Why Reading is Good For You

by

Do you love reading? Not magazines or celebrity news, but the kind of reading that allows you to sit down for hours in a corner somewhere and burrow your nose in a good book. If you think reading is not for you then I challenge you to continue reading (pun) this post and you might be convinced of the benefits of reading.

Carolyn Keene, author of the Nancy Drew series, opened my eyes to the literary world. Most of my childhood friends also loved to read. Computers were not readily available then so you would see us in our rooms reading our cares away.

Sadly, majority of the kids (including mine) today have succumb to gadgets and online gaming. As a parent to tech-savy kids, I try to instil in them the love of reading and books. My husband and I still read to them at night and encourage them to do so on their own. If you want to encourage your kids to read, check out these tips .

When our first child was born, leisurely reading was put on hold. Our son’s needs were my priority and I didn’t have much time to do things that I enjoy. It’s a reality that all first time moms face as soon as the baby arrives. I would take on parenting books from time to time but it took forever to finish them. The “busyness” or laziness (I admit) of opening a copy of a good read got me glued on TV or the internet instead.

Now that the kids are more independent and don’t need my immediate attention all the time, I resolved to go back to reading. Over the past two years, I have been getting my reading groove back and am so proud to say that I have finished a handful of books already, after years of being deprived of the written work.

Perseverance , my one word for 2016, encompasses every aspect of my life which includes increasing my reading list. I boldly started my #SixteenBooksfor2016 as a personal goal which I think is quite ambitious (?) but my very supportive husband says it can be done.

As of writing, I am halfway through my third book, an e-book, “Everybody’s Normal Till you Get to Know Them” by John Ortberg. I would rather have a real book in hand but since the e-book was available I downloaded my Kindle copy right away. I couldn’t wait to read!

As a mom, you might say, “I don’t have time to read” or “I have a ton of things to do and finish in a day.” Just like any mom, our plates are always full and we hardly have time to enrich our souls. If I can do it despite homeschooling, household chores, and managing a small business, I believe you can do it too. It’s a matter of taking the initiative to empower yourself. So what are the benefits of reading?

  • Takes you off Social Media. I don’t believe that the internet or social, for that matter, is bad or evil. It has proven its usefulness and effectiveness to you and me. However, if we are not careful, we can spend countless hours staring at the white screen and wasting our time away. Also, we can develop negative feelings towards others or ourselves. We tend to react towards some photo, status update or news item negatively. Anger, envy and pride fill our hearts and minds that we harbor resentment towards other people, which I believe was not the intention of the brains behind social media.
  • Clears the mind.  I used to multi-task a lot but I cannot do another task while reading. My mind has to be void of any stress or pending tasks so I could focus on my book. Sometimes we just need to step away from the noise of our news feed and our emails, get a cup of coffee and just chill.
  • Inspires or challenges thinking. I am fond of leadership/discipleship books because they equip me for the task that God has set for me to lead women. Good books push me to change my old way of doing things and take on a new perspective.  It helps broaden my thinking and helps me see things and people differently. Most of the time though, it mirrors my heart’s current state and by the grace of God, moves to change and obey God. I also do enjoy great novels but I cheat! When a problem arise in the story, I want to know right away how the main character resolves the problem so I head on the last few chapters of the book! Not good, I know 🙂
  • Improves vocabulary.  Words are beautiful. In fact, God only uttered words and the entire creation came into being. That’s how words are to me also, they speak life to my soul…And I love the thrill of searching meanings of new words! Include new words in your writing or speaking and you will eventually get used to them. Who knows you might make heads turn as you natter with your friends over coffee 🙂
  • Pumps up creativity level.  I draw inspiration from the books that I read. Aside from the Bible, which is the source of my #hugot posts, other books give me ideas on what to write or what to teach in my women’s discipleship group. In fact, most of the lessons I impart to the ladies were taken from the books I have perused. And that’s another benefit I get from reading…
  • Promotes sharing and empowers others.  All the knowledge and wisdom gained from reading work best if shared with others. Has anyone shared a quote or a principle from a book they read that was so insightful to you? Especially if you’re going through a tough time or sorting things out in your life? Sharing that one concept from your reading may be the aha moment that person’s life.  Margaret Fuller says, “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”  Share is caring!

Talking about sharing… I read an article recently about US Presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, and how books took him out of his downtrodden childhood and brought him to where he is now. I urge you to read his inspiring story.

Are you convinced yet of the benefits of reading? You don’t have to head out and buy yourself a new book right away. You probably have a book gathering dust somewhere in your bookshelves. Grab it, get your coffee or tea and read the night away. Happy reading!