A love for reading influences every single part of your life. Reading is not an isolated act, it will provide sweeping positive changes in your life. I don’t think I fully appreciated that fact until I stopped reading and then picked it back up again. Now, I can recognize how much better my life is for having a consistent reading schedule. I have noticed multiple ways reading is positively influencing me and maybe it can enrich your life, as well.
I have recently begun meditating and I find it really difficult to concentrate just sitting down with my eyes closed. I began meditating because I’m constantly overthinking and I often find myself stressed. I attempt meditation for the purpose of silencing my thoughts and being more focused. Now that I have finished my first novel of 2021, I realize the reason why I never felt the need to mediate until recently was because the I previously used to attain that feeling of silence and focus by reading. Reading is like an entertaining type of meditation.
When you read you are exercising your empathy muscles. You are in the shoes of the main character, feeling what they’re feeling, experiencing their experiences. You are in a new environment, seeing things from the point of view of the protagonist, and this allows you the freedom to actively and intimately participate in another life through their values and experiences in a way that doesn’t impose on you. This practice in empathy is an important part of why it’s important that young children read.
Reading requires a lot of imagination. You have to be able to create the scenes of the book in your mind and carry yourself through the journey of the protagonist. It unleashes creative abilities in developing a mental diorama for the novel. It also helps when the author is particularly descriptive.
Along the same vein on my points about imagination and empathy, reading requires outside of your box thinking. Different books can inspire and encourage idea flows that maybe would have never crossed your mind before. For example, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake allowed me the opportunity to think more deeply about the role of science in solving climate change and the ethical considerations of tampering with parts of nature we don’t understand, something I probably would have never thought of before.
I hope all these points inspire you to pick up a book today, I know I will. Please leave a comment below detailing how reading has positively effected your life.