It seems the book is going the way of the dinosaur—made obsolete by the many videogames and movies on the market. Indeed, there is a decline both in the number of people who read regularly and the literacy rate.
However, there are many benefits that reading provides those that do participate in the activity.
Though it may be easier to watch a movie, the benefits aren’t nearly as great. Here, we will give you a look at how reading is a benefit to your mind, body, and spirit.
It seems pretty obvious that reading would have a great benefit to the mind. As children, our brains develop as we develop literacy skills. As adults, we can exercise our minds and strengthen our memory by reading. By reading books, we tend to expose ourselves to a more diverse vocabulary. Memory of these words diminishes without that exposure—as our brain practices a “use it or lose it” function when it comes to the intricate web of neurons that dictates all of our thought. Consistently exposing ourselves to different concepts through the written word will help us retain all of this. Reading also has a one-up on television for exercising the parts of the brain that deal with imagination and mental imaging. Whereas watching a TV screen is passive, reading is an interactive way to stimulate more parts of your mind.
The bodily benefits of reading are a bit less obvious, but certainly just as important—if not somewhat interrelated to those of the mind. Reading very much has a calming effect on the body while a person is engaged in it. This allows the body to relax, releasing some of the tension built up by daily stressors. Because it is so engaging, too, reading can serve as a healthy escape from the hectic nature of everyday life—another great way to relax the body and prevent stress (which weakens the immune system and makes it easier for us to get sick). Reading before bed also has wonderful benefits for the body. Along with being relaxing, reading allows us to focus our thoughts. When our minds are racing miles per second, it is difficult to fall asleep, and also prevents us from getting good sleep. Focusing and relaxing the mind prior to going to sleep will allow you to sleep more soundly, and be less fatigued during the day.
The benefits of reading can be interpreted in a variety of ways, depending on the various ways we can look at spirit. The more obvious interpretation would be that of spiritual growth through religion—which can be enhanced with the consumption of religious literature. Beyond the religious, however, reading can help with personal growth by expanding the knowledge base. There is a world at your fingertips when you decide to read a book. Will you read fiction? If so, it could be about a fantastic voyage that could serve as an inspirational source for your hopeful journeys. If you wanted to learn how to crochet, speak Chinese, read music, etc, all of these things can be accomplished. Using books to serve as a tool for following your dreams is a great way to benefit the spirit and achieve healthy personal growth.
Tara Strum writes for a website that specializes in audio books where you can find audio book reviews and read the latest industry news.