Benefits of Reading

Filed in Ask the Editor by on May 27, 2021 0 Comments

The benefits of reading go far beyond the ability they provide to escape your reality. Reading can do wonders for your mood, sleep health, memory retenti...

The benefits of reading go far beyond the ability they provide to escape your reality. Reading — even for just 20 minutes a day — can do wonders for your mood, sleep health, memory retention, and much more. Reading doesn’t just apply to books either; taking a few minutes every day to read an in-depth article about something new or reading a few blog articles centered on one of your favorite hobbies can have the same effect as reading a book. As it turns out, the simple act of reading is all that’s important, and it’s less about what you are reading.

How to Introduce More Reading into Your Day

As with any other hobbies you have, creating the time to invest in reading is important. If you don’t like reading, start by setting a timer for 10 minutes and then sit down to read distraction-free until the timer goes off. You’ll find that 10 minutes of reading isn’t as awful as you may think. Keep the timer handy until you get to a point where you want to keep reading after the timer goes off.

Choose the time of day you prefer to read. Some readers enjoy getting up a little earlier than everyone in their house so they can settle in with a cup of coffee and their book for a little bit before their day starts. Other readers prefer to read during their lunch breaks as a way to split up their workday, and the last group likes to read at the end of their day as part of their evening routine. Once you know when you like to read, start incorporating it into your daily routine at your preferred time of day.

Five Benefits of Reading More Regularly

The act of reading on a consistent basis:

1. Improves your vocabulary

The more you read, the larger your vocabulary will naturally become. The reason for this is because as you read more, you are exposed to more words on a regular basis. Even just reading new words in a specific context can help you identify their meanings, and in turn, you’ll find yourself incorporating those words into your writing and conversations with others.

2. Reduces stress

It’s reported that reading not only lowers stress but can also reduce your blood pressure, as well as your heart rate — as long as you aren’t up late reading the climactic scene of a thriller that is. Just six minutes of reading a day led to a lower heart rate and less muscle tension, according to a University of Sussex study in 2009.

3. Helps with memory retention

The brain is stimulated by reading, so the more you read the stronger your brain will be. This leads to a slowed cognitive decline, as well as a reduction in problems with retaining your memory while at the same time increasing your overall mental capacity and concentration.

4. Promotes better sleep

Because reading is shown to reduce stress, that also makes reading a great hobby to include during your wind-down routine before bed. By lowering your stress, preventing other distractions, and keeping you occupied so you don’t stare at the blue light on your phone or TV screen, reading right before bed can significantly improve your sleep quality.

5. Increases empathy toward others

In this case, not all reading is alike. Reading fiction has the power to increase your empathy toward other people because novels allow you the opportunity to comprehend other peoples’ motivations. Think about the last novel you read, did you start our rooting for the protagonist and felt that through the entire book or were you annoyed with the protagonist’s life choices but felt a change of heart when you began to see why that character made certain decisions? Supporting a protagonist through the good, bad, and ugly means you have a certain level of empathy toward that character. That also means you apply this empathy toward people in your life, too.

Are you reading as much as you’d like every day? Tell us about your reading goals in the comment section.

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About the Author ()

Erika Bennett is the Content Manager for Xulon Press. She has worked in the publishing industry for more than a decade and her passion is to make sure great books find their way into readers' hands. You can also find her writing on

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