10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day
When was the last time you read a book or a substantial magazine article? Do your daily reading habits center around tweets, Facebook updates, or the directions on your instant oatmeal packet?
If you’re one of the countless people who doesn’t make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out.
Reading has a significant number of benefits, and here’re 10 benefits of reading:
1. Mental Stimulation
Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of (or possibly even prevent) Alzheimer’s and Dementia, since keeping your brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power.
Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind. Doing puzzles and playing games such as chess have also been found to be helpful with cognitive stimulation.
2. Stress Reduction
No matter how much stress you have at work, in your personal relationships, or countless other issues faced in daily life, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story. A well-written novel can transport you to other realms, while an engaging article will distract you and keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax.
Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.
Additionally, here’s a bit of food for thought: should you ever find yourself in dire circumstances, remember that although you might lose everything else—your job, your possessions, your money, even your health—knowledge can never be taken from you.
4. Vocabulary Expansion
This goes with the above topic:
The more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and they’ll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary.
Being articulate and well-spoken is of great help in any profession, and knowing that you can speak to higher-ups with self-confidence can be an enormous boost to your self-esteem. It could even aid in your career, as those who are well-read, well-spoken, and knowledgeable on a variety of topics tend to get promotions more quickly (and more often) than those with smaller vocabularies and lack of awareness of literature, scientific breakthroughs, and global events.
Reading books is also vital for learning new languages, as non-native speakers gain exposure to words used in context, which will ameliorate their own speaking and writing fluency.
5. Memory Improvement
When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through every story. That’s a fair bit to remember, but brains are marvelous things and can remember these things with relative ease.
Amazingly enough, every new memory you create forges new synapses (brain pathways) and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods. How cool is that?
6. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills
Have you ever read an amazing mystery novel, and solved the mystery yourself before finishing the book? If so, you were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work by taking note of all the details provided and sorting them out to determine “whodunnit”.
That same ability to analyze details also comes in handy when it comes to critiquing the plot; determining whether it was a well-written piece if the characters were properly developed, if the storyline ran smoothly, etc.
Should you ever have an opportunity to discuss the book with others, you’ll be able to state your opinions clearly, as you’ve taken the time to really consider all the aspects involved.
7. Improved Focus and Concentration
In our internet-crazed world, attention is drawn in a million different directions at once as we multi-task through every day.
In a single 5-minute span, the average person will divide their time between working on a task, checking email, chatting with a couple of people (via chat, Skype, etc.), keeping an eye on Twitter, monitoring their smartphone, and interacting with co-workers. This type of ADD-like behavior causes stress levels to rise and lowers our productivity.
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing.
Try reading for 15-20 minutes before work (i.e. on your morning commute, if you take public transit), and you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you are once you get to the office.
Additional information: if you find staying focus hard and are trying to improve your focus, it’s possible you’ve been doing it wrong.
8. Better Writing Skills
This goes hand-in-hand with the expansion of your vocabulary:
Exposure to published, well-written work has a noted effect on one’s own writing, as observing the cadence, fluidity, and writing styles of other authors will invariably influence your own work.
In the same way that musicians influence one another and painters to use techniques established by previous masters, so do writers learn how to craft prose by reading the works of others.
In addition to the relaxation that accompanies reading a good book, it’s possible that the subject you read about can bring about immense inner peace and tranquility.
Reading spiritual texts can lower blood pressure and bring about an immense sense of calm while reading self-help books has been shown to help people suffering from certain mood disorders and mild mental illnesses.
10. Free Entertainment
Though many of us like to buy books so we can annotate them and dog-ear pages for future reference, they can be quite pricey.
For low-budget entertainment, you can visit your local library and bask in the glory of the countless tomes available there for free. Libraries have books on every subject imaginable, and since they rotate their stock and constantly get new books, you’ll never run out of reading materials.
If you happen to live in an area that doesn’t have a local library, or if you’re mobility-impaired and can’t get to one easily, most libraries have their books available in PDF or ePub format so you can read them on your e-reader, iPad, or your computer screen.
There are also many sources online where you can download free e-books, so go hunting for something new to read!
There’s a reading genre for every literate person on the planet, and whether your tastes lie in classical literature, poetry, fashion magazines, biographies, religious texts, young adult books, self-help guides, street lit, or romance novels, there’s something out there to capture your curiosity and imagination.
Step away from your computer for a little while, crack open a book, and replenish your soul for a little while.
Written By Lana Winter-Hébert
Life of a Lagos Single Sister (Endless Search)
Life of a Lagos Single Sister
Fast forward tertiary education and boom! Life happened! Like an unprepared Contestant at a beauty Pageant, you find yourself single and confused.
Everyone appears to be making it, while you barely exist. Everyone applauds your youth but that seems to be your only major achievement- young graduate.
‘You are young and bright. You have the energy, time and resources at your disposal. Give life your best…’- This and many more, they tell you but you are tired of such sermons.
You reach out to people, those you think can help but rather than highlight pointers for you, they make life a whole lot difficult-
‘Ah, my dear, this life is not easy o. You have to fight to win. Just keep doing the ‘right things’, I trust you. You’ll Make it.’
You are not too excited because that was not why you reached out in the first place.
Well, it is what it is. You try to be rational and explain away the responses you got. You tell yourself-
‘Uncle tszhhytbhytne probably has a lot on his mind. He is probably too busy. I shouldn’t blame him.’
You are back to your initial search and struggle for your life’s essence. You invest in your mental development and work yourself out.
You want to be self made – or so you think. You work, work and work some more.
It’s 10:00pm and you are still on your way home. It has become a daily routine. You are tired but you know you mustn’t give up. You reminisce on your days activities and you are not satisfied with all you had achieved.
You sigh, it’s another night. You promise yourself to push yourself harder the next day.
You close your eyes. You soak in your environment and breathe- You never cease to Breathe…
‘This too shall pass,
This too shall pass,
This too shall pass…’
This has become your life- Yes, you- the Lagos Single Sister…
Your love, now and always
Mercy Oluwafemi Adeniyi
All stories do come to an end.
And so has FIREBURST.
The 3 weeks long duel which kicked started with 16 writers have pulled the curtain with one champion emerging tops.
A hearty congrats to Mercy Adeniyi for an admirable performance.
We also congratulate all other participants
Coxson Ibinabo Benedicta, Sonia Ayisa, Amara Chidinma Ezediniru, Vicky Bon Uzuazor, Adebisi Temidayo, Innocent Chikweremundu, Mazi Chikelu Chino, Raphael Francis, Chinedu Nzere, Azubogu Ogochukwu, Ahanonu Christian, Adekunle Adeniyi, Ayomipo Ademilusi, Choolwe Writes.
You are all winners.
Gratitude to the impartial judges: Robert Cook(U.S.A), Gloria Ogo(NIGERIA), Ikechukwu Ndibe(NIGERIA)
Organicarticle is a platform that aims to promote education and the reading culture in Africa and Globally. it is an African story blog that accepts writers to display their writing skills too
THE FINAL DUEL
THE FINAL DUEL
For a battle which began with 16 players, today these two pen wielders will draw the curtain with the most rugged of all in the streets.
Let the best lady or man WIN with your votes
A 400-word story …based off the picture below and titled: Through her eyes
The RULES are easy
* Ensure to READ both stories
*Vote the one you think best interprets the picture.
Vote only ONE story
* No cajoling for votes. DO NOT influence public opinion.
* Feel free to LIKE, SHARE & TAG
Through Her Eyes…
‘You are despicable, devilish and I curse the day I met you!. I’ve known no peace ever since you came into my life! It’s trouble today and unrest tomorrow! I pray you rot in hell because that’s where the likes of you deserve to live for the rest of your miserable life!.’
He stormed out of the room, angry.
If only he knew why his wife acted the way she did. But how would he? How could anyone see Jasmine for who she was? Everyone was eager to judge but no one was willing to wear the shoes of another.
It is he who wears the shoes that know where it hurts the most. They didn’t care to know and the more she tried to show them, the more they caused her to drown. She had to leave. She picked a few things in the house and walked away from everything she hangs on to for strength. She had to let go…
Jade couldn’t believe his eyes when he got back home. Jasmine left the house with no message or notice of her whereabouts. This lady had messed up his life already, why did she want to hurt him again this night by leaving without a word as to where? Well, she’ll come back to her senses and come back home.
Three days and nothing was heard from Jasmine, she didn’t come back. Jade began to lose it. The police got involved and the search for Jasmine began.
Jade regretted his actions. He had constantly abused his wife emotionally. He thought to exert himself and showing her he was the boss was making a statement as the head of the home. For five years, he berated his wife – the supposed love of his life. Over time, he became the god in the home, while she was nothing but an object- a piece of property. But now, things were changing and he was willing to trade anything just to have her back.
On the fourth day of the search, he was arranging Jasmine’s room when he stumbled on a collection of books – Jasmine’s diary. His discovery was going to change his perspective and he was going to regret treating his wife the way he did.
He saw what life was for his wife for the very first time through her diary.
The discovery killed him…
Through Her Eyes…
1. In your face, I see an epiphany, though the wrinkles are deep. In your eyes that were once a dome of exuberant flashes, are flickers; they fly and flounder. Because they have seen the colour of broken dreams; because they know the bite of salted tears.
You are Mama, whenever I become afraid, I raise a lamp to your face and through your aged eyes, I see love.
2. ‘Nwanyi Crayfish!’
It made me cringe. To know that you would return every day with the smell of crayfish filling the little spaces of our impoverished room. It filled me with dread to hear my teacher say, ‘Nnanna, your mother is coming.’
And I carried this shame to the university. The day you came knocking at Lemon lodge, probably with ukwa and Mangala (my favourite). I took the other door and left you in the rain. Because I was afraid that my mates would know, that the boy who wore elegant suits and spoke impeccable English was the ordinary son of an ordinary crayfish seller.
3. ‘Everyday one wrapper, tufiakwa’
I never knew how deep those words cut you but I said them. I remember. I remember that you stood still for a minute and then ran into the house. I thought you went for a cane or something until I heard your cry, loud and spasmodic—the ululation of bitterness; it must have felt like losing a child.
4. ‘If papa was here’
I wish you had called me a fool the night I opened my shit eating mouth to say that. I was foolish not to see that you were the gentle river that ran deep.
I spent my eighteenth birthday inside the cell of CPS Onitsha.
I was in a cramped room, with other boys who smoked marijuana and some others who rolled dice for money. They came and bundled us into their Black Maria. I thought I would die.
But Mama came. They said that you made a bed with your wrapper and cried like a mad woman. They said that you rolled in the dirt and would go nowhere. They said that you were screaming, ‘I am a widow! He is the only thing I have left.’
So they let me go. That night you nursed my bruises with a piece of cloth and hot water. And I slept in your arms like a day old.
In your face, I see a web of silver yarns. Your skin is hanging loose and your back is bent. What is left of your gaunt frame is a bunch of bones stuck in an ebbing flesh.
But you are no longer the woman I despised. When I look through your eyes, the only thing I see is the spirit of a kindred, warm and luminous; full of the love that will remain long after you are gone.
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