Education & Career Trends: 5 Benefits of Reading Books

5 min read

Edition: February 9th, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS


Taking time out to read can provide you with many benefits in your personal and professional lives. (Image Credit: GETTY)

Research suggests that reading for 30 minutes a week increases health and wellbeing. Reading for pleasure serves to improve our morale and self-esteem. This provides the grounding we need to pursue our goals and make life decisions. To the onlooker, reading can appear to be a solitary and passive activity. But the simple act of picking up a book can do us a world of good.

Taking time out to read can provide you with many benefits. It can help you build knowledge, empathise with others, and gain a better understanding of the world. 

It puts our brain to work and offers a deeper view of ideas, concepts, emotions, and body of knowledge. This carries over to other aspects of our life such as relationships, family life and interactions in the workplace.

Here are the top five benefits of reading in your leisure time:

1. Reading reduces stress.

  • After an exhausting day at work or school, there is no better feeling than getting lost in a great story.
  • A well-written novel can allow you to relax and escape from the tensions of day-to-day life.
  • The benefits of getting absorbed in a diverting story are twofold – it takes your mind off an anxiety loop when you feel bothered by things you cannot change, such as work pressures and financial concerns, and it introduces you to new people and places.
  • You may also discover that reading a book about someone who overcame a problem that makes you anxious helps you feel calmer and more in control.

2. Reading helps you gain knowledge.

  • If you desire to be well-informed and capable to hold a conversation on a variety of topics, you need to be a voracious reader. This is one of the primary ways to gain more knowledge.
  • The knowledge you gain is cumulative and grows exponentially.
  • When you have a strong knowledge base, it’s easier to learn new things and solve new problems.
  • Furthermore, your general understanding of different topics will be enhanced by reading a variety of books.
  • Filling your mind with new facts, information, and ideas will make you a better person to socialise with as you’ll always have something interesting to talk about.

3. Reading exercises our brain.

  • When you are reading, you have to remember many facts about a character’s background, traits, personality, relationships and more.
  • When you think about it, it is pretty impressive that your brain can retain specific and significant information.
  • This particular stimulation can help sharpen your mind, especially the part of the brain that is responsible for critical analysis.
  • Reading sharpens this part of the brain much like you would sharpen a knife.
  • This sharpening of the mind will eventually heighten your focus when concentrating on something important.

4. Reading enriches our vocabulary.

  • The more you read, the more your vocabulary improves. You are shown how to apply new terms into different contexts and use them correctly.
  • This has a direct impact on how effectively you’re able to communicate with others.
  • It is crucial to read different genres of books. Variety is the spice of life and it is also the key to increasing vocabulary.
  • Mystery, science fiction, biography, sports, humor, inspirational, how-to books, history – all have their own unique terms.
  • Each topic area has particular words to describe both the objects that make up that world and the processes or actions that occur in it.
  • It also strengthens your ability to express your thoughts and feelings. Language is such a wonderful resource with so many fantastic words for us to use to express ourselves.
  • When you read, you’ll gain access to a wealth of words that will help you describe how you’re feeling, help you explain a point clearly, and much more.

5. Reading improves focus and concentration.

  • Concentration is a very important characteristic that enables us to stay attentive to the task at hand.
  • It allows us to follow the storyline of a film, keep up with conversations and keep up with the book we’re reading.
  • For you to comprehend and take in what you read, all of your attention should be centred on the words of the page.
  • When you are fully immersed in a book, you’ll be able to tune out external distractions and concentrate on the material in front of you.
  • A consistent reading habit will heighten your attention span.

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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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