The Importance of Reading


When was the last time you picked up a novel, rather than endlessly scrolling through social media? When was the last time you entered a quiet library filled with oak shelves and an array of unique books? It is proven that reading strengthens the mind and deeply improves mental health. 

Reading boosts vocabulary and basic knowledge. It also improves something called “theory of mind,” where gaining the ability to empathize with realistic characters is beneficial in the real world—this critical skill braces social relationships. The mind is a muscle, and it needs exercise. Reading is so pertinent because it helps develop the mind, simultaneously “exercising” it. Being able to look at a paper and understand the written word is a beneficial way that helps our mind grow its ability. It is such a beautiful thing that can also help strengthen brain activity, boost communication skills, and help self exploration.

Additionally, it also is a great way to discover new and eye-opening things. A person who truly knows how to read- either books, magazines, or newspapers can really educate themselves in areas of interest or even areas with no prior knowledge. We are living in an age of knowledge, it’s crucial to be curious and take advantage of the resources available to help us. 

Research from the American Psychologist Association conveys that little over 80% of teenagers do not read on a daily basis for entertainment purposes. Absorbing literature in school and during the ages 13-17 has long-term benefits in adulthood. Therefore, supporting research from Pew Research Center (collected in 2019) indicates that around 44% of Americans with a high school diploma hadn’t read a book in 12 months. Which is truly insane. The enforcement of reading in most highschools is crucial and can help so many people in the long run. 

Being in a reading “slump” is something that most people experience. This is when the reader has no energy or passion to finish a book or even start a new book. However, when a reader is able to relate to a character’s background, identity, experiences, etc. It can make the process of finishing a novel faster and significantly more enjoyable. 

 It can be challenging to get into reading or get back into a post-reading slump. But there are so many ways to get back into that reading feel. Here are some amazing and beneficial websites that may help you get back to that reading routine: Barnes & Noble’s The 10 Most Popular Books Right Now and this cumulated list of what’s trending on Goodreads. So, next time you think of laying in bed and getting lost in the world of your device, stick your nose in a book instead. Words whether it be spoken or written are the building blocks of life. It is how we shape ourselves, our identities, and our opinions. You are what you read.