Last week I bought a bookshelf off Amazon and assembled it with my mom. I did not realise I had so many books and I am still yet to get more. I have always liked reading, one could say it was because I studied Literature in High School. However, I have come to realise I am quite an obsessive reader. I am not always good at maintaining the tempo at which I start with (sometimes I just do not feel like reading and it can go for months) but sometimes I get to a point where my brain yells, YOU NEED TO READ!
I have come to try and read a bit of everything-fiction, biographies, poetry, motivational etc. I have also come to read a book with topics I do not agree on to challenge my brain and the way I see things. I make sure I am guarded in what I stand for and believe in though. It is very easy to fall for anything these days, people are coming up with different ideas and theories that you get to a point where you can not distinguish between the truth or a “theory”.
A few people are fond of reading in this technological era where social media has taken most of our life. Yes, technology has enhanced and improved daily life but I think it has made us so dependent our IQ’s are slowly lowering without even realising it. I see it with myself at times, I will be on my phone for hours scrolling through social media until I can feel that my brain is tired. Most of the time I will not even be doing anything meaningful- 90% I will be switching from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter then back to Facebook. It can go on for hours and seriously, I could use that time to do something better with life. I could be using that time to read the Bible, working out or improving myself in another way.
I am not saying being on social media it is wrong, no it is great actually. People make business on social media, people connect in different ways and others get inspired. However, when you just sit there staring on your screen and not doing anything productive, it becomes a problem. Try and challenge your mind and read a book, it does not have to be a big book. You can start light, with a magazine or a newspaper and go on from there. Yep, it sounds geeky but trusts me some of the greatest leaders, innovators and public figures are great readers.
I will list down a couple of reasons why reading is good for you:
1. Mental Stimulation- keeping your brain active prevents it from losing power. It also slows the progress of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The brain is a muscle with needs exercise.
2. Stress reduction- No matter how much stress you have at work, personal relationship or any other issues in life, you can escape by losing yourself in a great story (highly recommend Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie). Reading will distract you and keeps you in the present moment allowing you to relax.
3.Knowledge- Everything you read fills your head with new information.The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to tackle any challenge you face. Knowledge is something no one can ever take away from you.
4. Vocabulary Expansion- This is also tied to knowledge- the more you read, the more words you get exposed to. It can even aid your day to day life, at work, school etc.
5.Memory Improvement- When you read a book, you remember the character, environment, history etc. Brains are amazing things, every memory forges a brain pathway so when you see something relating or similar to something you read-the brain quickly reminds you.
6.Improved Focus and Concentration-In a single 5- minute span, the average person will divide their time between checking email, chatting with a couple of people (via Instagram, Skype, etc.), keeping an eye on Twitter, monitoring their smartphone, and interacting with co-workers. When you are reading, you focus on one thing and the rest of the world becomes silent.
7.Better Writing- Reading gives you more ideas and improves creativity. It goes hand in hand with the expansion of vocabulary and knowledge.
8. Free Entertainment- Reading is fun,keeps you occupied and captures your imagination and curiosity. If you can not afford to constantly buy books (I prefer hard copies),you can visit your local library or install PDF on your devices, you can also get free books – download e free books. SO GO HUNT FOR SOMETHING TO READ AND EXERCISE THAT BRAIN!