lessons it taught, such as how great things take time and the importance of finding happiness in small things. Reading these sorts of books is suitable for learning lessons and preparing yourself for life. Life is hard, and these books can help you come to terms with harsh things as well as prepare you for challenges in the future.

Books teaches life lessons that is useful in everyday life and will better prepare people for the world.

5. Improves your social skills


A girl talking with friends

It's less about skills and more about potential. Reading gives you knowledge and ideas to discuss, which is one of the most important factors when learning social skills. It isn't easy to be social if one has nothing to discuss. Books are an excellent way to build knowledge for conversations and social situations.

Reading various books gives you resources to refer to and things to talk about for hours. For example, let's say you read a book on pandas. One can imagine plenty of interesting facts about pandas that the average person doesn't know. Nevertheless, every time you tell someone that pandas don't eat correctly because they can't properly digest bamboo but always eat it, they will say, "Woah, I didn't know that!"

Reading will better prepare you for social situations and make you appear more knowledgeable in groups of people. So, read a variety of books to become a more social individual!


Conclusion: Pick up that book! The benefits of reading.


An open book and headphones

The benefits of reading are not something that should be ignored or avoided. Books are easily accessible. They can be accessed online or find a book in their local library and read for free. They are also excellent for implementing into one's daily life. For example, read for an hour or one chapter of a book daily. Reading in small increments every day can still give you the fantastic benefits of reading while on a tight schedule. The benefits of reading will improve your life and make you better in ways you didn't imagine. So don't be afraid; go to that long-forgotten library in your room, school, or town when you saw that book you were interested in but never read. Find that book and do yourself a favor: Pick up that book!



Thank you for reading our article, provided by Survival Wolves Official LLC.  If you have any thoughts, questions, or criticisms of our review that you would like to share, please leave them below in the comment section!

"Stay knowledgeable, always!"- Survival Wolves Official Team!


Sources:

Billington, J., Hamer, A., Robinson, J., & Williams, C. (2010). An investigation into the therapeutic benefits of reading about depression and well-being. https://www.thereader.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Therapeutic_benefits_of_reading_final_report_March_2011.pdf


Stoltenburg, R. (2024, January 3). US Book Reading Statistics (National Survey 2024). Test Prep Insight. https://testprepinsight.com/resources/us-book-reading-statistics/


Andrew Perrin. (2015, October 15). Slightly fewer Americans are reading print books, a new survey finds. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2015/10/19/slightly-fewer-americans-are-reading-print-books-new-survey-finds/


Goodwin, L. (1996). Aliteracy among College Students: Why Don't They Read? https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED410527.pdf


Wilhelm, J. D., & Smith, M. W. (2016). The Power of Pleasure Reading: What We Can Learn from the Secret Reading Lives of Teens. The English Journal, 105(6), 25–30. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26359251?searchText=&searchUri=&ab_segments=&searchKey=&refreqid=fastly-default%3Ada351986d394a5c8e5debfd13f2c1bd8



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