Rand is a sophomore in her first year of journalism. She competes in track and field, can speak Arabic fluently, and likes to run, read, and paint.
The power of reading
May 11, 2021
Many people these day have come to associate reading with work, especially if they have to read a boring book for a school project. As a result, many have forgotten what it’s like to sit down to enjoy an amazing book.
Reading books benefits not only your mental, but also your physical health. From early childhood to your elderly years, the benefits of reading can last a lifetime. Reading frequently has a multitude of perks from your improving your eyesight to helping you focus your attention for a prolonged period of time. Sitting down and spending a good chunk of an hour letting your brain’s imagination work so vividly can also help you gain a slew of new vocabulary words.
Another fact many people tend to overlook when considering frequent reading is that studies have proven that regular reading helps prevent certain age-related cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimers. It shows that the earlier one starts reading, the better the outcome. Many people who engage in these mentally stimulating and challenging reading activities were also found to have lower chances of developing the brain lesions, tangles, and plaques found in patients with dementia.
Studies have shown that reading makes you more intelligent, but did you know that reading builds your vocabulary? The National Library of Medicine has found that the students who read frequently (especially at a young age) gradually develop larger vocabularies which can result in higher standardized test scores, better job opportunities, and an improved chance for college admissions.
Starting young plays a role as well, with many experts recommending that reading to infants or talking on the phone while holding an infant can help expand vocabulary at a young age.
While reading non-fiction is particularly beneficial, reading fiction can allow you to escape reality temporarily. With characters and dreamy scenarios, fiction helps many people overcome depressive symptoms and can help manage stress. An Oxford University study showed that reading classics like Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare can help relieve chronic pain and mental illnesses.
Not only does reading help with stress, it can benefit your sleep pattern as well. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic suggest applying reading to your nightly routine. Reading a printed book right before you fall asleep can relieve stress and help you fall asleep faster.
Another long-term health study has proven that reading can add a couple extra years onto your life. The study followed 3,635 individuals for 12 years and found that the adults that did read lived an extra two years, compared to the adults that only read what’s on social media.
So next time you have a free moment, consider putting down that phone, and picking up a good book.