Thursday 7 March 2013

Pick up a book & expand your world on World Book Day

In the busy world we live in, a lot of us don’t have the time or the patience to read. Now that television, video games and movies are so readily available and easy to consume, we often associate reading books as something we had to do in school.  Many of us would shudder at the thought of reading a book for pleasure.
But since today is World Book Day, we thought we should remind you just how amazing reading can be and what it can do for you.

1. Enhanced brainpower
Reading a book will help you optimise your brain and improve in almost every area of your life. People who read have higher intelligence and more general knowledge than those who don’t. Research has found that reading, in general, makes you smarter and it keeps you sharp as you age. No matter what you want to do or become, you can’t do it without more knowledge and reading is an excellent way to get more information on your future plans and where you want to go.

2. Reading reduces stress
By simply opening a book, you allow yourself to be invited into a fantasy world that distracts you from your daily stressors. If you’ve had a stressful day, a book can easily distract you and get your thoughts off your worries for a while. Reading is the best way to relax. Reading an amazing fiction book is perfect right before bed time. Sometimes it’s hard to put the book down if it’s really good, but you’ll still be relaxed.

3. Improved logical thinking
If you’ve ever read a murder mystery and managed to work out who the murderer is before it’s revealed by the author, you’ll know that analytical thinking is boosted by reading. Readers improve their general knowledge, and more importantly are able to spot patterns and clues quicker. If you can spot patterns quicker, your analytical skills receive a boost.

4. Build your vocabulary
It’s no secret that reading increases your vocabulary and improves your spelling, but did you know that reading increases your vocabulary more than talking or direct teaching? Reading forces us to look at and try to understand words that we might not have seen or heard recently. Knowing what other people are saying and using the perfect words to convey your feelings is a critical part of boosting your brainpower.

5. Improved creativity
Reading books takes you to places you’ve never been, and as a reader you might often wonder how a writer can piece together real or fictional events with such accuracy and detail. Reading about places you’ve never been to (or even places that don’t exist) opens your mind up to new possibilities and allows you to be more creative in your own thinking.

Here are some common reasons why we don’t read and the ways you can get around them:
I don’t have enough time
Try to set aside ten or fifteen minutes every day for reading. Whether it’s just before going to sleep, while travelling in the bus to work or even while eating, you might just find that this little bit of “me” time will become your favourite time of the day.

I don’t have the patience
For those who have never sat down and read a novel of their own choosing, finding the patience to get into the book might be an uphill task, as the activity is so unfamiliar. Perseverance is the key here, so make it a habit to read for a few minutes every day. Once you get into the book you’ll find it easier to get stuck into it.

Books are boring
There are millions of books in existence, each one on a different topic, portraying different scenarios and covering dozens of different genres. Therefore, all books cannot be the same and all authors certainly cannot be the same. Take the time to make a list of the things that might be of interest to you (you could base this on the type of movies you like to watch, or the activities you enjoy). If you don’t like the first book that you try, remember not to give up on the idea of reading. You’re bound to find something that you like if you keep on looking.

Books are too expensive
If you find that bookshops don’t suit your budget, the best place to start a love affair with reading is at your local library. The books may be slightly older than the latest novels at the book store, but the good news is that books don’t have expiry dates like food at the supermarket!

“Reading takes us away from home, but more importantly, it finds homes for us everywhere.” - Hazel Rochman

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