Hey everyone and happy Monday! The sun is shining and I am yet again inspired to write. Today’s blog is all about the importance of reading and quite simply, I highly recommend that you swap reading status updates and instead, read books!
We all know that reading is good for us and we are encouraged to read from an early age. But how many of us continue to read after school? I personally don’t have many friends that read on a regular basis; perhaps one or two will take a book on holiday once or twice a year and that’s about it. A lot of people claim that they don’t read because they don’t have the time to, which is why I suggest that you swap reading status’ for books.
As you may or may not know, I am not the biggest fan of social media. Yes it can be beneficial, but unfortunately people abuse this and social media has now actually become a life-consuming hobby, a pointless hobby at that. “What do you do in your evenings”, “oh, I just spend time scrolling through my home page and I read everyone’s status” – it’s not exactly an interesting hobby is it? What used to annoy me with social media, is the amount of reading I used to do, of completely pointless status’ belonging to people that, quite frankly, I don’t really care too much about. Sure, I wish them a great life and I hope they do well, but I really do not need to know that they bought a new skirt yesterday and that they’re now at the movies with their nephew. I’m sorry, but I see this as a complete waste of brain space that could instead, be filled with learning something really interesting.
I recognised some time ago that people aren’t going to stop their narcissistic behaviour online as they continue their quest to seek external validation, so I decided to change mine. I was no longer going to get annoyed about reading pointless information ‘catching up’ with what other people were doing or not doing, and was instead going to do something productive that didn’t negatively affect my mood. So, I swapped status’ for books. I never have the Facebook app or Messenger app on my phone (oh my…), if I want to go on it, I have to go on my laptop and login, which I can never really be bothered to do and it feels really good to get out of that pointless cycle. Oh! I hear you say, but what if someone wants to contact me on messenger?! Well, quite frankly 1) who cares and 2) if it was an emergency, they would not be using messenger and 3) if they don’t have your phone number, they’re not really your friend (ouch, yeah I said it).
I was never the biggest reader. In fact, I absolutely hated it. But then once in a while I would find a book that I knew was going to be turned into a movie, and I love movies so it was exciting for me to read a book and then watch the movie to see it really come to life. For the last four years, I have become a really active reader. I will pretty much read anything! Last year, one of my new year’s resolutions was to read as many books as I could, and I managed to read 13 last year, all while being on a full time Master’s degree course and having a couple of part time jobs, so I was quite pleased with myself.
This year, I challenged myself to reading every single day if possible, even if it is just one page. The more and more I read, the more and more I feel the benefits and recognise how good it is for you. It depends on what I am doing or what day it is, but I usually tend to read before I go to sleep. They always say you should wind down 30 minutes to an hour before bed away from a screen, and so this is what I do. The book is the last thing I think about at night and sometimes I wonder what’s going to happen next as I fall asleep. I highly recommend you do the same, it is hard at first, but when you find the right book it will no longer feel like a chore and instead, it will make you feel as though you’re really looking forward to reading the next section. This also doesn’t have be fiction, it can be a book or magazine on something that you’re really interested in, reading is reading!
The 16 benefits of reading:
- It expands vocabulary
- It increases imagination
- It increases intelligence
- It’s a productive hobby
- It’s time consuming, if you want it to be
- It allows you to learn something new
- It’s a good conversation starter, especially if it is a ‘trending book’
- It increases satisfaction
- It gives you feelings of determination for seeing it through to the end
- It allows you to get lost, because it is so distracting
- It can help you to relax and give you some ‘you time’
- It makes you more empathetic by being able to see another point of view
- It challenges your brain and therefore keeps it active and stimulated
- It improves memory
- It improves concentration
- It can be a very cheap, if not free hobby
So treat yourself to a book this week and the next time you find yourself reaching for you phone or laptop, give the book a read instead and see how much better you feel as a result.
© 2018. Naomi Laws. All rights reserved.