5 Reasons Reading is Healthy

Book-heartThere are a lot of people in this world that love to read (I’m definitely one of those). But it always surprises me when I meet people who don’t really like it. Because, there is something for every preference that you can think of. So you don’t like fiction? That’s fine. There’s plenty of non-fiction books in any area of life that you can think of. Want to just have an escape and not think too hard? Yeah, there’s a ton of fiction books that are easy reads and fast paced. If you still have reservations about reading, why don’t you check out my list of reasons reading is good for you:


1: Makes you smarter.

Reading helps you to increase your vocabulary; that’s probably not news to you. You also likely knew that reading helps with your writing skills (that one seems pretty self explanatory. Advice given to any writer is to read more of what you like to write.). But did you know that it also improves your memory? Apparently, it activates the part of your brain that holds memory and can help you remember details, whether from what you’ve read or in your everyday life.

2: It’s a great escape, and relatively cheap (unless you’re an addict like me!)

How much trouble do you have to do to plan a real vacation? After price-matching hotels and flights, getting packed and making an itinerary, it’s not much of a relaxation time for you. (Don’t get me wrong – I love to travel. But it does take work and money.) You average book will cost you between $10-$20 and all you have to do is sit back and read.

3: It keeps your brain active while giving you some down time.

I feel that this point needs to be expanded on: Everyone needs to have some rejuvenation time so that they can unwind and process how their day has gone. It’s important for mental health to have this “quiet time”. A lot of people tend to watch TV to achieve this. Others turn to video games. Both of these activities are just fine. However, your brain gets a lower brain-wave activity with watching TV and playing video games than when you’re sleeping. In a nutshell, you’re essentially turning your brain off. I’m not saying that you should never engage in these activities, but I am saying that you shouldn’t do these things in excess. On the other hand, reading a good book gives you that necessary escape and helps you to relax and recover from your day while keeping your brain turned on.

4: It can help you socialize.

Have you ever met someone who enjoyed the same book you read? Noticed how popular certain books are getting lately? There’s a reason for that. People love to be able to connect with one another on little things. I know it sounds cheesy,  but liking the same books and movies bring people together as they compare their favorite characters and plot points.

5: Increases your analytic thinking.

Chess, here I come! (Not really – I’m terrible at the game. Maybe I’m not reading the right books…) Studies have found that analytical thinking is boosted by reading. It’s obvious that readers increase their general knowledge, but they are also able to spot patterns quicker. If you can spot patterns quicker, your analytical skills get a boost.


I just want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes, by George RR Martin: “One who reads lives a thousand lives, and one who doesn’t read lives only one.” Happy reading (or should I say happy living?), you guys!

A lot of my material is based from an article written by Cunningham and Stanovich. Click here if you’d like to read the complete details.