I loved to read  a book and had been a prolific reader all my life until a couple of years ago when my interest waned. My main excuse? I felt too tired! Sleepiness overwhelmed me whenever I tried to concentrate on a book.Pile of books reading a book

Desperate and despondent, I saw a new optometrist. She diagnosed severe cataracts. A few months, a bit of surgery and new spectacles and I’m a new woman. Not reading much for a couple of years had taken an enormous toll, but I’m back!

Everyone knows that reading to babies and children is good for them. But reading for ourselves also has enormous benefits.  It’s part of our process of lifelong learning. You can read my blog about that here.

Ten reasons to read a book every day

  • We can read for entertainment and enjoyment. Reading is fun.
  •  Reading exercises our minds and keeps our brains active and stimulated. The brain in like our muscles which need to be kept strong and healthy through work and practice. Reading may even help to prevent or slow the progress of dementia.
  • Reading can distract the mind from problems at work or in the family.  Absorption in a good book helps the tensions drain away.
  • All books in any genre provide information and knowledge about different subjects and material we might not otherwise come across.
  • Reading a book improves the memory, especially when repeated often. To read a book means that we must keep a variety of facts, ideas and nuances in our memories. Each new memory creates new synapses or pathways in our brains. Existing pathways become stronger. This helps maintain our short-term memories for everyday use.
  • Reading improves our focus and concentration. Unlike other reading, when we read a book, we become immersed in the task.
  • Like any hobby, reading can be relaxing.
  • Critical thinking skills improve the more we read. This helps us to process information and make better decisions.
  • Books improve our vocabularies because they expose us to new, more or different words.
  • Reading improves our self-confidence and makes us better communicators and more sociable. We become more informed on a range of subjects. We develop new ideas and sharper ways to express them.
  • Books can keep our minds flexible if we chose to read from different genres and across fiction and non-fiction.

Make reading a habit

If you are not already a reader, now is a good time to make reading a book an every-day habit. Here are some of suggestions.

  • Books provide a way to relax and settle for the night. We’re told that electronic equipment in the bedroom affects the quality of sleep. Books offer a safe and easy alternative to too much electronic exposure. What better than to settle for the night with a good book?
  • Another alternative might be to read a book during the commute to and from work.
  • If you eat lunch alone, read!

Books can be free entertainment. Borrow from your local library. Take part in book-swaps via little street libraries and similar schemes. Some cafés even have a shelf with books to swap. Be open to the possibilities to enjoy this simple and  and complex pastime.

For more information about the benefits when you read a book, try this site about the secrets of self development.

Little street library in Subiaco. Bring one, swap one. Free! How generous is that?

8 replies on “Read a book every day – ten reasons why you should”

  1. One hundred percent agree!
    I love reading, too. I’ve written blog posts about it. I could not imagine my life without a book or two on the go.

    1. Yep, life without books can be quite bleak. I don’t enjoy audio books anywhere as much as you do. Now I seem to be right back in the swing of things, reading-wise.

  2. So true Maureen, there’s nothing like a book for informing, relaxing and nurturing us.
    Just to be clear, when you say ‘read a book every day’ you don’t mean we have to read an *entire* book each day, right?!

    1. Oh, heavens, no Fiona! I’m a slow reader when I’m reading for pleasure as opposed to information. Just, ‘read every day’ is what I really meant. But I also have a strong preference for printed books rather than online. I like to go back and reread, especially things I love and when I miss clues or foretelling. I find that harder to do on my tablet.

  3. I love reading, too. I read most nights when I put our son to bed, from about 9.30pm onwards. I’ve found that I sleep better after reading compared to writing or working in the evenings or watching a TV show or movie. I’ve been reading widely lately. What’s your favourite genre?

    1. Hello, Sandra. Yes, I find that reading (especially print books) helps me sleep better, too. Favourite genre? I guess my background makes me lean towards literary fiction. But I also read widely, from women’s literature, Aboriginal literature, mysteries, murders, history, poetry, classics, memoir and biography. The things I don’t read are science fiction and paranormal. Rarely read espionage!

      What about your favourites?

  4. I always have a book going. My husband is unable to read since he suffered a major stroke almost 3 years ago. He lost half of his eyesight, and even when he can see the words, his brain won’t process what he reads. So I read to him for at least an hour every day. It’s been wonderful for both of us, and it’s amazing the number of books we have read.

    1. Hi, Deb. Thank you for your comment. How wonderful for your husband (and for you, too, I expect, most of the time) that you read to him for such a long time every day. Reading together is so often a bonding experience that you can’t get any other way. My parents used to talk about the time when my mother was pregnant with me, and Dad used to read to her while she knitted for ‘the baby’. It gave them a lot of pleasure.

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