A lot has changed with us as a society especially with improvements in technology. There are only a few young people who actually pick a hardcover book to read, with many books entering into the world of software and tablets.

However, there is nothing better than the feel of a book well-thumbed or the fragrance wafting from an old dusty book forgotten in an attic. It’s hard to believe, but it’s a proven fact that kids as young as one year old who were read to by their guardians several times in a week showed stronger literary and grammatical skills than their peers and even scored higher on intelligence tests while landing better jobs. Reading in any form is better than reading in no form at all; here are 7 reasons why:

  1. Reduces stress

Lying on the couch with an interesting book can catapult you into a realm of wonder worlds away from your present realities and problems. When I was going through chemotherapy, reading helped ease my pain and took away my immediate worry for my health. It’s not a surprise that reading has been found to reduce stress levels by around 68%.

  1. Makes you have more depth

Studying about the histories of different people and different cultures in different eras of the world can make it easier for you to empathize with people who’re different from you. A book on theophany is like a peek into another realm if you are an atheist, just like a book about the struggles of obese people if you’ve never added a pound in your life.

Books only have one function; to transport us out of our present reality and open up worlds that we’d hardly ever believe were there. Yet these fantastical worlds exist if only we’d pick up a hardcopy and fixate our eyes on its contents. Books have the power to change our perceptions and its little wonders the greatest religions of this world have their doctrines written in text.

  1. Expands your vocabs

This is self-explanatory. The more you read the more literary weapons you have at your command. As you improve your vocabulary, you have a better capacity to express your thoughts and emotions. The power of language is a crucial weapon to change society and bring down tyranny. It is with language that kingdoms were toppled and dictatorial regimes were overthrown.

It is thus no surprise that people who have spear-headed revolutionary movements were more often than not, orators who had the power to stir the hearts of men into action. The ability to express yourself articulately, brings respect and admiration, and paves the way for leadership roles in the work environment or in government.

  1. Increases your problem-solving skills

A regular read of an Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan-Doyle is enough to keep your brain in peak condition. It’s always interesting to solve a mystery before reading to the end of a novel and this one of the many ways you can increase the depth of your analytical thinking in a very entertaining way.

  1. Promotes mental health

A plethora of research have discovered that people who keep their brains mentally active like reading or playing chess are 2.5 times less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease than those who spend their time in less mentally stimulating activities.

  1. Makes for better sleep

There’s nothing quite like falling asleep while reading a book. People who sleep off while reading enter into the third level of sleep faster than others who don’t. Your brain shuts down faster and you have a better sleep cycle. It helps you relax and takes you straight into deep sleep.

  1. Inner peace

I can attest to this. Reading about the experiences of others and finding out their life experiences makes you wonder how little you know about the world and its peoples. It made me realize my experiences were nothing compared to what some other person had gone through.

Reading made me more rounded and gave my mind a more matured quality. Whereas I would have reacted in an irrational way in certain situations, reading gave me the mental strength to be less aggressive and to take a more measured approach to life.