The Benefits of Reading


Reading has been shown to have great advantages when it comes to improving one’s life. It increases vocabulary, improves writing skills, and is a source of free entertainment. From enthralling tales to remarkable historical accounts, the ink-stamped pages of a good book provide many benefits to the reader as well as an escape from reality. However, some of reading’s perks may be more elusive than one might think. Studies reveal that, along with increasing vocabulary and improving writing, reading reduces stress and enhances memory.

The conciliation of negative emotion and the desire to be in a state of tranquility is a constant in the world, no matter the place or time. Many methods are implemented to calm a distraught mind, such as going on a walk, drinking a cup of hot tea, or listening to music. However, the University of Minnesota reveals that reading is more effective in reducing stress in their article, “Reading for Stress Relief”, when they recall, “A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. It works better and faster than other relaxation methods such as listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea.” A stressful day can leave one feeling distraught with a fatigued mind. Reading may not be the first option to come to mind when searching for relief, but if someone is reading something that he or she enjoys, it can bring a great amount of serenity. In addition, the article, “Reading ‘Can Help Reduce Stress’” reveals the amount of reading needed to relax the mind in explaining, “Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles…” Reading distracts the mind from all that takes place outside of the book. It forces the mind to focus on the words, forming intricate images in the mind. The events of the day are put to the side, and all that is left is the reader and the book. Thus, all worries are put aside, any anxiety is put to ease. It is no wonder that reading decreases stress. However, this is not all reading is capable of.

An individual’s memory is one of the most precious treasures he or she holds. It molds each person as memories act as a stepping stone to each’s individuality. It build’s his or her entire character, concealing the fond moments of his or her life deep within the mind. Unfortunately, at times, these moments are lost in a whirlwind of thoughts. This depreciation, like a tree falling and decaying in the woods, can lead to heartbreak when individuals begin to fail to recall their loved ones, who they are, and even where they are. However, to every problem there is a solution, and one solution to this problem is reading. The article, “Reading Improves Memory, Concentration, and Stress”, recalls this benefit of reading when they write, “It also has shown a slower rate of decline in memory and other mental capacities.” Reading exercises the mind, similar to exercising a muscle. Just how a healthy lifestyle decreases the likelihood of a heart attack, reading decreases memory loss. Further, Psychology Today’s article, “Can Reading Help My Brain and Prevent Dementia?” reveals that persistent reading can greatly benefit the mind when they state, “…remaining an avid reader into old age reduced memory decline by more than 30%, compared to engaging in other forms of mental activity.” Taking time in the day to read can greatly improve anyone’s life. The importance of reading is illustrated clearly above. Not only does reading whisk the reader away to far off lands, but it helps him or her in the long run as well.

Reading has remarkable benefits in that it aids memory and reduces stress. Even six minutes of silent reading is capable of relaxing the tense, and long term memory is greatly improved. In the end, it starts with picking up an enjoyable book and losing oneself to the words. Public libraries and book stores are available for those wish to borrow or purchase a book. These efforts will not be made in vain, for reading will provide them with merit. In the end, reading can help every reader.