By: Taylor Gaines
I was a journalism major in college, which, as you might guess, involved a lot of writing. But what you may not realize is that it involves a great amount of reading, too. From day one of journalism school, every professor will tell you two things. If you want to be a good journalist, you must:
Write. A lot.
Read. A lot.
It makes sense if you think about it. To be good at the craft, you have to practice it yourself and see how other people do it.
Sure, you might not want to be a journalist, but that doesn’t mean reading is not important. Heck, you’ve read this far — you must realize there is something appealing about it.
Here are five good reasons why you should ditch the TV and pick up a book once in a while.
1. Stress Less
Setting aside time every day to do something that helps you unwind is crucial. Like exercising regularly, taking the time to consistently read a good book will help you relax and de-stress. Think about it: You can use a book to transport yourself to another world and escape from whatever struggles and problems seem to be overwhelming you. This has even been shown scientifically! So pick up a book already! Well, I have four other reasons, but if you already have the urge to pick up a book, go for it. Be free!
2. Sleep Better
Who doesn’t want to have a better night’s sleep? Well, guess what? Reading can help (expect that to be a recurring theme here). Basically, reading regularly before you hit the hay can improve your nightly nap. According to the Mayo Clinic, performing relaxing activities like reading 30 minutes before you go to sleep each night will send your body a signal that it’s time to rest. This ties perfectly into the first point; let that time be just before bed every night!
3. Become a Words with Friends Champion
Reading regularly can improve your intelligence in all kinds of ways. Your vocabulary will expand from all the words you read (watch out Words with Friends), your memory will improve from retaining character information and other book nuances, and your analytical thinking skills will improve as you naturally try to make sense of an unfolding plot. Reading stories and experiences in books (fictional or otherwise) will also inform your life in ways you never would have imagined.
4. Live Longer
This one is just as simple as it sounds. Studies have found that those who “regularly engage their brains” through activities like reading could be as much as 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease. Plus, keeping your brain mentally alert and active is a good way to exercise your mind! Like physical exercise, the more you do it and the longer you do it consistently, the longer your brain will function at a higher level.
5. Enjoy Yourself
Are you the type of person to say “I just don’t really like books?” Think again. The truth of the matter is you just haven’t found the right book. Like movies and television, books are really just another entertainment medium. If you think you don’t like reading, you probably just haven’t found an author or genre that you like yet. There’s sci-fi, sports, nonfiction, fantasy, and much, much more!
Explore our site for some great reading options, check out Grace Hudgins’ “5 Classic Novels to Read This Summer,” or reach out to us for some suggestions. If this article hasn’t convinced you to read more, we’ll have to let the books do it themselves!