Why should people read books? Every person who has ever fallen in love with a book shall answer that particular question differently.
There is just something incredibly satisfying about feeling the crispness of paper and ink beneath your fingers, a cup of warm tea in your hand, while soft music plays in the background. Sitting in quiet cafés with a your favourite coffee in hand ( with a spelling that doesn’t resemble your name at all). Lurking in libraries, hiding books or kindle readers beneath schoolbooks.
Bibliophiles everywhere cannot help themselves from reaching out for one more (no matter that there are already dozens of books sitting unread in their bookshelves). Today these bookworms have come together to form book clubs and pretty bookstagram pages (Instagram, but for bookworms, in case you live under a rock and don’t know).
Bookstagram is serious business, with brands racing to sell bookish merch (hello there people of various fandoms!): candles, , socks, bookmarks, pendants and wands (yes, Potterheads, we know how ecstatic you are).
Well then, what drives them? Why do they keep coming back? While it’s different for everyone, one thing is quite certain: books are addictive (a far more noble addiction, really). It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of a good book cannot resist another. And another.
And yet there exist those, (quite strange to the eyes of a bibliophile, really), that fail to understand the importance of reading. While it is impossible for everyone to love reading with an unparalleled zeal, it is also true that reading is a necessary habit. Quite indispensable for anyone who wishes to grow as an individual.
Reading is necessary for everyone – yes it indeed is necessary. It is not something that you can do away with if you want to be better. Reading books other than those prescribed by your school is important for holistic development. It encourages curiosity, smartens you up, helps shape a personality, gives comfort when needed and enhances your empathy. There is no limit to what regular book reading can achieve – the only cons that anyone can come up with is probably the added use of spectacles.
Well, fear not. Here are some reasons compiled as to why people should read books. Let’s hope that these arguments succeed in convincing you.
1. Why should people read books? Knowledge, duh!
The most obvious reason as to why should people read books is gaining knowledge. To devour books means to add that little extra piece of information to your brain. Non fiction and fiction – both help you understand the world just a little bit better. Reading enables a person to develop a personality that is intellectual, understanding and helps erase ignorance. If this doesn’t convince you – then Elon Musk will. He was an avid reader in his childhood which shaped his imagination and helped him as an innovator. There is no end to the knowledge that you can receive from reading books people. Believe the billionaire, if you don’t believe this.
2. Reading develops empathy.
With the recent news bombarding media both social and otherwise, people have been scrambling to read more about black authors. Reading develops empathy. It helps discard ideas that have become obsolete or which norms that have been instilled within you. Reading helps empathize with those that you normally wouldn’t think of in your daily life. Why should people read books? To develop empathy towards the Have Nots of society, the lower social strata, the marginalized section and those without voices. It helps discard myths about the LGBT, people of colour, other religions, race and caste.
When life gives you lemons, make lemon tea – that you can enjoy whilst reading. There are few things that give as much pleasure as curling up with your favourite book and losing yourself amidst its multitude of characters. Reading more lets you forget your worries, even if for a little while. Especially now during the pandemic, people have been turning towards books more than they usually would. This is why people should read books: to escape the mundaneness of life.
4. Better skills
Way before there were online classes and apps helping people, there were books. Communication skills, cooking 101, how to make better friends, how to deal with stupid bosses : every topic under the sun can be found as a book to help you upskill. Reading is one sure way to gain a new skill, and it doesn’t require the internet or a gadget (boomers swear by this!). If you have a lot of time on your hands, why not learn a new skill?
5. Wild, wild imagination
One reason why people should read books is that reading helps boost imagination. Imagination plays an important in developing creativity, and to the generation of ideas. That’s why teachers all over the world usually try their best to help children imagine differently, creatively. When you read, you don’t have an accompanying visual aid. The characters and the world inside your head is yours alone.
6. Reasoning power
This is one important reason why people should read books : the power to reason. You find yourself questioning the motives of characters, trying to find the reason behind their actions. Some books force you to see reasons where there existed none. That is how people have always improved their thinking, their ideologies.
7. Awesome personality!
Reading gives joy – and a personality that turns heads. Chances are, that you are a more vibrant, colourful and understanding person because of the books that have helped shape your personality. They help with forming ideologies, unconventional ideas, difference of opinions and the power to imagine, and therefore to create. This is perhaps one of the most important reasons why people should read books – and encourage their children to read more.
8. Reduces Loneliness
Why should people read books? Well, how else will they deal with crippling loneliness? Books are the perfect companions, and they don’t desert you. Ever. (Unless of course, certain rats think they’re rat food and nibble on some pages. Or you accidentally lose one – maybe while reading in the subway.) The world seems to be increasing in population, decreasing in size – everyone is a mere click away. And yet there is no cure to this loneliness that affects everyone. Especially now, the pandemic has given more reasons as to why should people read books.
9. Vocabulary booster
Why should people read books? To increase the extent of their vocabulary of course (and to use complex words when even simple ones could do). For those suffering from a lack of appropriate diction – books are the way to go. It has been found that readers are more likely to use better words than non readers. Books are the easiest way to teach you the usage of particular word.
10. Grammar Nazi builder
Working on those grammar books is never a bad way to learn grammar. However, the best way has to be via books. One reason why people should read books is to learn the rules that govern a language – grammar. Reading more helps as a natural spell checker and also checks your grammar. If you want to be the only kind of potentially less harmful, weapon free Nazi then book reading is the way to go.
11. Improves Writing
Yes, that is yet another reason why people should read books – to brush up their writing skills. If you’re a budding writer, then be rest assured that your improvement lies in expanding the limits of your reading materials. Books of all kind (including the non fiction bow to be a better writer 101) help develop a sense of style that you can call your own. Several authors have been inspired by the classics to embark upon an adventure in the field. Several others, including the Bard himself borrowed heavily from other books. If you’re an aspiring author/ poet – you know what to do now!
12. Curioser and Curioser!
A regular reading habit develops curiosity which is always necessary to keep exploring in life. An important reason as to why should people read books is to develop their curiosity about things, about universe and never stop questioning. Children are more prone to ask the questions as they begin exploring the world and its complexities. But that stops when faced with an education system that is filled with several loopholes. Regular reading helps to keep the spark alive.
13. Stress buster!
Reading reduces stress. For those who want to get away from the hustle of life, one good book is the way to peace. Many people therefore prefer reading just before they go off to sleep as it brings a sense of calm. Anyone who’s having trouble sleeping, go light up a sweet smelling candle, grab a glass of warm milk and get away to Wonderland. There can be no easier way to let the events of the day dissipate into nothing.
There are innumerable people in the world who can say that book reading is what inspired them in lives. Books literally have the power to transform – both you and your world. Why should people read books? To find the inspiration to change, to let themselves be changed by the words of another. Words can bring change. How else could we dispel the ideas of racism, casteism and other social evils that have been propagated?
15. Better conversation skills!
One reason why should people read books – is to improve their conversation skills. Having a good grasp on a language is more important than those spoken English classes. For that, one must always rely on the power of books – and good books at that. It helps us to form sentences, especially if one is bilingual and some language (in most cases, English) is not their first language or mother language.
If you’re an introvert or an ambivert who struggles to communicate, reading is the key. It is is not necessary to read self help books on communication, however. This is because anyone who has a regular reading habit automatically improves the way they make sentences in their mind before speaking.
You now know every possible reason as to why should people read books. Now what?
Reading is a habit that comes naturally to some and is an acquired taste for others. There are those that are quite addicted to the fluttering of pages and swiping on screens. On the other hand, many find it quite difficult to concentrate through one small chapter.
Well, the key is to start slow. It is understandable that it may be difficult to concentrate. That doesn’t negate the importance of why should people read books, however. You must still pursue reading – by maybe beginning with an article. Newspapers. Easy to read short stories. Gradually, it will become a habit.
You can also begin with getting a Goodreads account. That will not only help you to keep a tab on the number of books you read, but you also get to locate other book lovers. For those struggling with money, there are several dubious sites that let you read for free. Also, there are several free eBooks available online. Sites like Gutenberg let you download classics for free! You can start with eBooks or audiobooks (like Audible by Amazon or Storytel) – or begin reading the good -fashioned way!
Stick to your routine for 21 days – then who knows, maybe once you get started, you maybe reasoning with others as to why people should read books.