3 Reasons Why I’m Reading More This Year
One of my goals for 2016 is to read 30 books over the course of the year. I actually really enjoy reading, but making this goal will force me to read more often, more habitually. Why is this goal important to me? Here are three reasons why I think reading more books is a worthwhile investment of my time:
Learning & Knowledge
One big source of knowledge and new information for me is articles online. While the internet has given us vast resources for learning (which I take advantage of), the internet can also be a noisy, crowded, and frenetic place. The value of learning new information, new skills, or new ways of thinking from a good old-fashioned book is often neglected and forgotten. Books can give us a more detailed, comprehensive, and fully-developed look at a topic, not to mention they give us a much better ‘environment’ for absorbing the information. Sometimes we just need a long, slowly-building way to work through our thoughts, and books do this very well.
While learning new things is a huge part of reading books, I also really love reading fiction, which doesn’t necessarily teach me new things. Why is fiction worthwhile? Fiction, for me, is a bit of an escape — a way to let my brain wander and unwind, to be immersed in a great story. It’s not that fiction can’t teach valuable things, stories are powerful and really stick with us, but there’s also just something really relaxing about sitting down with a hot drink and enjoying a beautifully-crafted story. In my opinion, this method of relaxing and unwinding is superior to watching TV for hours.
I remember reading an article sometime in the past few months that explained how reading more fiction can increase your emotional health. This was not just in a ‘feel good’ or clinical sort of way, but in things like increasing your empathy and compassion, in helping you to value people more, and in seeing the world in a more positive light, outside of your own circumstances. As mentioned in the last section, this is one of the ‘powers’ of stories — they really can teach us and grow us in important ways.
Of course there are many more benefits of reading to be found, but these are the three big ones for me. At the time of this writing, I’ve actually already read 8 books for this year.
Do you have any reading goals? Any other big reasons you love to read?