We’ve all heard the saying “Reading is Fundamental” and here are reasons why you should try it more often…

#1 Reading can help you get better sleep

Reading a book is one of the most effective ways to calm your mind and help you sleep. The bright lights of electronics have been found to signal to the brain that it’s time to wake up. Reading a book under a dim light has the opposite effect - putting your brain to rest.

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#2 Reading makes you a better writer

If you read then you’re inadvertently a thief, but it’s not your fault. The University of California discovered that when you read an amazing book, the writing skills of the author inadvertently rub off onto you. Just as listening to music can affect a musician’s style, reading a book can affect your writing style.

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#3 Self-help books have been proven to ease depression

For those looking for a brighter side during a dark time, self-help books are not all the scheming or exploitative works that they’re made out to be. They’re actually scientifically proven to help combat depression at all stages. After a year of reading books, the participants in one study were less depressed than those who received typical medical treatments.

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#4 Readers are more open-minded

A study published in the Creativity Research Journal concluded that participants who had just read a short story had less need for “cognitive closure” and were more comfortable with ambiguity and alternate interpretations. In short, readers see that it’s okay to be uncertain about how the world works.

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#5 People who read are more cultured and accepting

A study by the National Endowment for the Arts found that those who read are more likely to engage with all forms culture. If you read, you’re also more likely to accept and participate in different cultures. Who doesn’t want to be more interesting?

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#6 Reading makes learning languages easier

Studies have found that people who read regularly produce more white matter in the brain, a tissue vital in learning, especially in learning languages.

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#7 Reading a novel increases brain function for days

Research from Emory University has found that reading a book can increase connectivity in the brain which makes neurological changes that act like muscle memory. Books not only put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense, but also in a biological sense.

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#8 Regular readers have a better memory and are smarter

Whenever you read a book, you create a new memory, and you exercise your brain. Whenever your brain is exercised, the organ creates new synapses which help keep your memory sharp -- allowing for more information to be retained. That means that after getting through the Game of Thrones books, you’ll probably have the memory of seven elephants.

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#9 Reading expands your vocabulary

When staff at Rhode Island Hospital compared the “receptive” vocabulary (the number of words that a person understands) of two groups of eight month olds, they found a 40% increase in the group that had been read to as babies. Those who had not been read to only saw a 16% rise. The same vocabulary increase can be seen in adults who read.

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#10 Reading makes you more empathetic

If you read, you are likely to better empathize with the struggles of others. A study showed that losing yourself in a work of fiction can increase empathy and emotionally transport you into the position of another person. The emotional intelligence easily translates to your real world non-fiction relationships.

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#11 Readers are more creative

When educators at the Obafemi Awolowo University incorporated education-themed comics into primary school classrooms, they noticed that the mixture of words and pictures actually nurtured a healthy sense of creativity. This creativity proved vital in the children’s increased problem solving skills in the future.

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#12 Parents and children who read together have better relationships

Reading stories to young children is an intimate experience for both parties. Psychologists believe that it creates a special long-term bond, which beats watching television or any other alternative bonding experiences hands down.

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#13 Readers are more likely to improve the world they live in

As well as improving your own life, being a reader can improve the lives of those around you. Active readers are three times as likely to do charity work and volunteer than those who don’t read on a regular basis. Reading offers a way to learn about those who are worse off than us, and it encourages us to lend a hand

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#14 Readers are more physically fit

Reading nuts are more likely to exercise than those who don’t read on a regular basis. They spend far more time in the gym and when they do exercise, they do so for longer.

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#15 Reading reduces stress

Do you take a walk or listen to music to chill out? The University of Sussex thinks that you should consider reading instead. In tests, reading was the most effective way that participants were able to defeat stress, doing so in only six minutes.

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#16 Readers have clearer life goals

As well as helping you meet the love of your life, reading about someone who has overcome obstacles in life can encourage you to follow suit. Ohio State University found that the more you identify with a character, the more likely you are to also take action in your own life.

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#17 Reading helps to rehabilitate criminals

One study found that inmates who completed literacy courses behind bars were 30% less likely to commit crimes after release. In Brazil, some inmates are offered sentence reductions for reading books and writing reports.

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#18 Reading makes you more attractive

A study recently confirmed the belief that being (or appearing) smart makes you more attractive to others. In fact, it’s one of the sexiest traits in the eyes of a majority of women.

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#19 Readers are far more likely to be financially stable

Among adults with the lowest level of reading skills, 43% live in poverty. Readers with the strongest literacy skills are far less likely to live in poverty, with only 4% living below the poverty line.

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#20 Young readers who read for pleasure do better at school

One study confirmed that children who read for pleasure do far better at school. Readers not only made more progress in vocabulary and spelling but also math.

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#21 Reading is just as therapeutic as listening to music or watching movies

If you’re going through a difficult time, reading is the perfect way to relive past experiences and gain new perspectives. The American University believes that characters who are having similar issues to the reader can offer insight into peoples’ lives. You and your favorite characters can ultimately work through life together.

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#22 Readers are better listeners

Listening skills are vital in many aspects of life, from relationships to academia. Reading was found to increase listening skills by making it easier to absorb vocabulary and grammar. This was especially the case when words were spoken out loud instead of silently. Just make sure to avoid the library while putting this one into practice.

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#23 Reading can help prevent Alzheimer's and Dementia

Increased brain function is also useful for other things -- various studies have shown that adults who engage in hobbies that stimulate the brain, such as reading, are less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease. The brain is an organ like any other and just as exercise strengthens the heart, reading strengthens the brain.

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