Assume that you just got out of a meeting early and have now have some downtime. You check your email inbox and see some amazing deals. You don’t hesitate. You add the items to your shopping cart and complete the order. Immediately you have buyer’s remorse.It happens to all of us from time-to-time. But, there’s one purchase that you should never feel guilty about buying. And, that’s more books.
While you don’t need to have the famous library of Italian writer Umberto Eco, which contained a staggering 30,000 books, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have more books than you could ever read.
You Need More Books
Not convinced? Here’s 25 reasons why you should have more books that you’ll ever read in your personal library.
1. Reading alters your mind.
Dr. Seuss once wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Turns out the beloved Dr. Seuss was on to something.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and King’s College London found that stronger early reading skills could lead to higher intelligence later in life.
What’s more, as noted by Kristen Twardowski at Book Riot, “reading may make you smarter in some specific ways. This especially includes when it comes to crystallized intelligence (what facts you know), fluid intelligence (how you identify patterns), emotional intelligence (your empathy), and your brain connectivity.”
Simply put, reading doesn’t just improve your intelligence. It actually changes your brain for the better. This means you’ll be more knowledgeable, better equipped to solve problems, increase empathy, and makes neurological connections and be more pervasive.
2. Allows you to discover new words and become a better communicator.
One of my favorite parts of reading is learning new words while flipping through the pages of a book. If I’m not familiar with a word, I “Google it” and place it my word bank.
Then, the next time I write a blog post or prepare a presentation, I make it a point to incorporate that new word.
In fact, reading aloud to children can improve not just their reading and writing skills, but also enhances their communication skills.
3. Books are an escape.
Oprah once said, “Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.”
We often turn to TV shows or movies to escape. But after a couple of hours you’re back in the real world. Not with books. It can sometimes take days to finish a book — which means you can leave reality for much longer.
If it is a really great book with provocative insights in which you are interested — your thoughts may return to these over and over.
While within this fantasy world, you can imagine how the characters look or sound. You can visualize the world that these characters reside in. In other words, you’re able to create an entire new world while reading. The new world happens even if the book is based in a fantasy based world actually based on a true story.
4. Helps you relax.
Is there anything better and more relaxing then after a long, hectic day than escaping into a good book? For me, it’s sometimes the best part of the day. And, I’m not the only person who feels a sense of calm when reading.
Researchers at Sussex University conducted a study in 2009 that found reading may be able to reduce stress by as much as 68 percent.
“It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination,” cognitive neuropsychologist David Lewis told The Telegraph.
5. Fends off Alzheimer’s disease.
Since reading is putting your brain to work, this makes quite a bit of sense. However, now we have research to validate this statement.
According to research published in 2001 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adults who engage in hobbies that involve the brain, such reading or puzzles, are 2.50 times less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease.
“These findings may be because inactivity is a risk factor for the disease or because inactivity is a reflection of very early subclinical effects of the disease, or both,” wrote the researchers of the study.
“The brain is an organ just like every other organ in the body. It ages in regard to how it is used,” lead author Dr. Robert P. Friedland told USA Today. Just as physical activity strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, intellectual activity strengthens the brain against disease.”
6. Improves your memory and concentration.
“Typically, when you read, you have more time to think. Reading gives you a unique pause button for comprehension and insight. By and large, with oral language — when you watch a film or listen to a tape — you don’t press pause,” says Maryanne Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University and author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain.
Furthermore, as already stated, reading exercises your brain. Because of this, studies have found that reading daily can slow down brain decline and preserve your memory.
7. Readers enrich cultural and civic life.
I’ve long enjoyed attending concerts and visiting museums. These are probably my two favorite hobbies when I’m able to leave home for leisure. Turns out that I enjoy these things because I’m an avid reader.
A study from the National Endowment for the Arts found that, “Literary readers are more than 3 times as likely as non-readers to visit museums, attend plays or concerts, and create artworks of their own.” The study also found that readers “are also more likely to play sports, attend sporting events, or do outdoor activities.”
8. Makes you more empathetic.
As mentioned above, getting sucked into a good book can improve your empathy. The reason? Researchers have found that reading can help you relate to others since you’re reading about other’s emotions.
“Understanding others’ mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships that characterize human societies,” David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano wrote of their findings published in Science.
9. Books make you more interesting and attractive.
Think about it. When you have a library of information in your head, you’re more interesting to others because you have a lot of potential topics to discuss. Also, since you’ve become more empathetic, you’re able to connect with people.
As a bonus, the dating app My Bae found the reading can make you more attractive. “Across the site 21 percent of matches made had reading tags in common versus 15 percent for music, films, or TV tags.”
10. May help you get a better night’s sleep.
Are you aware of the benefits of getting a good night’s rest? If so, you really should look into it. After all, sleep can improve your memory, concentration, productivity, creativity, and overall health.
As such, many experts recommend that we establish a de-stressing bedtime ritual. This calms down the body and mind in order to sleep throughout the night. One of the best ways to decompress before bed is by reading.
This is because reading relaxes you and doesn’t stimulate your brain like the blue radiating from your TV, phone, or computer screen. In fact, research published in Pediatrics found that over half of children sleep near a small screen. As a result, they get 20 fewer minutes of sleep on average because of it.
11. There aren’t any side effects.
Watching the occasional movie or TV show isn’t the end of the world. However, watching too much TV can do some serious damage to your health. Here’s a rundown of why TV is bad for you courtesy of the Huffington Post:
- You gain weight because besides sitting too much, the ads encourage you to eat unhealthy snacks.
- Binge-watching your favorite shows could increase your risk for diabetes.
- Can make you more aggressive.
- Robs you of sleep.
- Isolates you from the outside.
- It can even shorten your life.
With the exception — of a possible papercut — books do not pose any dangers to your health.
12. Improves skills.
Whether you want to build a piece of furniture or learn the latest online marketing techniques, having a library of instructional books ensures that you can learn always learn new skills. I know you could watch a YouTube video, but some information is more easily learned through word.
Also, with books, you can learn these new skills at your own pace.
13. Books are portable, creative, cheap, and productive entertainment.
Do you have a daily commute to work or waiting for your spouse to come out of a store? Have nothing planned this weekend? Then why not pull out a book?
Always having a book on hand is a portable, creative, cheap, and productive form of entertainment whenever you have downtime.
14. Encourages socialization.
I don’t know about you, but I love sharing what I just read with others. I talk about books so much that my friends and family get tired of hearing about what I just read. That’s why I’ve joined online forums about reading and books to share my thoughts.
Remember. We’re all social beings. Books are one of the best ways to socialize with like-minded people.
15. You’ll never be without a book.
Yes. Sometimes having too many options can drain your energy and be restricting. For example, staring in your closet full of 100 different pairs of shoes and selecting which ones to wear for the day.
This isn’t the case with books.
Somedays you need a little inspiration, so you read an uplifting biography. Other days you want to escape into a fantasy world. And then there are the times when you need to read in order to beef-up your professional skills.
Always Room and Time For More Books
Instead of searching for these various types of books, you already have them on-hand. As a result, you can pick whatever you want to read and dive-in.
Why do you think having more books than you could ever read is good?