I feel like all we ever hear nowadays is how everyone should be reading more books. All of these amazing novels are now being turned into movies or television shows, but everyone needs to read the books first because – let's be real – the books are (almost) always better.
Whether or not it's a good thing that we are creating these stories in other mediums, the fact of the matter is, it's causing people to pick up more books and expand their minds and world.
So, here are a few reasons why you should be reading WAY more books, even if they aren't being turned into movies:
1. You enter a fantasy world.
When you pick up a book, you enter a world of fantasy... even if the book is based in reality. The beauty of reading a book is that you get to make the world around you even better.
This sense of fantasy lasts as long as you are reading that book. A movie lasts two to three hours, tops. But reading a book usually takes much longer. Is there anything better than living in a fantasy world for hours on end?
When you're reading a book, you get to create what the characters look like. There's nothing worse than creating this phenomenal character in your head, and then watching a movie fuck it all up. You're all like, "How dare you cast that peasant as my favorite character?"
Pick up a book instead, and create the story around you.
2. You learn new words.
Do you know how many new words I have learned by reading? Well, technically, all of them.
Because that's how you learn words: by reading. But yes, I stumble upon many words that I have no flipping clue about the meaning of. But I'm not one to pass up learning a new word.
I Google every new word so that I understand the full context of each sentence.
3. You appear smarter.
There's always a correlation between readers and smart people. If you're reading books, people think you're smart. And if you're smart, you're usually reading a lot of books.
So, pick up as many books as you can. It doesn't matter if you're reading free Kindle garbage, trashy fan fiction or the latest Stephen Hawking novel; nobody has to know.
4. You improve your memory.
Reading helps stimulate the brain. In other words, reading is basically exercise for your mind.
Reading will help your brain and even prevent aging in a way. It helps prevent brain decline.
5. You stress less.
Did you know that picking up a book for just six minutes helps to relax you by two thirds? That's faster than any other method of stress reduction.
If you combine that with any other common stress reduction method – like tea, a massage or listening to music – you'll be on your way to ultimate zen in no time.
6. You get to take a break.
The real world can be stressful. Sometimes, you just need to step away from the everyday things that are pulling you down.
Nothing allows you to take a break from the real world better than a good book. You can turn off your phone, pick up a book and get lost for hours. No one can bother you: It's the introvert's ultimate dream.
There are few things more relaxing than taking the time to read for pleasure, and the great thing is, you can spend that time however you want.
You can grab your Kindle and head to the gym to hang out on the elliptical or bike for an hour or two while you read. You can read that bestseller everyone's been talking about nonstop while curling up in an oversized chair.
You can soak up the sun at the pool or park while re-reading your favorite novel. Whichever way you choose, reading is the perfect way to get a little bit of quality “me” time in.
Even though you should definitely start reading more often, the fact of the matter is, you just might not be a reader. Or maybe you just haven't found that one book to transport you into the black hole where most avid readers find themselves.
The truth of the matter is, I used to hate reading. I absolutely loathed it when I was a child, and even through high school, I struggled. I just wasn't a reader.
It wasn't until my early 20s that I found a series that set me off into a reading frenzy, and I haven't really stopped since. Sure, I go through stages where I don't pick up a book for three months. But then, when I finally do, I read about three a week.
It comes and goes for me. Sometimes, I just have to power through a couple of chapters to really get into the groove.
So, even if you're not really a “reader,” I urge you to give it another shot. How can it hurt?
Find that one genre that really speaks to you, and then test out a few books. Get recommendations from friends and family, check out Goodreads and Amazon reviews and Google books that are similar to ones you've previously enjoyed.
Pick a few up, and start expanding your universe.