No, this is not the launch of a new 30-day challenge or some other program devoted to encouraging you to read a prescribed number of books in a certain period of time. Rather, I will simply list the virtues of book reading and you decide if you want to reap the advantages; if not, just continue living the way you have until now.
What is so special about regular reading, and can these advantages be obtained from the regular reading of news, blog posts, emails, reddit threads etc. or not? These are important questions and have far reaching implications. Let’s start with the advantages of book reading, then you can determine if these apply to other forms of reading as well.
Reading makes your brain smarter (yes, this is possible), by expanding your frame of reference with new viewpoints, improving your memory and increasing your ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. There are other advantages as well. These include increasing your knowledge, providing affordable and satisfying entertainment and relaxation.
To me, the most valuable elements here are the increased capacity and improved overall function of your brain that are created through regular reading. Imagine if you could understand anything faster, remember it better and concentrate more easily. All this is possible through the power of regular reading. How does this work, and do you really need to read books? Afterall, you read blogs and news articles all day long, and never get any of these benefits. Well, therein lies the answer and the secret of book reading.
Not all reading is created equal. Reading a blog post (even this one), does not in anyway compare with the experience of reading a book. There are many reasons for this, some obvious and some less so. The most glaring difference lies in the length of the writing. Books are much longer than blog posts, emails or news articles. As such, they force you to concentrate for extended periods of time. This concentration, combined with maintaining focus on the plot or idea presented in the book, causes your brain to expand its abilities and grow in marvelous ways.
Compare book reading to a full workout, while reading a blog post is like doing a warm up. If you only do warm ups, you will have very limited benefits from your workouts. You need to read full length books to get the full workout equivalent for your brain.
Tell me about your reading habits and some of your favorite books. I love to hear from you.