The impact of Books

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Benefits of being a Bookworm

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”. Even Cicero knew about the importance of books and how they affect us in a positive way. Especially nowadays, statements like this acquire greater significance as they did before Christ. As well as other parts of the body, the mind has to be trained regularly to remain fit and to ensure its efficiency. But for most of us books fall into oblivion after having finished school, so we leave the boring readings behind. And rather than grabbing an interesting book we solely skim the shortnews in the newspaper or on the internet. Instead of demanding our brain and therefore promoting it we entertain ourselves mostly with technical devices. The consequences are fatal, not only for the individual, but for the society as a whole. Are books that important for the human race? What can we do about it? How can we do it?

Well known are the facts that books are an opportunity to drag yourself out of your stressful everyday life and thus open the door to foreign worlds. Books can also cheer you up, distract and motivate you to see things differently. Your perspectives change as you read word by word being strung together while unfolding their magic. That power not only affects us intellectually, but can also touch us in a life changing way that only novels can. May it just be for a few hours. Another advantage of reading books is the benefit of improving our imagination and creativity. Contrary to the cinema, the reader can picture his own images to the text without any boundaries. Furthermore, books enlarge our horizon since it is the cheapest way to travel. There are several stories giving you an insight into the lives, thoughts and working habits of others. Also you can learn more about other countries and their cultures and traditions. To put it in a nutshell, readers are allowed to think outside the box.

Why everyone should read more books...

Of course there are quite a few studies in how far books have an impact on us and even our whole lives. The most interesting study is one made over 12 years by the Yale University. At the beginning of the study the participants were at least 50 years old. They were divided into three groups: non-reader, reader (at least 3,5h per week) and frequent readers (more than 3,5h per week). At the end of the study the scientists wanted to know how many of them were still alive, but in order to ensure a clear result, they had to count out some factors. This included factors like income, their standard of living, age, relationship status and their educational attainment. Finally, the results showed that those people being in the group of readers had an 17% and the group of the frequent readers even a 23% higher life expectancy than the non-readers. This meant that in average, bookworms lived two years longer than people who did not read. This however, only refers to reading books, not to reading newspapers. This is due to the fact that we cannot fall into the so-called “deep-reading” phase. When reading books, our brain has to think in a critical way in order to create references from one chapter to the other, as well as to the reality. While doing so, the brain builds connections between all four cerebral lobes and the two cerebral hemispheres. Over time this neural networks promote faster thinking and it is able to protect itself from negative repercussions from cognitive decay. Particularly belletristic books increase our empathy and emotional intelligence whereas reading crime fictions improves the analytic skills. A study from 2013 found out that after a week, participants who read 1-2 chapters had distinctly more empathy than people who only read the newspaper.

Tips on how to make reading more enjoyable

In fact, you could say that the time you spend reading books is going to be credited to your lifespan, but of course this statement is a little too optimistic. Nevertheless, reading on a regular basis can help improve and expand a few skills and characteristics of yours, hence becoming a better version of yourself. With all this knowledge about the benefits of books are there even any doubts left which hold you back from reading? Do not worry we have got some guidelines with which maybe even people with an aversion against reading get involved.

A room without books is like a body without a soul.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
  1. What are your interests? First of all, you have to find out which genre you prefer. There are tons of books and they are not only about love, crime or fantasy worlds. Maybe you like to read about psychology or philosophy? Or self-help books on how to become one with yourself or how to become a badass business person?
  2. Books or E-reader? Even if we prefer the good old book, you can choose whether you would rather want to use an E-reader. Undoubtedly E-reader are more practical for the fact that you have all books in one little device, however for some of us, classical books are irreplaceable
  3. Find your rhythm: Particularly in times with digitalization and social media, we easily get seduced, just binge watching the next season of Stranger Things on Netflix or scrolling through Instagram. Who would come up with the idea of grabbing a book and torture themselves to read? Do not pressure yourself, just read as long as you like. Even 30 minutes are worth it, after that you can still reward yourself with an episode of your favorite series. Maybe even a couple more…

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