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These Are the Top 5 Benefits of Reading

A person reading

If you’ve found your way to this site, the chances are you love reading. Whether it’s non-fiction, poetry, crime, business or sci-fi, here at Wordcatcher, we’re into it all.

It’s common knowledge that reading is hugely beneficial, and that’s why we’re so passionate about what we do. Many people are unaware of the specific advantages on offer, however, so this article lists what we think are the top five.

1. Reading makes you smarter

It’s not a myth; reading really does make you smarter. As Dan Hurley wrote in The Guardian, this is a hobby which increases your intelligence in all the metrics psychologists use. Over time, readers get better at problem solving, learn new facts about the world and become more empathetic. Not bad for something so fun.

2. Reading helps you relax

Last week, we reviewed a paper from Arts Council England. That paper, which brings together some of the best research done on readers in recent years, piqued our interest with one particularly interesting fact. Of those who read, according to the think tank Demos, 46% find it relaxing. That’s a major benefit in general and, especially in the coronavirus era, is one we can’t highlight enough.

Reading books really does help you relax. Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo

3. Reading gives you access to invaluable culture

From J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and even Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, books are central to our cultural heritage. Many a reference to esteemed writers and their most famous tomes finds its way onto TV. If you don’t read or have never heard of these masterpieces, not only are you missing out on their beauty, but you can’t quite fully understand the world around you.

4. Reading provides an escape

So much is wrong in our modern world. There’s a climate catastrophe on the horizon and COVID-19 is wreaking havoc across the globe. Social media isn’t a great opt-out, given that these topics are all anyone wants to talk about on there. And while that’s crucial work, sometimes we need to switch off. Dive into the Animals’ Guide to the Human Race by D. E. Kendall, or one of Gary Beck’s humorous tales, however, and you’ll find yourself in a happy place—at least for a few hours.

5. Reading makes you more creative

How could it not? If you choose a book by an author whose stunning prose or deeply analytical mind stimulates you, you’ll pick some of that up through exposure. It’s no coincidence that authors are always advised to read more if they want to improve their writing.

Now you know some of the benefits reading provides, do you think you’ll find more time for books? Which benefit is your favourite? Can you think of any others? We can’t wait to hear from you.

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These Are the Top 5 Benefits of Reading

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