Some say reading is overrated. There are so many sources of information that don’t require extensive reading these days, like informative videos, slide shows, short articles — so why bother to read a 200-page book? We cannot stress enough how important reading still is for a growing mind (or for an adult one!). Whether it’s a hard copy, or an e-book, do not give up on reading, or encouraging your kids to read. And here is why:
1. Developing comprehension skills
Reading a lengthy story, with a solid and maybe convoluted plot, or long passages loaded with details, helps develop comprehension skills. If you can handle a 10-page chapter, and are able to summarize it, extract relevant information and so on, imagine how well you will do on those hefty SAT problems, which contain so much information!
2. Strengthen language skills
Regular reading will help you acquire great verbal skills. Your dialogue will get better, you’ll be able to use expressions at ease, speak fluently and coherently. A flowing speech impresses anyone, and knowing that you are a good speaker will boost your confidence in the classroom, extra curricular activities, college interviews or future job interviews.
3. Become more creative
A good story will always stay with you and you will remember funny, or interesting details that you will find yourself re-using in other areas of your life. Reading helps develop a rich imagination, which can facilitate story, essay or creative writing. Some classic writers like Jules Verne had such a rich imagination that they envisioned devices or predicted technologies a couple of hundred ahead of time, which only today humans can enjoy.
4. Enrich your vocabulary
A solid vocabulary is key to performing well at all writing tests. Instead of memorizing sheets of new words and their definitions, try learning new words within the context of a book. When you come across a word you don’t know circle it and guess what it could mean based on what you’re reading and then look it up in the dictionary to make sure you’re right. Learning and remembering new words in this manner is so much easier than trying to stuff your mind with random new words.
5. Simply learn new stuff
Reading helps you learn new things. Yes, you can also watch a documentary, but don’t underestimate the value of reading first. For example begin by reading about the Amazonian forest, its unusual plants and animals, building all of that in your mind, and then actually try to see it. We guarantee that whatever you imagined first through reading surpasses the documentary. And this will make learning stay with you for a lifetime.
Now, have some fun at your local library, or pay a visit to a Barnes & Noble and enjoy some good ol’ fashion reading!