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The benefits of reading

Art by Jessica Calaguas

As an avid reader myself, I find reading enjoyable, and often spend multiple hours every day reading. Reading is something that is almost always required of students, especially in English class. Due to this, it can turn into a tedious task that one will do just to get done, rather than for their own personal enjoyment. However, I believe that reading is a very fun activity, especially if done by one’s own choice.

The Benefits

Even though reading is considered by many to be boring, it is actually a great way to pass the time. There are many benefits that come with reading, such as being able to understand school related assignments more effectively, to even helping with sleep.

According to Healthline, “A study found that 30 minutes of reading lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of psychological distress.” Reading has other varying benefits. For example, it can help build and strengthen one’s vocabulary, especially when they start at a young age. It can also be very helpful when it comes to things such as tests. Reading provides wisdom, and what is learned through it can be helpful to people throughout their daily lives.

Along with strengthening the brain, reading is also beneficial for sleep. Reading a paper book before bed has been proven to accelerate the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Unlike devices such as phones and tablets, which make it harder to fall asleep immediately after use, paper books don’t emit light, and that is why they improve sleep quality. Additionally, if reading is something that you enjoy, you may consider it to be a good pastime, rather than spend hours binge watching a show, or play video games throughout the entire afternoon.

Experiences With Reading

Ms. Olsen, Eagle Rock High’s librarian, had a lot to say about reading. “When we read, we are able to build a wider world experience, which allows us to connect to other people.” In terms of when to start reading, she thinks that people should begin as soon as possible, starting from the earliest ages in life.

Additionally, she says reading can have great benefits, but only if you read for long enough each day. “Starting off with like, 15-20 minutes, but by adulthood, in order to truly receive the benefits of reading, reading about an hour a day is beneficial.” Reading for an hour each day means you are likely to finish about one book a week, which means it is possible to finish 52 books in a year, and I think that is something incredible.

While most genres of reading have benefits, especially reducing stress, Ms. Olsen recommends fiction. “The reason why is that it allows you to get out of your world, somebody else’s, or like experiences.” Reading is something that should be enjoyed, and anyone reading should mostly read what they enjoy, as “our brain will not capture anything that it does not either find a purpose in or find enjoyment.”

Overall, reading is a diverse activity with many different benefits, and anyone can start doing it from a very young age. Reading can be something that helps relieve stress, build and strengthen vocabulary, and even take you on a trip outside of reality. With so many different genres available, there is a book out there for everyone, which makes reading a pastime that anyone can enjoy.

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