Getting Kids Reading

14 Benefits of Reading Books: Why Reading is Important

Reading benefits adults and Children

In the United States, reading is far from the popular hobby it once was. In a 2019 poll conducted by the Huffington Post, 41% of American adults reported not having read a single book in the prior year, including alternative methods of reading such as audiobooks and ebooks, despite the age of information making books more accessible than ever before. If you’re one of those 41% of American adults, it might be time to start rethinking your ways. Reading books isn’t just a rewarding hobby, it also benefits readers in numerous ways.

Raising children with a love of reading as a part of their daily life is a great way to ensure they have a great start in life reaping these benefits of reading. You can foster a love of reading for your child by providing them reading material in an engaging, accessible way with a Tidy Books bookcase and help them reap these benefits through their childhood and the rest of their lives.

1.Improves brain connectivity and functioning

Researchers studying brain connectivity found that reading fiction increases activity in the parts of the brain related to language receptivity, sensory motor skills, and grounded cognition. These benefits lasted for days after the study participants had finished reading the novel, indicating that these parts of the brain experience long-term benefits for having read.

2. Improves memory

Even more than other forms of media, studies have shown that reading can improve your ability to recall information in both the long and the short term, especially sensory information that’s been experienced firsthand. This is by having had “practice” retaining and recalling information into a narrative structure over the course of a reading experience, which can take days or weeks.

3. Reading improves your lifespan

Researchers have found that reading books for several hours per week can dramatically improve your lifespan. Readers were found to live a full 23 months longer than their non-reading counterparts. This increase in life expectancy was so marked as to apply regardless of the participant’s socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or career.

4. Reading prevents cognitive decline in old age

Neurological researchers studying dementia and the cognitive effects of old age found that reading regularly could significantly lower the risk of dementia and memory loss in old age. The difference was dramatic, with dementia risk reduced by a full 30% for regular readers.

Reading benefits adults and Children

The Tidy Books original alphabet bookcase. Credit @saraandcatherinestales

5. Reading reduces likelihood of depression

Researchers have found that those who read often and have strong reading comprehension skills are less likely to express symptoms of depression in childhood. When a group of sixth graders were studied, students who spent more time reading and had more advanced reading skills were less likely to be depressed.

6. Reading strengthens your brain

Medical research has found that reading regularly strengthens the areas of the brain related to processing visual information. Reading regularly strengthens the neural pathways and improves brain function. The same way that muscles grow and strengthen over time with use, so does the functioning of the mind.

7. Reading builds your vocabulary

When studying those learning English as a second language, researchers found that frequent reading had the potential to dramatically increase lexical processing and vocabulary absorption. This finding was also reflected in adults who were learning English as a second language after having never spoken it until adulthood.

8. Reading reduces stress

In a study conducted on college students, those who read recreationally often were found to have considerably lower rates of reporting severe stress. The difference was so marked, in fact, that researchers suggested including recreational reading as a foundational element of college curriculum so as to reduce the stress on college students.

9. Reading fights Alzheimer’s Disease

Brain researchers have found that reading regularly stimulates the parts of the brain that can lose functioning when suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. This not only prevented the onset of the disease, but also helped to reduce the symptoms of those already diagnosed and slow the disease’s progression.

10. Reading improves your writing skills

A study researching the connection between a child’s reading and writing abilities found that children who read often are more likely to be skilled writers. The researchers suggest that the easiest way for the mind to learn complex language patterns is through reading, making it easier to improve one’s writing skill.

11. Reading increases intelligence

An England-based study found that reading had a direct positive impact on intelligence for both children and adults. Surprisingly, however, the skills improved were not just directly related to books. Verbal, nonverbal, cognitive, and spatial intelligence were all improved by regularly reading recreationally.

The benefits of reading for your mental and physical health

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

12. Reading lowers blood pressure and heart rate

Studies have shown that reading for as little as six minutes can have a profound impact on the stress on one’s circulatory system. Even a small amount of reading can significantly reduce a patient with high blood pressure or an elevated heart rate, reducing the risk for heart attacks and other major health problems.

13. Reading helps you sleep

Reading has been shown to be a great way to improve one’s sleep, for a variety of reasons. Simplest of these is that it encourages you to have some quiet, peaceful time, away from screens, lights, and overstimulation. However, reading also helps regulate your emotions and gives your mind time to process and relax from the day, leading to a more peaceful transition into sleep.

14. Reading makes you more empathetic

While it’s common for reading to make one experience strong emotions, it’s also improving emotional intelligence, compassion, and empathy. Readers of fiction in particular have been shown to have lasting positive impacts on the parts of their brain that control empathy and sympathy, showing greater capacity for selflessness and nurturance for others after having read a good book.

It’s easy to lose our love of reading in the hustle of modern life, but carving some time out of your day to enjoy a good book isn’t just enjoyable – it also provides lifelong benefits that you’ll never regret.

To help your child reap these benefits for their childhood and the rest of their lives, display their books in an engaging way that encourages reading – and keeping their books tidy and accessible! Tidy Books bookcases are beautiful, easy to use, and encourage kids to read often.

Géraldine Grandidier

About Géraldine Grandidier

Géraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile. She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids. Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.