Why pick up a book when a smartphone will do?
The advent of the smartphone and the availability of internet has made finding new information and entertainment easier, but whilst this is convenient, it has also made life a little boring. Books make the reader think so much more whilst enjoying a story, rather than watching the same Hollywood actors and special effects that were wheeled out in the last blockbuster. Exercising our imagination whilst reading has far more benefits for the mind than relying on a screening subscription, and with a library membership it can also be free.
Workout for the Mind
It has been found that reading has positive effects on the mind. Reading has a myriad of benefits, from expanding the vocabulary to increasing general knowledge. Whilst many equate non-fiction with improving general knowledge, fiction can do this as well because as well as stimulating our imagination it stimulates curiosity to find out more about the possibilities beyond the scenarios or places explored in the story. Reading has also been linked with staving off age-related memory decline and depression.
Get Them While They’re Young!
There are so many demands on young people’s attention now, from the controversial increase of homework over recent years to the availability of video games on smartphones, consoles and computers. For those who have smartphones, it is not just a case of switching off the game, as many smartphone games will send alerts to the phone in order to draw attention back to the game.
Among all this engagement with technology and learning, there should still be a place for reading for pleasure to allow for the imagination to be properly piqued from an early age. It is never too young to start reading with children, and those that are exposed to books at a young age are more likely to continue reading and reap the benefits as they get older.
And Relax …
Even when reading the most tense of thrillers, reading has effective relaxing qualities. Although the reader may feel tense awaiting the the next twist in the tale, they are also spending that time enthralled in fiction and away from real world commitments and stresses. Whether this means reliving nostalgia by reading classics or childhood favourites, or indulging the thrill-seekers’ need for tension and tenterhooks, curling up in comfort with a book is an effective way to relieve stress.
Everyone lives a busy life but really the benefits of reading are just too good to pass up. From getting children off to the best start in life by preparing them for the reading they will do at school and giving them an alternative to screen-time, to relaxing after a hard day and maintaining mental agility, reading does it all. There are plenty of opportunities in life to sneak in a read – travelling on public transport, in the bath, in the doctor’s waiting room … So, before picking up the smartphone people should remind themselves how long ago they last enjoyed a good book.
BIO: Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer and editor with over 10 years’ experience creating both print and online content. When Jane isn’t writing, she is busy spending time with her family. She also has a great passion for reading, enjoys music and travelling whenever she can.