I love to read.
When I say I love to read I mean I have a reading log and everything. Reading excites me and calms me. It helps lull me to sleep and it keeps me awake at night trying to finish one more chapter before bed.
I think one of the main reasons I love to read is because I believe there is great power in storytelling.
In this day and age, we often get snapshots of people’s life through the pictures and captions they post. We get the highlight reel. We don’t see the nitty gritty nor do we see unflattering pictures or sad captions that fully encapsulate the ups and downs of life.
When reading a story, you often see the good, the bad and the ugly. You get to know the characters and sometimes become quite fond of them — even if they are fictional.
Reading offers you insight into other people’s stories and allows you to relate to characters, be inspired by characters and even learn from characters.
Next time you’re laying in bed or sitting on the couch and you go to open the Instagram app on your phone, make a conscious effort to put down your phone and go pick up a book. It can be any book! A book you’ve read before or a book that you’ve never once touched but can’t seem to get rid of.
Should you decide to spend time reading, here are 10 reasons why picking up that book is better for you than scrolling through Instagram:
- Reading increases your vocabulary.
- Reading reduces stress – I think we all need a little less stress in our lives don’t you think?
- Reading can allow you to get more restful sleep – better sleep? Sign me up!
- Reading helps prevent cognitive decline as you age – what a great motivator!
- Reading is free entertainment – emphasis on free!
- Reading can make you more empathetic.
- People who read daily tend to live longer – Yale did a study and found that there is a correlation between those who read daily living up to 23 months longer than those who do not.
- Reading challenges your perspective.
- Reading means you don’t have to be alone – maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found myself feeling more alone after I’ve “interacted” with the world through social media. While I often feel this way after scrolling on my phone, I rarely feel this way after reading a book. Books bring companionship. They are there for you whenever you need them — on an airplane, in the bathtub, at the office or with you and your little one.
- Reading inspires you!
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.”– George R.R. Martin
There are so many other reasons to pick up a book, but for now take some time and reflect on these ten. Which ones stick out to you? The next time you feel alone or you begin to criticize yourself after viewing someone else’s highlight reel, remind yourself that the pictures Instagram shows you are often not insight into someone’s real life.
If you want to see real people and real life — pick up a book instead.
Written by: Brenley Martinez