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Why Reading Books Is Still Important in Today's Society

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Header image of the article: "Why Reading Books Is Still Important in Today's Society". List of reasons that will motivate you to read books.

One of the important questions we’re facing in the 21st century is whether reading books is still necessary. We’ve heard so many times that reading books is a lost art.

Nowadays, people prefer to read online magazines, blogs, Facebook posts, and tweets. Books? Hmm...

Do we still need books or are they a relic of the ancient past?

I think that we all agree that the digital revolution has forever changed the way we learn information and process it. As the result, we’ve become extremely dependable on digital tools and the Internet because they are, indeed, great helpers.

However, in this article, I want to argue that reading books is still important in the modern society.

Do People Read Print Books These Days?


Let me begin with some stats. To defend the importance of books, I have conducted a research and found that the printed word is not dead just yet.

For example, a 2016 survey conducted by Pew Research Center discovered that only 26 percent of U.S. adults haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year.

Diagram about book reading habits from 2016
Book Reading 2016
These data suggested that one in four Americans does not read printed books. While this figure might not be alarming, it has been steadily increasing since the 1990s.

The results of the survey also demonstrated that many people choose to switch between print and digital books, which is not a bad thing as well.

The most surprising finding to me was that only 6 percent of American adults read only digital books in 2016. Honestly, I thought that this figure was higher.

So, the stats are saying that 26 percent prefer not to read books at all. Well, if you’re like them, you might be missing on a number of great benefits for your mental health.

Here are the five main reasons to why reading books can be beneficial to your life:

5 Reasons Why Reading Books Is Still Important


1. Books Reduce Stress


Many people choose jogging and yoga to fight stress and pressure they encounter on a daily basis.

Reading has also been identified as a reliable method of reducing stress.

For example, a 2009 study completed by the University of Sussex reported that reading a book worked better and faster than going for a walk, listening to music, and drinking a cup of tea. In fact, it reduced stress by up to 68 percent!

According to one of the authors of the study, Dr. David Lewis, reading allows to “escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world.”

So, the mechanism is pretty simple: the book distracts you from the everyday reality.

2. Books Stimulate the Brain


Book reading is a great mental stimulation exercise. It keeps the brain busy so it would preserve its mental power.

Like a muscle, the brain needs to stay fit and strong to be able to function properly.
So, reading becomes an intense workout for it.

A 2013 study that appeared in Neurology Journal found that reading books can help to keep memory and thinking skills intact.

Moreover, this mentally stimulating activity was viewed as effective in staving off symptoms of Alzheimer’s in seniors.

Featured in the article: "Why Reading Books Is Still Important in Today's Society" - Books stimulate the brain

3. Books Improve Memory


When one reads a book, one needs to remember a number of characters, their ambitions and traits, history, backgrounds, and events.

The writer is a skilled reader as well, so they typically produce a complex plot. This is a lot to memorize, right?

For the brain, however, this sounds like a great exercise for maintaining these amazing powers of remembering vast amounts of information.

Every new memory created by the brain improves short-term memory by generating new synapses and strengthening new ones.

4. Books Help to Appreciate Art and Engage in Social Work


According to The National Endowment for the Arts and other organizations, people who read a lot are several times more likely to visit concerts and museums than those do not.

Moreover, fans of reading were also found to engage in charity and volunteering three times more compared non-readers.

Thus, book reading encourages people to actively participate in the social work and improve the world around them.

This is a great quality to have in the 21st century, agree?

5. Books Improve Analytic Thinking Skills


Analytic thinking is an essential skill for many professions. Reading is an effective tool for improving it. 

For example, have you ever read a book and guessed the ending correctly before you finished it? If you have, it might be a proof that your analytical skills are good.

Final Thoughts


These are inspirational examples of why reading is important for growth, maturity and personal development.
“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J. K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling advice on books

Those who claim that reading is a boring waste of time, probably never read a really good book and missed all the benefits I mentioned above.

On the other hand, those who love to read will always be among the most influential and impactful people.

We hope now you're inspired to pick up that book at start to collect all the benefits from reading.
Share this reasons why reading books is still important with your friends so they can become better also.
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Lucy Benton is a writing coach, an editor who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger, and currently, works at www.assignmenthelper.com.au. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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