How Reading can Benefit Anyone, at Any Time


When it comes to reading, there are typically two types of people. The people that love reading and the people that will never try it. Most people in America dislike reading. To be honest, this is most likely because sitting around for hours on end looking over hundreds of words does not sound very pleasing to them. However, reading can be a whole new world to people. It is a world where you can create a picture in your head of what is happening and produce conclusions and questions of your own. It is a wonderful thing that everyone should experience in their lifetime.  

Unfortunately, reading is something that is not usually a top priority for people. “Roughly a quarter of American adults (23%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form.” as stated om a study done by the Pew Reasearch Center. Believe it or not, even in adults’ lives reading can still help improve their memory, become more open-minded, or be more creative and empathetic. “We talked to Sarah Taylor, Assistant Director of the Johnson County Public Library, about how reading for pleasure can help adults, what you can do if you’ve slowed or stopped reading, and how reading trends have changed through the pandemic,” explains an article by Support Upstream. “It is not an exaggeration to say that reading has many benefits,” states Sarah. We tend to focus on the benefits to children, but the truth is that adults have the same perks. Reading is a serious stress-buster, and after a really stressful year, it’s a great way to unwind and relax. Honestly, it’s a form of self-care that we often overlook.”  Even though we are talking about the benefits of reading for children, it does not mean we should stop focusing on the benefits for adults. Reading can be beneficial at any age, including adulthood.  

In addition, reading is also extremely beneficial when it comes to academic performances. “Students who read independently have greater reading comprehension, verbal fluency and general knowledge than those who do not. They become better readers, score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas, and have greater content knowledge than their non-reading peers,” elaborated an article by the Australian Christian College. This 2016 study, for example, looked at how reading for pleasure impacted academic performance across several subjects. The authors concluded that students who self-selected literature for pleasure performed better in English, Mathematics, Science, and History. Reading is beneficial in other ways, but it clearly can be a great way to improve your academic performance, or just your personal knowledge. It can be a gateway to verbal fluency, general knowledge, or overall better reading comprehension.  

Furthermore, reading can also be beneficial to your mental health. Reading can be a great way to escape from the stress and reality of the world and just go into your own little world. It can be a form of escapism for the stressful days people have and help them clear their mind for relaxation. “Get lost in another world. Get into a character’s head and out of your own.” says an article Lifehack, “It’s instant. It’s economical. It’s portable: your own personal escape route when things get to be too much.” Reading is a beautiful thing and has helped many people escape the stress of the real world. “In a 2009 study from the consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex, testing found that reading reduced stress levels by 68 percent,” says an article by National Endowment, “making it a more effective means of relaxation than taking a walk, drinking a cup of tea, or playing video games.” Clearly, reading can be an escape from the pressure and strain of the real world as well as improve your overall mental well-being.  

On the other hand, many people complain that reading is too difficult of a habit to pick up, which honestly is understandable. Since how short the average attention span is nowadays it is no wonder it is hard to focus on reading, which takes a long sustained effort.  “The main sign of a short attention span is having a hard time focusing on tasks. This can be frustrating since it may seem to others that you don’t care about the task,” explains an article by WebMD. Shortened attention spans are very common in today’s society, especially because of the world of social media. However, it does not mean that it is impossible to pick up a habit or reading. “Pick up a book from the topic you like. If you love sports, pick a biography of your favorite sportsperson. If you are into psychology, pick a book that covers a topic you like. If you like science, pick a book that piques your interest,” states an article by Productive Club. “Learning how to develop a reading habit is a great investment of time. Most successful people acknowledge how their reading habits added value throughout their careers. Now that does not mean that reading alone will make you a billionaire, but it does assist you in becoming a better version of yourself.” Clearly, even if you do have a low attention span, picking up a book, or a reading habit in general is not impossible.  

As a result, reading is a wonderful thing that everyone should experience. It is something that can benefit people in so many ways and can be an escape from some people’s difficult lives.