What I’m about to tell you is so important that your life will be changed forever.
No, this is not an exaggeration. If you don’t believe me, keep reading.
I read books for about an hour every day, and it has positively affected my life in more ways than I can count. There are all sorts of benefits to reading books. This article covers many of them except one that’s perhaps the most consequential: Reading has become a fundamental part of who I am today, and it will shape how I view the world around me forever.
So what exactly am I talking about?
The Power of Words – What They Can Do.
Language is how we communicate with one another. We all know that, but I want to take it further than this simple definition. Language is also an abstraction for the knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors. It’s what separates us from other animals, other species on Earth. We can convey so much meaning through language, which gives us the ability to create things like tools, houses, technology–even art! Humans can create something out of nothing just because they have language. And not only that… Words enable us to share experiences. They let us empathize with others. Think about it: if you were reading a passage written by someone who went skydiving for the first time, you might begin to feel your heart race as you imagine how it would feel to take that leap into the air. That’s because words paint pictures in our minds, letting us experience life through someone else’s eyes.
Words also give life to our hopes and dreams.
When we read books about people who do incredible things or say inspiring things, we can be influenced by what they say and even aspire to become like them someday. For example, if you read a book about an Olympic athlete before bed, perhaps you’ll dream of representing your country on the world stage one day! And not only that… Words are powerful. They influence our moods, beliefs, thoughts … even actions! The list goes on and on. You’ve probably heard something like this before (books have power), but you’ve never seen it laid out quite like this.
I just got done talking about all the things that words can do, but I still haven’t answered one of the most powerful questions in human history: What exactly is reading?
What Is Reading? – Understanding The Act Itself.
Reading is taking in information through text.
Simple, right? You read something, and your brain absorbs the meaning behind the words. But there’s so much more to it than that! For instance…
Reading is an act of learning.
When we read books, magazines, newspapers, blogs … whatever… We expand our knowledge base. There are over 7 billion people on the planet (at the time of writing this), yet not everyone knows what a blog is. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, reading is one way to stay informed about what’s happening in other countries, cultures, environments…
Reading gives us new perspectives.
If you read an article (or watch a video) about fighting corruption in the US, you might think differently than if you were there seeing it for yourself. We all know that ignorance is bliss, but opening your mind to new ideas and experiences lets you cross cultures and gain empathy for others who live very different lives from you.
And most importantly of all.
Reading fires up our imagination! It’s practically impossible not to daydream when reading something fictional. Whenever I’m engrossed in a book, I picture myself entering the scene with the characters… I can almost feel the adrenaline rush when they’re in danger. I can almost smell the flowers that are described in the book. This is because our imagination draws upon our memories, thoughts, and experiences to give life to the story we’re reading. Reading provides a vehicle for us to experience anything imaginable.
And it doesn’t stop there! When you read about something real, you get an idea of what’s possible. You feel inspired by all the breakthroughs people have achieved or could achieve one day… You might even wonder, “Is this something I could do too?” But you’ll never know unless you try. That’s why motivating information should be the top priority whenever someone wants to improve their lives, become successful, or positively impact society.
The world is full of amazing stories, but you can’t hear them if you don’t open your mouth. Take the first step and put down this article… Go pick up a book! I promise it’s worth it.