Spending more time at home during the pandemic led more people to rediscover old hobbies and begin new ones; one of these being reading. In March of 2020, around 35% of the world began to read more; which The Conversation attributes to people who want to experience freedom, even if it was just through books.
Re-reading books have also become a popular route because it brings a sense of comfort as readers already know about future events, unlike the current state of the world.
Regardless of the motivation, there is a lot that can be gained from picking up a good book. In this article, we’ll be listing the main reasons you should get into reading, as well as ways to motivate yourself to keep going.
Why You Should Read More
Science demonstrates that there are many mental benefits to reading. One of the biggest contributors to human illness and disease is stress – it increases the risks of strokes and heart disease by 50% and 40%, respectively.
However, according to a study conducted by the University of Sussex, reading can reduce stress levels by as much as 68%. That’s even more than listening to music or going for a walk. The ability to be fully immersed yourself in reading is what essentially makes it such a potent stress reliever.
Reading can also sharpen the mind. It can even help stave off more severe forms of cognitive impairment later in life; such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Those who engage in reading on a regular basis and other mentally stimulating activities are less likely to show evidence of dementia such as brain lesions, plaques, and tangles.
Moreover, reading physical books can help improve sleep. Light emitted from devices such as smartphones actually hinders melatonin production in the brain. Conversely, engaging in a nightly reading routine instead of scrolling through social media can help ease the transition between wakefulness and slumber.
Finally, books can also help you gain more knowledge and be more insightful in life. This is why former US President Barack Obama encourages readers: “If you know how to read, then the whole world opens up to you”. Even business tycoon Bill Gates makes sure to read an average of 50 books a year.
Reading can boost creativity and flexibility, two very important strengths that will get you further in life.
How To Motivate The Bookworm In You
Create a reading nook
If you want to fully immerse yourself in a book, you might need a dedicated reading space. Scribd lists several tips on creating your very own reading nook, which boils down to finding a quiet, comfortable desk or chair with sufficient lighting.
To spice up your area, you can add some scented candles, soft music, houseplants, and personal items that can help you get in the mood.
Keep track using reading apps
There are tons of mobile applications you can download on your smartphone to help you quickly update your reading progress or to add new read-later finds on your list.
Popsci advises readers to take advantage of app features, like posting book reviews and accessing other readers’ reviews as well. Others have a ‘matching’ feature that can match you with other books according to the genres and titles you enjoyed. This way, you can find intriguing titles that will motivate you to keep reading.
Sign up for a reading challenge
If you’re looking to exceed your own expectations, why not try signing up for a reading challenge or a book club?
There are annual challenges online with set goals – some even have more specific guidelines such as monthly quotas, or specific genres and titles. Reading isn’t a competition, but having a more tangible goal to work towards can help drive you to read more. Additionally, reading a lot can help you transform it into a lifelong habit.
If you want to be a regular reader, there is no better way to start than to pick up a book right after you go through our list. Hopefully, we were able to provide you with some helpful information to help you get started on your reading journey.