Essay - Benefits of Reading Books - Ayaan Chettiar

Benefits Of Reading

In the world of today, the vast plethora of great literature at our fingertips makes reading books far more accessible than the decades before. But with the dramatic transition of the planet in the past century into the modern era, can novels and short stories still win our heart? Surveys have shown that one-third of teenagers send more than a hundred text messages every day, with the same age group spending more than eleven hours a day on media as a whole. Yet, these imaginative tales aging from 19th-century works of Dickens and Hardy, to the famous Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, not to mention modern-day classics like Jeff Kinney, David Walliams, and that Geronimo Stilton have more to them than visible to the naked eye. Books are far more than mere pages stuck together, although a reluctant reader would beg to differ. Do you still not agree with me? Let me prove it…

Brain and Mind are two similar yet dissimilar terms that we encounter in our lives. The brain refers to the organ within our head that controls our body, whereas our mind is the creative unit behind operations. Reading books introduces new ideas, which in turn open gates into the mind. We can say, therefore, that reading as a hobby provides essential stimulation to our mind. If one simply lazes around and does not undertake such immersive hobbies, then it could very well ‘zombify’ our thinking.

But the benefits of reading are not simply the aforementioned point, but innumerable perks. The most obvious ones are that it increases the vocabulary of the individual. The Oxford Dictionary contains a total of 273,000 head words in all; but the dictionary in our mind is much smaller. Encountering new words and phrases is to be encouraged and is particularly fine, so long as you make an attempt to learn the word’s meaning and therefore add it to your mental dictionary. Other grammatical factors like spelling, punctuation and appropriate usage of words are also harnessed through reading.

When you read a book initially, in the hours or even days that follow, you can find your mind re-directing to the tale, and that is when your imaginative juices are flowing openly. New ideas do not simply provide mental stimulation, they lay the foundation for imagination and creativity, without which man would be a dull and primitive creature, unable to dream or create even 1% of what is now readily available to us.

Reading also impacts our mental wellbeing. True readers find themselves at ease with a good book or two; in this manner, the practice of reading reduces stress and also helps them get better sleep. Not to mention that reading doesn’t only add to grammar and imagination of the individual, but also improves the knowledge and overall understanding. Attention span and concentration, coupled with patience, are some necessary virtues developed through this habit.

But enough of all the good things that reading does to our mind, it’s a huge source of entertainment, if you know what kind of genre you’re into. If you’re big on explosive trains and nuclear missiles, you would likely go for some action novel like Alex Rider. If you fancy the classics, you would take a step back in time and go for The Christmas Carol by Dickens, perhaps Charlotte’s Web for younger readers. As is often said, there is a book for everyone out there. Your job is to find it.

So, what conclusion can we draw? The next time somebody teases you from being buried in your book realm all day, your noses stuffed in some novella or the other, ignore them, even pity them as they don’t know what they’re missing on. Above all, never stop reading because a reader is a learner for life. Its benefits to society and individuals cannot be denied. Read and you will succeed.

By Ayaan Chettiar

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