How Does Reading Benefit Us?

As social media’s presence in our lives grows larger and we rely less and less on physical books, it begs the question: “how does reading benefit us?” (both for personal entertainment or for educational purposes)

In the United States today, 7 in 10 Americans use social media in some way, shape, or form. Social media has come to provide a sort of entertainment factor to our daily lives while before the invention of cell phones and our access to social media, we often resorted to novels/books as a way to provide entertainment. A study done by the Pew Research Center revealed that 24% of American adults have not read a book in the past year. The number of those reading yearly continues to decline as technology’s role in our lives advances. Simply reading a book has a number of benefits that Americans appear to be disregarding.

Reading books provides a wide number of benefits for the human brain and body. While reading, the brain requires different circuits, connections, and signals to occur. As you read more and your reading ability matures, those circuits, connections, and signals will also grow and become stronger. The list of benefits goes on and on. Reading books can boost things as simple as your vocabulary or more complex things such as preventing age-related cognitive decline. As we age, reading provides a way for our brains to stay active and engaged. A study conducted by the Rush University Medical Center in 2013 found that those who engaged in mentally stimulating activities like reading all throughout their lives, were less likely to develop plaques, lesions, and other issues associated with the brains of those diagnosed with dementia.

Simply put, reading anything that you can get your hands on or just interests you can improve your way of life; less stress, alleviates symptoms of depression. The list goes on and on. Use this as an opportunity and reminder to get reading before it’s too late.