Many simply see reading as an enjoyable pastime. It may then surprise you to learn that aside from stress-relief and serving as a distraction from daily life, there is some real science behind the health and lifestyle benefits directly linked to reading. If you’re interested in what these benefits are for why you should prioritize reading in your life.
People Who Read Books Tend To Live Longer
This is great news if you’re already an avid reader and a sobering awakening to anyone who hasn’t picked up a paperback since their high school English class. In a study conducted by Yale University, three groups of participants (defined as: above average readers, average readers and non-readers) over the age of 50 were monitored over the course of 12 years. The results were pretty eye-opening: while both reading groups tended to consistently outlive the non-readers, the group of above average readers lived for nearly two years more than those who never read. Additionally, book readers experienced a mortality rate 20 per cent lower than non-readers over the course of the study.
In addition to lower stress levels in the group of readers, the study’s authors also attributed this disparity to two additional benefits of reading: deep reading and emotional connection. Without getting too technical, deep reading is when the reader takes the time to fully appreciate and engage in the story and attempts to draw parallels to their own life. Emotional connection is when the reader develops empathy with the story’s characters, which then, in turn, raises their social awareness and emotional intelligence.
Reading Short Story Fiction Encourages Open Mindedness and Creativity
Part of the fun of reading short story fiction is that it allows the reader to come to their own conclusions about some of the narrative’s unanswered questions and unexplored plotlines. According to a study performed by the University of Toronto, regularly reading these types of stories means that you’re much less likely to require the same amount of cognitive closure as those who read non-fiction. Further to making you think critically about the events after the story, reading short story fiction encourages you to be a more creative and open-minded individual, because of the way these stories have made you think about what you’re reading.
The Most Successful People Are Readers
While the definition of success is subjective, those who read tend to share many qualities not as apparent in non-readers. Here are just a few of those characteristics:
- Readers tend to be more focused individuals. Avid readers don’t always reach for the quick and easy reads. Some prose takes considerable brain power to digest, and that means that a great degree of focus is required to get through it and make sense of it.
- Readers know how to use their time wisely. Ever see someone pull out a book while waiting for the bus? On their lunch break? That’s a sign of someone who knows how to get the absolute most out of the very limited time in the day.
- Readers are reflective. The more you read, the more thoughts and ideas you’re exposed to. Readers are reflective because reading forces you to challenge your own beliefs and perspectives.
- Readers tend to have above average, writing, speaking and memorization skills. Exercise your body and you create muscle. Read, and there are a host of associated cognitive benefits.
- Readers always have something to say. Gaining knowledge, insight or perspective from a book means that you’ll usually have something fresh to talk about.
From new experiences to develop a greater understanding of different opinions, to building up your mental fortitude, reading is a pastime that is undeniably more impactful and beneficial than any other. If you’re looking for your next read, be sure to check out BookOutlet.ca.