National Library Week: The Benefits of Reading

The public library is an amazing repository of knowledge that is free to anyone. Unfortunately, it seems that with the pervasiveness of digital media and the World Wide Web, poring over hardbound and paperback reads is fast becoming a vanishing practice. To celebrate National Library Week starting this April 14, we offer some great reasons to pick up the reading habit.


1. Boost Brainpower

Like any muscle, the brain benefits from a good workout.  Reading is an active mental process that is intellectually more demanding than watching TV or listening to the radio. By keeping your brain active, reading helps make you smarter and keep your concentration sharp as you grow older.

2. Build Knowledge

If you want to know more about a specific subject, reading about it has a distinct advantage over watching an instructional video or listening to a lecture. Books can clarify difficult topics and delve deeper into details. Reading gives you more time to think and allows you to absorb information at a comfortable pace.


3. Improve Analytic Thinking

Reading gives you the chance to scrutinize and examine closely the material presented. The capacity for critical thinking is developed because reading encourages the mind to form questions and spot patterns faster. With books, readers can pause and reflect how certain information can be associated with other areas of their interest.

4. Relieve Stress

A good book can help you unwind after a stressful day. Watching TV or browsing online can sometimes expose you to a bombardment of images and sounds that you would rather avoid.  An interesting story, coupled with a little peace and quiet, provide a soothing escape from the world however brief.

Stuart Miles
Stuart Miles/

5. Improve Vocabulary

While reading, you may come across many words you have never seen or heard before. Building up a broader vocabulary helps you employ words to express yourself more articulately and effectively. As you read the works of master wordsmiths, you will find yourself adopting a style and way of thinking that can set you apart from the herd. Being able to communicate more eloquently makes you more persuasive, which is a big advantage in work and social settings.

6. Form Fresh Ideas

Watching and hearing the same things as everyone else can lead to mediocre and uninteresting thoughts. Reading exposes you to different viewpoints and new concepts, giving you a bigger mental arsenal to draw from.

If you’re reading the same contemporary material as everyone else, then you may find classic literature to be a great source of inspiration. Look to the past and you may be surprised at how it can improve your creativity and give you a foundation to build new ideas upon.


7. Boost Self-esteem

The more you read about a topic, the better informed you become. As your knowledge increases, so does your self-esteem. With your expertise and confidence, people will naturally turn to you for answers. This will definitely help you feel good about yourself.

Pick up the habit of reading on a regular basis and you will see how a well-read mind can benefit in almost every aspect of life.