Did you know that over 825.7 million books were sold in 2021? That’s up 8.9% from 757.9 million books in 2020. Reading is one of those habits that can transform every dimension of your life. The wisdom of the world is available to you within the value-packed pages of books. And when you read every day, you integrate that wisdom into your life.
You can learn about personal finance, business, mental wellbeing, spirituality, history, sex and relationships, health and fitness — and everything in between — all from books! As the late and great Personal Development Speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You can’t miss that kind of education. Miss a meal but never miss a book”.
For these reasons — in addition to many others — reading is one of the single best habits that you can adopt.
But if you’re still not convinced that you should read every day, here are 11 compelling reasons why you should start.
1. Stress Reduction
Reading is the ideal stress reduction habit. Nothing comes close to the relaxation associated with laying down on your bed, turning on the dim light of a night lamp, and cracking open an informative, inspiring, or entertaining book.
In fact, according to a 2009 study, reading for just 6 minutes can reduce stress by as much as 68%.
And it’s easy to see why. When you read, you’re engaging in an activity that relaxes the body but also engages in the mind.
This has a very therapeutic effect that causes you to forget about your troubles, worries, and stresses. And as a result, you become focused on the moment, which is exactly where your attention should be anyway.
In short, reading reduces your stress by helping you to become more present — it’s essentially a form of meditation.
2. Improves Focus and Concentration
Reading helps improve your focus. This is accomplished through the expansion of your thinking when you consume new information. Our minds are plastic — meaning — they are shaped and molded by experiences, knowledge, and new information.
And as Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Man’s mind, stretched to a new idea, never goes back to its original dimension.”
When you read — especially with the intent to achieve a goal or learn something new — you have no choice but to focus on the content you’re consuming, otherwise, you won’t retain the information.
As a result, your ability to concentrate strengthens and you’re able to give more undivided attention to the other areas (and people) in your life.
Just another brilliant reason why you should read every day.
3. Promotes Mental Health
When you read every day, many positive changes will take place. But did you know you will feel better and more robust mentally? This coincides with what we talked about earlier in regards to brain stimulation.
You can equate reading to an exercise regime for your mind. The reason being is that it affects your cognitive faculties in the same way your muscles are impacted when you workout at the gym.
You’re essentially going through a mental exercise when you read every day.
This is how your intellectual proficiency expands, which in turn, invites a healthy psychological boost to your thinking patterns — and as a direct result — enhances your life.
Remember, your mind is what controls the quality of your life. Show me someone who is broke, overweight, and unhealthy and I’ll show you someone whose mind is not adjusted properly.
On the other hand, show me someone whose wealthy, healthy, and happy, and I’ll show you someone who has their thinking patterns in order.
Your mental health is paramount for a healthy life. And to ensure your mental health stays intact, you must feed your mind with the right stimuli. And books (old or new, informative or inspiring, non-fiction or fiction) are the perfect resource to serve that purpose!
4. Makes You More Knowledgeable
Knowledge is power! The more you know, the better you can properly navigate through this tumultuous world. Other than gaining real-life experience or perhaps learning from a mentor or coach, reading is the single best way to gain knowledge.
Why? Because with books, you’re riding on the backs of those who have done the hard work for you.
As a result, you can equip yourself with accurate information in any domain of your choosing without having to go through the pain and difficulty the authors had to endure to acquire that knowledge.
Do you want to learn about money and finance? What about health and fitness? Or perhaps dating and relationships? No matter the topic, there is a near-endless supply of books written about it by people who have struggled and suffered (sometimes for years) to attain the information you can get for just $20.
How crazy is that?!
All the knowledge of the world is available to you. Moreover, it’s easier than ever before to find the exact book you need due to the internet.
Take advantage of this wonderous fact by making a list of books you want to read to sharpen your knowledge, and then begin adding these books to your personal library.
It’s a great reason to learn and it will keep you well-read for the remainder of your days.
5. Mental Engagement
Feeling bored? Don’t know what to do with your time? Pick up a book! Reading helps to mentally absorb you as certain text passages can both emotionally and intellectually engage your consciousness.
It’s almost like watching a movie, except the type of mental engagement you experience is much richer.
You’ll be learning while also being engaged in a story that engrosses your attention. When most people are bored, typically, they resort to their phones, Netflix, YouTube, or some other form of cheap entertainment.
And although there’s nothing inherently wrong with these things (most everything is good in moderation), many times engaging in them too much can leave you feeling mentally trained and psychologically depleted.
Everyone knows these things in excess are not a good way to use your time.
However, the opposite is true of reading. When you read every day, you’re enthralled in a process that is both engaging and healthy.
Reading books — especially inspiring, motivating, and educational books — will leave you feeling mentally “full”, because you’re feeding your mind with positive and uplifting content rather than its cheap and depleting counterpart.
6. Improves Your Writing Skills
If you’re someone who writes a lot — for fun or as part of your job description — reading daily can help you improve that skill set. When you read every day, your mind is constantly exposed to phrases, wording, punctuation, grammar, and many other important elements that contribute to excellent writing skills.
And as you continue to read, eventually, you’ll notice the structure and writing styles of the books you consume begin seeping into your own writing.
You’ll naturally start using proper grammar, accurate punctuation, correct spelling, etc. Hell, you may even slip in the odd metaphor every now and again.
And this type of progression makes sense. After all, these two activities are inextricably linked as they deal with the same tools — words.
7. Source of Entertainment
Many people tend to associate reading with boredom and monotony. In my opinion, that’s only because they’re most likely reading boring and monotonous books. On the contrary, reading can actually be very fun and engaging. With the right book, this quiet and unassuming habit can become a great source of entertainment!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been enthralled with a good book. The stories, lessons, emotions, and experiences people have gone through and then put into their books can almost feel like your own.
The vivid language, descriptive illustrations, and different perspectives you gain from reading are invaluable.
8. Enhances Your Vocabulary
I am amazing at how reading has transformed my speech. As you read, naturally, you pick up on words, phrases, terms, expressions, etc, which begin to integrate themselves into your normal, everyday rhetoric.
It’s a natural progression that takes place over time. However, after a few years of reading every day, you will surprise yourself at how much your lexicon has grown and expanded.
Now, why is a bigger vocabulary good for you?
Simply put: everyone’s favorite class of people is the educated. And these people are easily spotted by the simple expedient of the words they use while conversing.
Moreover, studies have proven that there is a definite connection between vocabulary and success. The more words you know and can use properly, the higher the level of success you will most likely attain in your life.
And reading a little bit every day can boost your vocabulary as you’re constantly getting exposed to words that can help you express yourself and understand the world better.
9. Stronger Critical Thinking Skills
As you read, your brain processes new information. As such, you must use critical thinking blended with objective logic to make sense of it all — especially if it goes against a current belief. To fully understand and grasp new ideas and concepts being presented to you in what you read, critical thinking must be applied.
And of course, just like anything else; the more you do it, the better you get.
So as you read and continue to digest new data and information, it inevitably leads to deeper levels of thinking. It becomes this positive upward spiral of critical thought that not only allows you to look more objectively at what you’re consuming in books, but also at life situations that you may not have thought twice about previously.
Consequently, all of this adds up to help you become a better analyzer. And when such is the case, you become much better at making wise decisions in your life.
You won’t let emotions override your better judgment, but rather, you’ll be more objective and clear-headed in your approach to things.
10. Increases Empathy
Recent research has suggested that reading can actually make you more empathetic toward others. Reading books (particularly fiction) helps you to better understand people. This is due to the in-depth experiences often detailed in the passages of books.
Authors — if they’re good — have the ability to draw readers into the character’s mind and personality through nothing more than the words used on a page.
This “pull” into the story creates a psychological vacuum where it’s just the reader and the character. And if done right, the reader not only feels an attachment or affinity toward the character, but can almost feel what they are “feeling” due to the descriptive language being employed.
As a result, this emotional understanding of the character develops empathy in the reader. And this can then be transferred to other people in your daily life.
11. Improves Sleep Quality
Many people have poor sleep quality. And this is often the result of a poor evening routine. Typically, the average person engages in a myriad of unwise habits before bed. Activities such as eating unhealthy food, excessive screen time, or watching TV can all contribute to poor sleep.
To counter this, I advise you to do something calm and relaxing to get your mind prepped for a good night’s sleep.
Namely; you guessed it: read.
Reading is a great way to unwind after a long day and simply check out. And due to its relaxing nature, it’s the perfect addition to any nighttime routine. If you’re having difficulty falling asleep at night, pick up a good book.
Carve out a 20 to 30-minute window in your evening to just sit and read. It’s comfortable, relaxing, and even soothing. And it will help you fall, and stay, asleep.
This is due to the way it causes you to forget about your stresses and worries. When you read, you become enthralled with the content (if it’s a good book that you’re interested in), consequently, the anxieties and tension from the day completely vanish. Or at the very least, they stop being such an overwhelming presence in your life.
As a result, this eases you into a peaceful and relaxed state that’s much more conducive for sleep to take place. And chances are because you lulled yourself to sleep in a healthy and natural way, you will have a quality sleep.
And for this reason, you will wake up feeling revitalized, full of energy, and ready to tackle the next morning!
The Advantages of Reading Every Day
When you read every day, you gain a lot more than just new knowledge, or an additional word or two to add to your vocabulary. You can gain a whole new insight into people, life, and the world around you. By and large, everything takes on more depth and meaning. You live a richer life as you consume the works of great leaders, philosophers, business moguls, etc, who encapsulate their knowledge and experiences in their writings.
Take advantage of the benefits you can experience through reading by picking up a book today! It’s a decision that could change the rest of your life forever.