“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot
This is so very true. Reading has always been one of my greatest passions. I can do without TV and my cell phone but, not without my books. I even have a small library of my own! I always keep 1 or 2 books by my bedside. Adopting the habit of reading has helped me in many aspects of my life. I would recommend reading as a hobby to everyone. But, what makes it so special; let’s have a look:
- Treasure of knowledge: You can lose anything in your possession but, never the knowledge you have about things. You gain abundant information from every book. Information that you can apply in your day to day life to tackle any issues you are facing. Also, this knowledge can be shared and spread far and wide. So, it is like a chain reaction.
- Improved vocabulary: Articulation of knowledge is very essential and this can be done in the best way by speaking and writing. The knowledge you gain from many books exposes you to an enormous range of words. As you develop the habit of reading, you also develop the habit of using these words in your daily vocabulary. A good vocabulary helps in building self-confidence. On professional front too, people who are well-spoken and knowledgeable in various fields have greater chances of advancing in their careers. Many a times, it so happens that while reading a novel, we come across lines in languages not known to us. In this way, we get to learn a little about non-native languages too.
- Improved writing skills: When you are exposed to an ocean of words, writing can get easier. You can brush up your skills of writing by reading the works of various authors.
- Improved memorizing: It is a well known fact that, if you don’t use your memory, you will lose it. When we read, we are required to keep in mind various characters, the storyline, events in their chronological order. All of this requires a lot of brain work. It is a scientifically proven fact that when you create a new memory, it forges new brain pathways and strengthens the existing ones. This assists in short-term memory recall and stabilizes our mood.
- Keeps Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia at bay: Reading is a very stimulating activity for the brain cells. Research has proven that, people who engage themselves in activities like reading are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease compared to people who involve in less stimulating activities. So, exercise your brain and ward off Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.
- Improved concentration and focus: Like I said in my previous point, reading is a real work for our brain. You need to be very focused for long periods of time. When we multitask by working on digital form of information such as, Twittter, Skype chats, etc., we are stressing out our brains a lot. Whereas, reading a single book makes you so engrossed in it that you automatically learn to focus on one thing at a time.
- Improved analytical thinking: Books contain various situations in them which, when you are reading, make you think ‘who did it’ and ‘what comes next’. This helps in improving your analytical skills. You learn to think about a situation, consider the facts, state your opinions and solve certain issues. The knowledge that you gain will help you in better reasoning.
- Improvement on your fundamental skills: You just have to read about a certain subject to understand it better. Many a times, it happens that lectures at schools and colleges cannot impart that much knowledge in you as much as reading a book can.. Also, formal education works on a timetable whereas; reading will help you learn at your own pace.
- Reduces stress and provides tranquility: Many voracious readers, like me, unwind at the end of a tiring day by curling up in the bed with a good book. Reading is an awesome stress buster. Turn off those loud and too bright TV sets, Ipods, mobile games and pick up a book. Along with relaxation, reading a book will provide you with immense feeling of inner peace. It is scientifically proven that, if you are reading a spiritual book or a self-help book or a humourous book it helps in lowering your blood pressure and also mellow down the mood of people with mild mental disorders.
- Books are inexpensive or free entertainment: I personally prefer having my own collection of books. Think about it; how much would a movie ticket or DVD cost? How much do you spend at Gaming Zones for playing a few 5 minute games? Instead, invest the same amount of money in books and get entertained for longer period of time! You can collect and read books of a variety of genres. Sometimes, it may get quite pricey. In such cases, you can visit your local library and enjoy your hobby for free! If you do not have a library nearby, also have the option of downloading books from many online sources (free e-books) or in some cases you can buy e-books online.
So, pick up that good old book. It’s just like Sherman Alexie says: “If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.”