When you were in Jr. High or High School and your English teacher gave you a sheet to track the amount of pages you had to read that term, did you moan? Or did you look at the number of pages required and think, “Oh, I could probably double that number!”?
I was definitely a part of the latter group. I LOVE to read. I always have. When I was a little girl, I remember saying good night to my parents and then flipping on my lamp to read until the wee hours of the night. Or morning, depending on the book. I remember finishing the newest book in the Fablehaven series in a day or two after it was released because I just loved them so much.
And I remember crying HARD when I finished “Cold Sassy Tree” while sitting on my little futon couch in my room. I fell in love with the characters, and their pain was my pain. Their journey was my journey.
I have never had a remarkable imagination. My mom spent so much money on me buying Barbies and American Girl Dolls, and unless I had someone to play with I couldn’t just sit there relying on my imagination to entertain me.
But if a book was placed in front of me, I fell deep into the scenes and emotions that were created. I think that’s partially why I loved reading so much.
Well little did I know, that although I was reading to escape to another world, I was actually getting smarter. I was increasing my reading comprehension and expanding my vocabulary. I was also learning a lot, even though it didn’t feel like learning at the time.
When I got to high school, I was shocked to hear how many kids groaned when they heard they had a page requirement for each term. I remember sitting in my first English class as a sophomore and my teacher explained the expectations and homework assignments for the term. She passed out the reading tracking sheet, and at the top of the sheet it said, “500 page minimum for this term. Term ends end of October.” Mind you, it was AUGUST when she handed this out, but you should have heard the groans and complaints from my classmates!!! Because of their complaints, I double checked the sheet to see if I misread that page number or something! Lo and behold, it was only 500. 500 is ONE fantasy book. Or two small books. I think that first term I tripled the requirement, and ended up transferring to the “Honors” class that required a whopping 800 pages per term. (insert eye roll emoji here).
But it’s not lost on me that many of you reading this are probably looking at that and thinking, “I haven’t read 500 pages in years.” And my challenge to you is to make a goal TODAY to begin reading. Because I am a firm believer that every single person should be a book worm, and here are ten reasons why:
10 Benefits of Reading
- Mental stimulation. Reading is exercise for the brain. Just like any other muscle it needs to be worked and challenged and stretched, so it can continue to be strong and healthy.
- Stress reduction. No matter what is going on in your life, it all slips away when you are reading a good book. And there is nothing more stress relieving then cuddling up with a blanket to a good book on a rainy day (and rainy days are in the forecast!).
- Knowledge. I have so many random facts in my brain, and I can attribute almost all of them to reading. And the cool part is that the more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you’ll be to tackle anything that comes your way. Reading provides knowledge.
- Vocabulary Expansion. I mentioned this earlier, but this is the benefit I’ve gained from reading that has helped me the very most. But it’s common sense right? The more you read, the more words you are exposed to, and then they’ll inevitably become a part of your everyday vocabulary. Also grammar. I attribute my proper use of your and you’re and all the other tricky ones to reading. When you read proper grammar, you will use proper grammar. (And spelling!).
- Memory Improvement. Reading requires remembering storylines, and characters, and backgrounds and much more. Reading will improve your memory.
- Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills. My parents are both big readers, and I think that definitely has played a big role in my life, but my dad’s favorites are legal thrillers and who-done-it’s. So as a result, I’ve picked up a few of his copies and I love to try and solve it before the book is over! This is a great example of becoming a better analytical thinker.
- Improved Focus and Concentration. This one is so important especially in today’s day and age. The ability to sit down for 20 minutes and read uninterrupted or without picking up your phone to check Instagram or Facebook is an incredible skill. Improved focus and concentration will make you a better friend, employee and person.
- Better Writing Skills. This one goes along with benefit 4, but I can attest to this one firmly. English was always my easiest subject, and in my degree (Communications with an emphasis in PR), I wrote all the time. I can absolutely thank my exposure to hundreds of different books for my writing skills.
- Tranquility. Read: cuddling up on a rainy day with a dang good book.
- Free Entertainment. Okay, books aren’t always free but reading offers an excellent entertainment for a very low cost. (Or free if you read second-hand, or borrowed, or with your library card!).
Have I convinced you yet? If not, I have compiled a list of what I personally believe every person should read in their lifetime, and it stands as a great starting point!
Top 10 books everybody should read in their lifetime by Josee Edwards
Harry Potter Series
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Giver by Lois Lowry
You can also join our free Facebook group, Embodied Living because we do a virtual book club every month! It’s a great resource for great books.
And lastly, Dr. Melissa Smith has a podcast and she dives even further into the benefits of reading and has a fun reading list of some of her favorites as well.
So there is no excuse… Start your journey to becoming a book worm today! 🙂
Benefits of reading article here.