They begin to ask themselves: why would they read a newspaper when they can simply watch the news on TV or the internet? Why purchase a hardbound or printed novel when you have audio books to download and listen to? Why bother reading manuals for a particular DIY job when you can search for actual videos on YouTube?
In a world dominated by digital technology, a consumer’s primary focus will be convenience. The second is fun. Reading isn’t really the best symbol for convenience and while it is fun for some, the younger generation will prefer other entertainment options instead of reading any day.
But did you know that even if it is rapidly declining in popularity, it still makes a lot of sense if you start embracing reading as a hobby? One very good reason is that it has substantial health benefits, which we’re going to discuss in a little while.
At this point, let’s have some facts about reading and literacy first:
- 14% of all people in the world have a learning disability because of the lack of reading capacity.
- In the U.S., a total of $2 billion dollars is spent for students who repeat a grade because they can’t read or they have reading problems.
- 16% of the world’s population belongs to the classification of “non-literate.”
- Two-thirds of those people who are non-literate are women.
- More than 20% of the total world population read below the fifth-grade level.
- In the U.S. alone, more than 20 million Americans don’t or can’t read at all.
But while reading covers a wide category of things including print media, magazines, newspapers, etc, what we’re focusing right now are the health benefits of reading a book. The notion that we are trying to build upon in this article is this: “reading a book will provide invaluable health benefits.” Let’s find out what those benefits are:
- There are numerous studies that reveal how reading prevents the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. As a matter of fact, one study found out that people who love to read are two and one half times less likely to get the signs of Alzheimer’s disease later in life. While there is no evidence that reading by itself can prevent the disease, it is good enough to know that reading and the prevention of the said disease are somewhat connected.
- In reading a book, the brain is the primary beneficiary, at least with respect to your health. When you read books, both fiction or non-fiction, your brand is essentially working out now and then. It’s pretty similar when you are doing physical workouts for your body and muscles. There is a particular neural circuit required for reading and it is quite challenging, which means the brain is forced to work more.
- Yes, it is true that reading is time consuming when compared to watching TV or streaming videos online. But let’s say there’s a big exam you’re about to take in a week. Because you have limited time to study, you count out reading and instead go for audio tapes. In between work breaks and during the night, you listen to those audio stuff while doing something else at the same time. Now ask yourself, do you really think you’d pass the exam? It’s too late to realize that in reading a book, you will be able to digest information the most efficient way compared to just listening to audio. The same thing happens in novels and short stories compared to their film or motion picture counterparts. It is easy to love a story as you read it compared to watching it.
- Reading a book also corresponds to providing a greater amount of relieving stress. A recent study in England revealed that because a person’s brain is continuously bombarded and flooded with information, majority of which aren’t really useful, it has learned and adapted in a way that it is able to tune out when subjected to a conversation by an external source. In simpler terms, it means if you listen to or watch someone, your brain has the tendency to actually ignore them and then the brain eventually becomes congested because of the constant influx of information. But in reading a book, the case is different. You cannot focus if you are surrounded by other sources of information like a TV or the computer streaming a video.
In reading, you are forced to do nothing else, which in turn allows you to have a greater sense of privacy. When there is privacy, there is calm and peace of mind. There is relief from stress.