The Benefits of Reading

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I’m not a big resolution person, but there is one habit I highly suggest adopting. Reading. The benefits of reading are varied and far-reaching. While this article will only touch on a few, the benefits of reading should be persuasive enough for you to consider making reading a priority this year.

The Mom Influence

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2021, 23% of adults reported they did not read any part of a book in any form in the past year. This correlates with adolescents expressing the lowest interest in reading “for pleasure” since reporting began. Children model what they see in their homes. If adults aren’t reading, they will also be less inclined to. Just 20 minutes of reading a day reap huge benefits for children. By incorporating reading into your own routine, you can create a habit that will pass the benefits of reading to your children. 

For Your Health 

According to this article, many of the benefits of reading are health-related. Increased life span, reduced risk of dementia, improved sleep, and reduced stress relief are all associated with reading. Reading before bed is a habit in my own life. While I understand the urge to turn on the TV and watch a show at night before bed (and some nights I do!) I find that my experience mirrors what the evidence finds. My sleep is better if I read a book before bed.  As a woman (and mom) in my forties, knowing something as simple as reading can have such health benefits is reason enough for me to take seriously the benefits of reading.

Expanded Empathy

Lastly, reading has been associated with higher levels of empathy and compassion. Additionally, fictional literature (in particular) has been shown to improve a reader’s ability to consider views that may differ from their own. When reading fiction, I am almost always reading historical fiction. I love how the characters make real events feel emotionally connected to me, increasing both my empathy and compassion towards others. In a world where division and conflict have become mainstream, the ability to relate better to one another seems like an important reason to incorporate reading into your life this year. 

The benefits of reading are persuasive, and I hope you will find a reason to incorporate reading into your life this year.