Reading: Is it worth the effort?


The benefits of reading permeate all aspects of a person’s life. No matter what is being read, the process of reading is important and leads to an improvement in the quality of life. The benefits of reading far outweigh any lame excuse to exclude reading from your daily schedule.
Reading helps in every aspect of life. Students who read have higher grade point averages, higher intelligence levels, and more general knowledge than those that don’t. This, in turn, leads to better analytical or critical thinking skills. General knowledge from reading also leads to a superior vocabulary and improved spelling skills. Now, in the age of spell check, spelling skills may not seem important to some, but spelling well translates directly to effective writing because thoughts flow smoothly. Reading increases vocabulary with minimum effort because even the most basic children’s books utilize more sophisticated language than the average daily conversation (pick up a Dr. Seuss book and you will see what I mean). An increased vocabulary helps not only on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT, but also helps a person be more understanding towards others. Research has found that reading keeps your mind sharp and agile as you age.

Fiction, without a doubt, not only whisks away stress and tension, but it also can distract a divergent mind. Reading can soothe anger, anxiety or fear, and calm a restless mind. If you remove yourself from a dreary, deadlocked environment you will perceive situations in a new light. When you find yourself in a desert, reading can become an oasis. You may find things you really want to do. You may find ways you really want to act or ways you really want to change your life. Reading lets you wander without going anywhere. Reading lets you experience new situations without any risk.

We all have busy schedules, and each person finds himself busier than everyone he knows; however, we do find time to do the things we want – playing video games, watching the latest movie, gossiping with friends or surfing the web. We must incorporate reading into our daily schedules as we do our meals and prayers. The costs of not reading far outweigh the benefits of reading. As Mark Twain said, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

posted under Reading habits

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