“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” – Richard Steele
Reading is known to have a positive effect on our brains. It not only broadens our minds and teaches us new words, but also helps us learn about ourselves and develop empathy for others and analytical and relationship-building skills. It requires concentration and improves your intellectual activity. If you seek the answers to life’s questions or you simply want to learn a new skill, open up a book and begin.
Learn about others
Have you ever felt that a character in a novel could be your best friend, or perhaps your enemy? Reading fiction allows us to get inside the lives of different characters, seeing their world through a different lens. This helps us connect with people of different countries, cultures, personalities, persuasions, and environments.
Joining book clubs and having conversations with other people with similar interests can also help build relationships. It will also boost your confidence and feelings of belonging to connect with another individual or group on a subject that’s important to you emotionally, spiritually or psychologically.
Learn about yourself
The characters in novel expose a reader to someone else’s feelings and emotions in a way that even our relatives and closest friends may not reveal. Some characters may resonate deeply with you, helping you understand that your feelings are not unique – that the problems you face are faced by others too. His may help reduce feelings of shame and isolation.
Connecting with a particular character in a book can help us see a situation through different eyes. This helps us to examine our own emotions and opens us up to new experiences, new ideas, and new solutions to problems. It can also help you speak with confidence about these issues and express yourself in new ways.
Exercise your brain
It’s said that the brain is like a muscle, and that if you exercise it, it will grow strong and remain strong. The very act of reading a book is an exercise in memory and analytical skills. To follow a complicated plot or narrative description demands that you remember details, concepts, and their relationships. That’s why daily reading can help you develop memory, concentration, and analytical skills, and can help you maintain those capabilities as you age.
Getting immersed in a good book is not something you can multi-task. There are so many distractions in modern culture that many people lack the ability to focus. Staying focused on one task is a valuable life skill that should be cultivated.
Relax and be inspired
Reading doesn’t have to be taken seriously or done only for practical or educational purposes. There is something for everyone and every situation. If you are feeling down and need a pick-me-up, the right book can get you out of a funk. Books can inspire, amuse, provide insight, comfort, relaxation, motivation, or just pure diversion.
Communities In Schools of Jacksonville provides in-school and after-school and literacy programming that encourages youth in Duval County to read. Learn more about our work and how you can make a difference in a child's life by becoming a mentor or making a donation.