Benefits of Reading
You would be hard-pressed to find a vocal opponent of literature, but while we all tend to agree that reading is a noble pursuit, it can be difficult to find the time to sit down and actually do it on a regular basis. Perhaps what we need is a wakeup call, some information to make us realize just how vital reading is to maintaining a healthy intellect and fostering a lifetime of learning. Statistically speaking, the number of people actually keeping up with their reading habits is abysmal. According to popular blog, Mental Floss, a third of high school graduates will never read a book again after they leave school. Around 42 percent of graduates from college will never read another book, and about 80 percent of families in the United States did not read or purchase a new book in the past year.
These numbers are a stark reminder of the decline in popularity of the written word in favor of modern media like television, film and of course, the Internet. One could argue that these media need not be exclusive, and they would certainly be right, but reading offers benefits to the human mind that are simply unavailable from visual media. The written word provides a challenge for your brain to engage a number of vital cognitive exercises to envision the narrative. In short, the extra imaginative brainpower required by written language helps to keep your mind healthy as you age. According to Dr. Ken Pugh, the president and research director of Yale-affiliated language research center, Haskins Laboratories, the “parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions—such as vision, language, and associative learning—connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging. A sentence is shorthand for a lot of information that must be inferred by the brain.” It is simply more challenging for the brain to process a novel than say, a television show. So now that we see the importance of reading and its impact on the mind, let’s look at some strategies like effective scheduling or finding a device like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook to start incorporating more reading into our everyday lives.
Set Aside the Time
One of the primary concerns of people who can’t seem to find the time to read is that it feels like a luxury to spend time reading when they should be crossing things off their to-do lists. However, relaxation and a little mental exercise are just as essential to your well-being as doing the laundry. Try setting aside a period of every day to devote to reading. Half an hour of reading your new novel before bed is hardly going to be a huge tax on your day, but you’ll get all of the benefits of reading. If you’re using a Nook tablet, you won’t even keep your spouse awake with the reading light. Just integrating the activity as an important part of your daily routine will have you reading regularly in no time.
Diversify Your Sources
The way in which you read doesn’t need to come from any particular source, it’s far more important that you are simply reading written material. Whether you’re on the plane reading the tabloids for the latest celebrity gossip or reading Proust by the fireplace, your brain will benefit from poring over the textual information. And you’ll probably get some good conversation points from both of them.
In addition to the types of material you consume, try diversifying the platform on which you read. Products like the Nook Tablet simplify reading to make it an accessible and convenient practice on the go. Those who think of literature as a relic of the past simply haven’t looked ahead far enough to the future in which devices like the Nook Tablet allow us to consume more written content than ever before. As literature has evolved over the centuries from each book painstakingly copied by hand, to mass printing presses, to today, each iteration has become easier and easier for the average person to access the written word. Now, there should be even less of an excuse not to read as we have thousands of titles at our fingertips on our Nook.
Join a Book Club
Reading literature is always going to be more fun when you can discuss what you’ve read with friends. Of course, it’s nice to enjoy the alone time of reading and getting some peaceful relaxation time, but when a book is particularly stimulating and interesting, you want to be able to mull over the concepts in discussion. You can derive so much more meaning from a novel when you share your perspective and hear the interpretations of others. Joining a local book club is an easy way to get that social component of reading, as well as ensuring you stay on top of a regular reading schedule and don’t lapse into watching reality television re-runs.
So whether you’re reading from a tabloid, your Nook Tablet, or a second-hand paperback, the important thing is that you keep reading, and have some fun doing it.