Why Reading is Important: 14 Ways Reading Helps Your Life

Why reading is important is a question most parents have heard from kids or even their partners. You’ve probably heard it a hundred times or more – read, it’s good for you! But does anyone actually answer your question of ‘why reading is good for you?’

The good news is that simply by reading this article, you are beginning to understand what reading can do for you. Our goal here is to help you understand why reading is good for your health, what reading can do for you as well as the scientific benefits of it.

Reading Benefits:

Scientific Benefits of Reading

The scientific benefits of reading are becoming more and more known, here are some of the top scientific explanations as to why you should pick up that book!

  • Boost brain power – in the same way that going for a run improves your cardiovascular fitness, reading will help enhance your memory and brain function. As we get older, both these functions tend to decline. Regular reading can significantly delay this decline as well as helping to prevent the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Reading helps your mental sharpness to stick around a little longer, much more so than watching a movie!
  • Reducing stress – immersing yourself with a good page-turner can help switch off from the pressures of day-to-day life. Research suggest that even reading a book for a mere six minutes after a stressful day is a great way to relax and recharge the batteries, even more so than listening to music – another favorable stress-busting technique. Try reading for a few minutes each day, or on your commute to work (providing your not driving of course!)
  • Improves empathy – understanding others will lead to positive and long-lasting relationships. Engaging with literary characters can help the brain make connections that help the reader understand other points of view and help with recognizing emotions. Just like athletes use visualization techniques to improve muscle memory to enhance their sporting performance, reading novels can help brain connectivity.

Why Reading is Good for Your Health

While many of us understand that reading might have benefits on our mind as well as our memories (and that’s critical the older we get), understanding our it might help our overall health is not quite as well known.  Here’s just a few reasons to consider reading more:

  • Increases motivation – people who read books about people doing things, fact or fiction, are more likely to engage in the activity themselves. This could be drastic and crazy such as climbing mountains or taking on large travel adventures, or simple like taking up a new hobby such as cooking or knitting.
  • Can combat poor mental health – improving mental health often goes hand in hand with reducing stress, but reading about others in similar situations is useful too. Biographies are great way to understand that you are not alone in your battle, and the large number of self-help books allows people to access advice and guidance from the comfort of their own home without stigma or embarrassment. Naturally, professional medical advice should also be sought.
  • Independent thinking – characters and plots are often portrayed in ways to sway our thinking. Authors usually deliberately make characters likable or loathed, but every so often we come across a book that makes us think outside the typical box. You may like the story, but not the characters, or vice-versa. This highlights our individuality and makes for great conversation when discussing a book with others.
  • Armchair education – reading biographies and other factual or historical books will provide an abundance of knowledge. Even reading articles such as this one will teach you something. However, even fictional books based around true events or set in specific historical periods will captivate us even more and we learn without even realizing it!

Old School Paper Books vs Modern Day e-Readers

E-readers are becoming more and more popular, and don’t get me wrong, they are great! They have the capacity to store large numbers of books on a small device which is great when traveling or commuting. But there is something special about turning the paper pages of a book. The good news is that many e-reader owners still love a printed book, and here are some reasons why this should continue;

  • Sleep better – including reading as part of a bedtime routine can help signal to your body that the time for sleep is near. However, using an e-reader can actually wake the brain up courtesy of the backlit screen. Reading a printed book by a lamp is a much better way to slow the body down and prepare for a good night’s rest. Plus it aids in all the other ways that we’re covering here.
  • Improves memory function – turning pages will actually help you remember what you have read more so than ‘clicking’ to the next page. Many people may find this is the reason they print important documents rather than reading them off a computer screen. Books also allow for easier flicking back and forth to help remember important events or characters.

How Does Reading Make You Smarter?

Reading is beneficial at any age, but like most things, the earlier you start the better. Not only does it help form positive habits, but it may also make you smarter – something that will help significantly with your education. Some of the benefits of reading for students and young people include;

  • Reading can help children develop a longer attention span, and when it comes to schooling this one has obvious benefits. Because stories have a structure that includes and beginning, middle and end, children are captivated for a fairly lengthy amount of time.
  • Exposure to vocabulary – reading exposes students to around 50% more words than television or even conversation. As children, and adults for that matter, read they come across new words regularly. These new words then tend to be used in conversation and writing. Using a larger array of words will make you not only sound more intelligent, but you will generally be more intelligent. In the case of students, those that have a larger vocabulary are more likely to gain attention from their teachers which can improve confidence and promote further learning.
  • Improved reading comprehension, spelling, grammar is seen in those children who read for fun. Creating a love and habit for reading at an early age has a profoundly positive impact on education. Exposure through story time, following parental leads and positive encouragement, are all ways to promote reading.
  • Developing the imagination and creativity. Children who read do not necessarily go on to be writers, journalists or editors. The creative part of the brain is wide.y used when students read – they imagine themselves in the story line. Creativity is the key to success in many careers, and so much of it can be gained from reading!
  • Reading provides entertainment you can take anywhere! Books, especially those developed for children are often small and portable. E-readers are even more compact and can store thousands of stories. Whether a child is camping, waiting for the bus, eating a snack or preparing for bed – reading can be done virtually anywhere, any time! No more “I’m bored” statements!

Find a Reading Tutor Near You!

Hopefully you’ve got a few ideas of why reading is important and what reading can do for you at this point?  If so, then the goal of our post was successful!  And if you need help with reading this year or if you are prepping for the SAT Reading test and want to improve your skills for life as well as a big test, then we can help with that!   Whatever the case, the next time you get a few minutes, find yourself a good book on any topic and get started reading!

Enjoy All The Benefits

You don’t pay your first hour unless you find it a good fit.

Only pay for the time you need.

No subscriptions or upfront payments.

Find Tutors Near You

- OR -

call us for free to setup tutoring

(800) 417-9186

Harvard College Admissions Essays: Say What?

Looking for some college admissions essay tips? Believe it or not, but the college admission essay is more important than you think. Consider this: applicants to the best schools likely also have the best grades, the best SAT scores, or the best ACT scores. So, with such a high achieving population, they all tend to look like each other. That is – if all the college admissions committee looked at were quantitative aspects of your application. The truth is this: the qualitative aspects of your college application carries way more weight than you realize.

Enter the College Admissions Essay, but wait!

If you already know you need some one-on-one help with your college applications, search for a private tutor near you:

College Admissions Essay Tips: What Are They Looking For?

Great question. Remember what I just said about the applicant pool all looking like each other? Well, that knowledge should drive what you need to highlight about you. Here are some guidelines:

  • Highlight experiences that demonstrate inner strength or upright character
  • Describe experiences that set you apart as unique from the rest of the applicant population – remember, the college or university is interested about how you will add value. So, show how you will make your 4 years at the school special and why the university will be better off for having admitted you.
  • You’ll think I’m crazy, but here we go: if you’re a female or a minority – play the game. Yup, I can’t believe I just said that. But, you can do so in a way that is not martyr-like or as if you were the victim somehow. You can show how you overcame adversity that was somewhat related to your special class. People love reading that stuff.

Let’s test my advice on the Harvard College Admission Essay Questions, which are below:

Please write an essay of 250 – 500 words on a topic of your choice or on one of the options listed below, and attach it to your application before submission. Please indicate your topic by checking the appropriate box. This personal essay helps us become acquainted with you as a person and student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself. NOTE: Your Common Application essay should be the same for all colleges. Do not customize it in any way for individual colleges. Colleges that want customized essay responses will ask for them on a supplement form.

  1. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
  2. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
  3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
  4. Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
  5. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
  6. Topic of your choice.

Okay, let’s analyze this, but know one thing for sure: DO NOT choose topic of choice. Why? It’s kind of weird. You see, the committee wants to see uniqueness, but they also need something to compare you to. So, your response will be compared to others’ responses to the same question. Without having a base of comparison (like if you choose the topic of your choice), they won’t know what to do with you.

Moving on.

Let’s look at each question and evaluate an approach:

  1. For this question, they are looking for a glimpse into how you think and the worldview by which you see the world. If you’ve taken significant risk, what was it and what drove your thinking and what drove you make that decision? You dig?
  2. How do you think about issues – this is what they are looking for. Do you consider aspects of issues or are you selfish in your approach.
  3. What values do you hold? What’s important to you and why?

As far as that goes, the rest of the questions, I don’t believe are germane. By that I mean – focus on the first 3 questions. Remember my advice about having something to compare to? That’s why.

Enjoy All The Benefits

You don’t pay your first hour unless you find it a good fit.

Only pay for the time you need.

No subscriptions or upfront payments.

Find Tutors Near You

- OR -

call us for free to setup tutoring

(800) 417-9186
Free Call To Setup Tutoring