Books are, no doubt, a godsend for the modern-day man. Although some people find them obsolete, books remain a crucial source of information, ideas, and inspiration. With their captivating plots and mind-blowing twists, books, especially novels, also offer a beautiful escape from the cruel, melancholic world. And, as coronavirus continues to wreak havoc worldwide, more and more folks are rediscovering the perks of being a bookworm.
In my vigorous pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, I’ve collected quite a few fascinating novels and books. From timeless classics to magical realism, I have read dozens of engaging and thought-provoking books that have somehow made me a better person.
And, ever since I rediscovered my passion for reading, I’ve noticed a multitude of positive changes in my life.
For me, books aren’t just a pleasant diversion, but they can also significantly improve your life in a variety of ways.
Here are, in my opinion, the perks of collecting and reading books.
Reading books every day reduces stress
While my life is unconventional by today’s standard, I still have to deal with the world’s deadliest killer: stress.
Like any modern human, my life is perpetually bombarded by a medley of life issues, from personal relationships to my freelancing gigs.
But, all my daily stress melts and slips away when I lose myself in a well-written and intriguing story.
A wondrous and artfully arranged novel transports me to other worlds, realms, and universes.
And, an engaging self-help book is a pleasant distraction that keeps me in the present moment, ultimately draining away tensions and allowing me to relax.
Reading books is an escape and a form of meditation, as far as I’m concerned.
Every time I read a novel silently, my heart rate seems to slow down. And somehow, it eases the tension in my muscles as well.
This, in turn, helps me sleep better.
Truth be told, my memory is absolutely terrible. In fact, one of the reasons why I write a travel blog is to help myself recall all the memories, whether good or bad, of my escapades.
Some of my hike buddies say that I have an outstanding memory because I can recall in great detail some of the moments of our adventures.
But the truth is, it’s my travel blog that helps me preserve those moments in my mind.
Lately, I’ve noticed my memory gradually improving when I began reading and collecting books years ago.
To me, reading books is one of the best brain exercises for memory improvement.
Whenever I read a novel, I have to remember a bunch of different characters.
I have to keep in mind their nuances, history, ambitions, goals, and backgrounds.
What’s more, I have to take note of every subplot and arc that weaves its way through the story.
And, reading is also my mother’s secret to an extremely sharp memory.
She’s a 70-year old doctor who looks decades younger and has an incredibly powerful, productive mind.
She reads almost every day, and luckily, I have a fantastic array of books that will appease her urge to read and learn more about the world.
Boost your analytical skills
I love mystery novels and psychological thrillers. From “And Then There None” to “We Were Liars”, I have read a plethora of stories that have put my analytical and critical thinking to work.
When I read these novels, I have to take note of every detail and sort them out to figure out the antagonist and predict the ending.
And, normally, I can predict the ending of the story before I’ve even reached the finale.
I’ve read a ton of books, and it has significantly improved my analytical skills. I’ve immersed myself in the intricate patchworks created by the likes of Jeffery Deaver, Agatha Christie, Gillian Flynn, Dean Koontz, and Liane Moriarty.
But, there are, of course, brilliant and elaborate plots that are impossible to predict. And, those books usually become my favorites.
Reading books inspires you
Reading an exceptional self-help book is like being around an influential and inspiring person. After completing a good book, I always feel the desire to live a better life and observe inspiring actions.
Dean Koontz’s “Odd Thomas”, for instance, encouraged me to embrace my unique gifts, and become a more serviceable person for society, no matter how corrupt it is.
And, the “Kite Runner” by Khalid Hosseini has taught me the importance of speaking up whenever something’s not right.
Improves concentration and focus
With the endless barrage of instant information and media, our attention spans are quickly getting shorter.
In just 5 minutes, most of us divide our time between interacting with co-workers, monitoring our smartphone, keeping an eye on Facebook, chatting with people, checking emails, and working on a task.
And, this multi-tasking and internet-driven behavior not only decreases our productivity, but it also increases our stress levels.
In my profession, as a freelance writer, it’s so easy to get distracted when I work. But, thankfully, reading books has taught me how to focus on my tasks.
Unlike browsing Facebook or a website, reading a book forces you to concentrate and focus.
If you want to get most of the story, you have to fixate and immerse yourself into the plot and finish this book.
When you read books, your brain practically practices concentration and forms deep connections.
It makes you a more prolific writer
In the age of vlogging and live videos, writing has become a lost art. And, sadly, a lot of people nowadays can’t write effectively because they are so accustomed to getting instant information and content from Youtubers and vloggers.
On the bright side, reading books can help you become better at writing. As you read a book, your brain starts to absorb new vocabulary and outstanding writing techniques.
Eventually, you’ll unconsciously mimic the writing styles of the novels, books, and stories that have captivated your attention.
Furthermore, reading books enhances spelling and vocabulary.
I write for a living. And, I wouldn’t have survived this world if I didn’t read books.
Through reading, I have honed my skills in writing and expanded my limited English vocabulary range.
From short novels to history books, I have discovered numerous techniques and word combinations that have made me a better writer.
Books have saved my life. Not only did it inspire me to live, but it also gave me a rewarding career. It has led to infinite adventures, a multitude of trips abroad, and a few investments.
Reading strengthens convictions and worldview
Reading is like traveling. It will broaden your perspective as well as cause you to search for the truth and examine your beliefs.
Although some of the books I read are fiction, the insights shared by authors with different cultures, ethnicities, and beliefs have given me a deeper understanding of the world.
It increases your knowledge of world or national history
Reading teaches you customs, historical politics, economics, and cultures. Since these facts and information are shared in the form of a story, books surely make history a whole lot easier to remember.
History wasn’t exactly my favorite subject in high school. But, historical fiction is an entirely different story.
I love reading about ancient times and past wars in a story form. And, I usually learn historical concepts and facts when reading in a story context.
Reading challenges my imagination
I always put myself in the shoes of the characters when I read books. My brain ultimately goes beyond the page’s words, imagining details like surroundings, emotions, and appearances.
Everything I read fills my mind with new nuggets of information. And, I’m pretty sure that it will come in handy one day. The more knowledge I have in my arsenal, the better equipped I am to face any curve ball life throws at me.
Books are a portable form of entertainment
Books are lightweight and portable. With a book, you can easily pack it in your handbag and carry it wherever you go.
You can read books anywhere, be it in a plane, in your bed, or in a waiting shed.
How to get started:
- Look for a genre or theme that captivates you. Afterward, do a quick search of the books with this theme or genre. If, for instance, you like stories that f*ck your mind, you can search “books with plot twists” on Google.
- Open a Goodreads account. Here, you can read genuine and unbiased reviews of the books that you want to read.
- Buy those damn books! In Cebu, we have plenty of stores that sell quality books. For amazing bargains, head to Book Sale. If you’re looking for the latest releases, go to National Bookstore or Fully Booked.
- Don’t force yourself. If you’re not in the mood to read a particular book, put it down, and read another one.
- If you prefer to read through a smartphone, make sure to download AnyBooks or Google Play Books.