Reading books boosts our knowledge but not only that. Books also entertain and relax our minds when we leave the hustle and bustle of our usual lives to enter virtual worlds of our favorite authors. Reading a well written book will help our own English skills which are of great importance today.
With better English skills we pass more exams, improve our important written papers, write more respectable letters and emails to influential people. Better English skills can help us gain better employment and gain the respect of peers and employers.
Reading for entertainment can ignite our senses as we become co creators of the scene playing out on paper. A study on brain benefits by reading regular fiction books was conducted at Emory University. The study titled, “Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain,” was recently published in the journal Brain Connectivity.
The study found that when reading novels the reader puts him or herself in the shoes of different characters creating empathy. Importantly, from a physical viewpoint, the researchers, interestingly found that
‘becoming engrossed in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function.’
Furthermore the Psychology Today’s article claims: the changes caused by reading a novel were,
‘registered in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language, as well as the primary sensorimotor region of the brain.
A good example is if we are thinking about playing soccer those thoughts can activate the neurons associated with physically playing soccer.
In today’s society there are many distractions for children – perhaps more than ever before.
According to Psychology Today Surprisingly, ‘42% of college graduates will never read a book again after graduating college.’
The report also cites: ‘Nearly 33% of American children live in a household where the television is on all or most of the time. Children between the ages 8-18 years old watch an average of three hours of television a day. On average, 61% of children under 2 use some type of screen technology and 43% watch television every day.’
Novels come in many varied genres. Lets look at a few of these that bring entertainment to so many people.
Books can inspire, educate and bring history to life. The Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, awarded by the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) awards the best crime novel set in a historical setting. The benefit of reading winning novels of this award is we are entertained and also we learn about the historical eras due to clever description and themes that form the plots.
A celebrated winner of the Historical Dagger award is C.J Sansom. Sansom came to fame with the Shardlake series,
which is a historical mystery series set in the reign of Henry VIII in the 16 th century.
Romance novels transport people from perhaps the hum drum of normal lives to fantasy worlds of passion. The massive sales of modern romance titles inform us of how many people enjoy this type of escape.
According to Writers Online, ‘Romance fiction is a billion-dollar genre, with estimated sales peaking five years ago
at $1.08 billion and $1.44 billion including self-published titles. As reported by Nielsen Book Scan, romance had a 34% share of the US fiction market in 2015.’
You may have heard many times that ‘the TV version isn’t as good as the book’? This is because despite all of the best special affects TV cannot improve on our own imaginations.
Books have played a key role in educating people down the ages, as a medium for great philosophers, theorists,
historians and politicians. If it were not for books we wouldn’t have information passed down to us from greats such as Sir Isaac Newton, great astronomers like Galileo Galilei who in 1610 first discovered Jupiter’s moons.
The power of books unfortunately has not always been used for the good of humanity. Adolf Hitler, on his march to becoming the Fuhrer adopted a policy to burn any foreign books which he accused of blinding the German people.
According to U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum ‘ The book burnings took place in 34 university towns and cities. Works of prominent Jewish, liberal, and leftist writers ended up in the bonfires. The book burnings stood as a powerful symbol of Nazi intolerance and censorship.’
That said, thankfully, the history of reading provides us with wonderful entertainment, historical lessons, educations, self help information and technological advancement lessons. Notwithstanding those benefits, reading books can enlighten our knowledge of cultures, the arts, travel, medicine, right from wrong, ecological issues and themes of posterity where we remember our family and forbears.
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. – Oscar Wilde
Thank you, for listening to my speech and I will leave you with the sage words of founding Father Abraham Lincoln:
Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.
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I am the author of the animal, fantasy novel, The Zambezi Allies as featured on Amazon. All profits of the book are going to the World Wild Life Fund. Please buy it and support conservation.