Read This

Crave Mysterious Lands, Random Knowledge, and/or Friends You Didn’t Know You Needed? Grab A Book!

All the cool kids are doing it. No seriously, they are.

I’ve found out how to transport to other worlds. Worlds where a school for wizards exists or where vampires and werewolves roam free in Seattle. Okay, here’s how it works, brace yourself.

Step 1: Choose a book. I prefer one in print, but an E-book will function just as well.
Step 2: Sit down and get cozy.
Step 3: Open this book and begin to read.
Step 4: The world melts away and you have successfully transported into a new dimension.

There, that wasn’t too hard! Unlike Victoria, my secret is now out.

I’ve always been an avid reader, but alas, not everyone I know shares this great love for books. There is no legitimate reason to scoff at a book, since the benefits are endless as to picking one up and immersing yourself in the content. Yes, I’m talking about the novels that make you cry, laugh, sit back in awe, cheer for the characters, and bite your nails in suspense. You don’t have to be a teenager to experience an emotional rollercoaster.

For starters, reading lets you escape from reality. Stress be gone! Current anxieties are forgotten, and that ever looming due date on a big project is placed to the back of the mind, at least for a little bit. Us teens (and adults, let’s be real) tend to have our minds wander, especially during school or work. When reading, the sole focus is on the words in front of you. This deep concentration improves your focus on other tasks.

Reading also fosters creativity.

The imagination runs wild as to what hotties Prince Maxon and Aspen look like in The Selection series (side note: love love love this series) or how the final scene of any cliff hanging book should’ve played out. Of course, reading enriches one’s intelligence. As Francis Bacon once said, “knowledge is power.” And what a clever man he was.

Want to become an expert in the history of coffee? The answer lies in books. Fiction or nonfiction, books possess a great amount of value, whether it be through learning life lessons or through uncovering the harsh realities of the Great Depression. Books cover any topic imaginable, so it is nearly impossible to ever get bored.

Reading stimulates thinking.

I’ve read countless amazing novels where I cannot stop lamenting over the novel I just finished. Some have introduced me to a new perspective on life, and others have shed light on a previously unknown topic. For example, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson taught me to face my fears by taking action instead of waiting for something to happen. It’s ok to branch out and try something that makes me uncomfortable because those can be some of the best times.

To impress you further on why reading is highly encouraged (yes, even in your limited free time, too), I scoured the world wide web and found some information from lifehacks.org  because we like information that comes from credible sources:  Cognitive stimulation is very important, as it can decrease the pace of or possibly even prevent the diseases Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Hmmm now what activity embodies this task? You guessed it, reading! An active, working brain keeps this vital organ healthy and strong.

Guess what? An expanding vocabulary and reading go hand-in-hand.

The more words you are exposed to, the more likely it is that the higher level diction found in books will be integrated into your everyday speech. An extensive vocabulary in itself reaps many benefits. Knowing that you are articulate can improve self-confidence and self-esteem. You can communicate more effectively, too.

I challenge you to finish one book of your choice per month.

In addition, most often, the employees who are the most well-spoken and have a myriad of knowledge about current events, literature pieces, and the latest breakthroughs in the science world receive promotions when stacked against others who lack that knowledge and vocabulary. Boom!

Books contain plots, subplots, character names, character appearance descriptions and histories, and you can’t forget secrets or plot twists that pop up. Wow, that’s a lot to remember. But you do it! To quote lifehacks.org, “every new memory you create forges new synapses (brain pathways) and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods”. So really, that means reading kills two birds with one stone!

Also, analytical skills are improved as you figure out who the murderer is before his ultimate revealing in a mystery book. Furthermore, logical thinking comes into play when you critique a novel, as you decide if the characters were developed well or if the plot ran without hitches.

And one my favorites… books can be free!

Whaaaaat? Instead of spending money to see a movie, visit the local library to find an abundance of books with an abundance of topics. Some libraries allow you to get books online, and there’s even free e-books out there waiting to be read.

Whether it be for 15 minutes a day to an hour a day, during a lunch break, or when lying in bed, reading reaps a plethora of benefits. While pamphlets and magazines are a good place to start, I challenge you to finish one book of your choice per month. I cannot express my love for all of the great books I had the pleasure of reading. There’s a book out there for everyone, so go hunting!

For a great suggestion list of books check out our Read This suggestions!

Jorey Cohen is a curly haired red-head who loves to read,...