Well, not literally. Books don’t have hands after all. But reading helped me through a dark time of my life and it is still my go-to method for comfort.

It’s an irrefutable fact that books are everywhere. In stores, small and big. In libraries. On bookshelves. On nightstands, piled high. We are surrounded by books and by people who read them.

Yet for those who don’t like reading, books are an enigma. A mystery. Why would anyone like to spend hours reading and sitting still? What’s the benefit?

A lot as it turns out. Here are my top five reasons to read more books:

  1. Reading makes you smarter.

And it does it in so many “sneaky” ways. For example, it broadens your horizon by becoming familiar with new ideas outside your own. 1984 anyone?

It also helps you develop a better sense of humor – in the case of reading a comedy book; develop better analytical thinking – in the case of reading a mystery novel; develop a better imagination – in the case of reading a Sci-Fi/Fantasy story; and even become a better person – in the case of reading a self-help book. Impressive, isn’t it?

Who hasn’t struggled with writing an email at work, or an essay in school? By increasing your vocabulary as you read, you also increase your writing skill. These two go hand in hand for a reason. 

What about  your memory? Keeping track of all the subplots and character names will naturally enhance it for you. No extra effort needed. Other than reading that is.

  1. Stress and tension relief.

Reading is a proven stress reliever.  At the end of an irksome day, immersing into a wonderful story for a few hours will wipe all that tension away. It will improve your health and can even lower depression levels. 

Finding a gripping book and reading it at the beach will make you feel much better. Relaxed. Clearly,  an added benefit when you’re on vacation. 

Or grabbing a cup of tea (with some cookies, chocolate chip preferably) and settling into a cozy chair by a window to read in the quiet, will do wonders for you. It will also be Insta-worthy.

  1. Live a multitude of lives.

Reading takes you away from reality. It transports you into different and diverse cultures. Experience different perspectives other than yours.

We can go on different adventures with heroes and heroines. Solve crimes or do impossible missions. Follow generations of a family in an engrossing saga. Explore family dynamics and struggles practically first hand. We can transport back in time to historical events and experience it unfolding as if we are there, too. Or travel to the future. Whether that future  is apocalyptic or not, you will still learn something new.

It’s a big world you’re living. What better way to broaden your horizons than by reading?

  1. Ward off loneliness.

When you love reading,  you are never really alone. You always have a friend in books. They don’t complain or demand anything from you. They only give.

Reading also helps you to discover yourself by trying to connect to characters or envision situations. 

Often during difficult and unsure times picking up a good motivational book may help you to move on faster. Inspire you. Provide better solutions for your problems.

  1. Reading is fun.

Creating the story in your own mind’s eye makes you feel as if you are a part of the story. As if you are experiencing it too. 

Books allowed me to escape the veil of oppression. Navigate grief or deal with everyday stress. Reading will bring you joy and a good story stays with you forever. It not only entertains you but also induces peacefulness. 

Books are everywhere. That’s a fact. And they won’t go anywhere anytime soon. So why not take advantage of reading with its numerous benefits and grab a good book. Try it. You won’t regret it.