It is often said that there is no better friend than a dog. Without stealing love from our four-legged friends, we align ourselves more with what Ernest Hemingway said : “There will never be a friend more faithful than a book.” And in fact the days of confinement came to confirm this point, since many of us turned to reading. Since then, the rates of book consumption have increased and we have even incorporated new formats such as the audiobook into our habits. Reading has been our form of evasion with capital letters. Because a book allows us to broaden our horizons, no matter where or with whom we are.
And because books, apart from fun, provide us with a lot of benefits. Which? Grab a pen and paper: the list of benefits of reading is long (and surprising).
1) Increase our emotional intelligence
Through books we meet characters with very different personalities. Some may be more like us; others less. But by reading the facts from their point of view we learn to put ourselves in their shoes, to see things with different eyes, and this increases our empathy and our emotional intelligence. This greater ability to see things from a different perspective, of course, we do not apply only when we read but it ends up being extrapolated to our daily lives. Not bad for a book we just wanted to entertain ourselves with, right? 😉
2) Improve our vocabulary
It sure has happened to you. Come up with a word that you need to search with your mobile while you read because, in effect, it does not ring a bell at all. It may be that we do not always stop to look for each word we come across, but we accumulate them and deduce their meaning by context. And the next time it comes our way, it’s no longer so strange to us.
The same happens with expressions typical of a guild (to which the protagonist of the book belongs, for example, if she is a seamstress), expressions from another era or even words that we know perfectly what they mean but that we are only used to seeing in the written record … we don’t use them in our regular talks. By reading all these expressions every day, they end up being part of our usual vocabulary and we have many more resources to express ourselves.
3) Boost our general culture
This is a wonderful side effect for example of historical novels. Or biopics about stars or cultural movements. By opening the cover of the book we enter a universe that is completely unknown to us. Hand in hand with the novel and its protagonists we walk through that place and, little by little, chapter by chapter, we get to know the singularities that make up that place or that historical stage.
And what a wonder it is to be able to drop any of those anecdotes, curiosities or historical facts later when we are having an informal conversation with friends. True or not?
4) It is the best support for our spelling
Ehem. Surely that thing of sending a WhatsApp and having that moment of pressing doubt has not happened to you: but was it with “v” or with “b”? And of course, nobody wants to look bad, but memory is sometimes fragile. So an incredibly good way to improve our spelling without even realizing it is to read. And do it on a regular basis.
Because we will be seeing page after page the correct way to write names, expressions, even different ways of structuring sentences. In this way and with a stroke of the pen we are working on both the correction and the style. And without effort.
5) It de-stresses us
Doesn’t it happen to you that when the day ends you are fed up with screens, e-mails, procedures, even series? And the only thing you want is to be alone, disconnect, have a moment for yourself and to slow down. Reading is the perfect companion for these moments, because it allows us to continue enjoying stillness and silence and at the same time transports us wherever we want, away from obligations.
Where do you feel like traveling today: to a fantasy world or a period romance?
6) It makes us use our imaginations
We are going here with a debate of those that arouses the most passions: are you more of waiting to see the movie, or do you prefer to read the book first? Here everyone can choose their best option but if there is a common argument among those who prefer to read the book, it is that reading allows them to imagine the characters in their own way, visualize them however they want, paint the scenarios in their mind and develop in their own head the story as the chapters progress. In a word: imagination.
Although the audiovisual world is very attractive and magnetic, the world of imagination is much more free and creative and allows us to be little gods of what we are reading. Can you ask for more?
7) Strengthen our commitment and willpower
And here we go straight to the question of habit. Because there are many things that we like to do but in the end the hours of a day are limited and, the obligations, demanding. That is why it is very positive that we are able to make room in our day to day for those habits that make us enjoy and feel good.
Because not only will we be enjoying that literary adventure that has us extremely hooked … but if we manage to read day after day we will be strengthening our willpower and we will feel satisfied with ourselves, just like when we manage to go to the gym for months without anyone and nothing breaks our habit.
With an added advantage: after reading, you won’t end up sweating or stiffening, hehe.
For all this we are convinced that reading is one of the best things we can do, because the possibilities are endless and the advantages are very, very varied. In addition, there is always a genre to explore, an author that we want but we have not read yet or a saga that we have not yet given the opportunity but everyone speaks highly of it. To make it easier, we have left them all tidy and ready to enjoy in this selection of recommended books soon.
So, book eaters, if after reading this post your consumption rate increases exponentially … do not say that we have not warned you!