I love reading; books, magazines, newspapers, blogs…everything. And they have changed and improved my life in ways that I cannot describe in one article. What’s great about being a reader?
- Reading improves your vocabulary, grammar and spelling. When you read, your brain is actually learning new words and the way they are used, whether you are conscious of it or not.
- Reading improves concentration and focus because it takes brain power. It requires you to focus on what you are reading for long periods. This is especially true of books. Unlike magazines, internet posts or e-mails that might contain small chunks of information, books tell the whole story. Since concentration is required in order to read books, you’ll get better at it, just like a muscle you exercise gets stronger.
- Reading builds self-esteem. By reading more books, you become better informed and more of an expert on the topics you read about. This expertise translates into higher self-esteem. Since you are so well read, people look to you for answers. Your feelings about yourself can only get better.
- Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters. In this way, your memory improves. Many studies show if you don’t use your memory, you lose it. Reading helps you stretch your memory muscles.
- One of my favourite things about reading is that, through the pages of a book, you can travel to places you’ve never been, and get a glimpse of other cultures, and very importantly, explore the reality of various careers! Just by reading books, I’ve sat in on meetings in Wall Street offices, watched riveted as great lawyers turned unpromising cases around in packed courtrooms, bitten into delicious doughy pizza in Italy, and smelt the rich coffee in plush Istanbul restaurants. I’ve lived a day in the life of a doctor, business owner, teacher, jewellery designer, actress, advertising executive…the list is endless. Until you can travel the world yourself, a well-written book is an excellent way to experience the world, not just with your eyes as in a movie, but with your own imagination, the writer’s voice as a guide.
Making time to read is something many adults know they should do, but who schedules book reading time every day? Very few — and it shows in the outcomes of their lives! As a teen, you have the opportunity to develop this habit now.
Unlike TV, reading is an active mental process. By reading, you think more and become smarter. It is one of the best habits you can cultivate. I encourage you to pick up a book today; ensure that you select your books carefully!
“Be as careful of the books you read, as of the company you keep, for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.” ~ Paxton Hood