With all the technology available in smartphones, tablets, TVs and even watches, finding a book of your preference is now something easy. With a few taps and clicks on your electronic device, you can find an infinite number of books. On the other hand, with all the social media and busy work lives we all have, finding a moment to sit down and enjoy a book seems a bit odd. But why is it so important to keep this habit?

For some people, reading comes down to checking and answering emails and messages. But that, my dear friend, doesn’t count.

I remember being a big reader when I was a kid. I used to spend part of my afternoons reading comic books with my mom, grandma or great-grandma. That small memory of those books changed my view of life; they opened my mind in many ways. The habit of reading allows you to transfer yourself to another place; besides giving you a break from your day, it puts you inside a story that affects your life positively. Here are some reasons that will make you change your mind about wasting time reading.

* It improves and develops your vocabulary

Beginning a conversation with someone, it’s important to have some knowledge about a topic. When I first got to the U.S., starting a conversation was hard and crazy. I’m from Brazil and Portuguese is very different from English. What did I do? I read until I felt comfortable talking with people. It is still hard, but it’s a little easier now. I don’t have as many embarrassing moments as I did at the start. To get to that level of comfort, you must read the news or literary books. Reading regularly will also expand your vocabulary and give you a foundation for better communication.

* It expands your creativity

When you read a book, you automatically visualize the scene from how it’s being described in words. This process makes you exercise your imagination and creativity. Unlike with television, which gives you the visual environment without you having to think, when you’re reading a written description of an event or place, you are the one responsible for creating the scene.

* Makes you more patient and exercises your brain

With all the overwhelming online content out there, taking time to concentrate on one single article is hard. However, when you practice your reading, you’re also expanding your patience. It’s hard but it’s worth it, because it will make you a better person in many ways. And at the same time, you’re also exercising your brain. The silence of reading allows you to directly connect with your brain in a clearer and more focused way. Who wouldn’t like to be more patient and intelligent?

* Makes you more interesting for people

When you read, you have a foundation for a conversation with anyone. With that foundation, you become, to most people, somebody with intelligence. Once you reach that, you push yourself to learn more and more. It’s like a vicious cycle and, you know… a great way to flirt.

After knowing all of this, how can you become a better reader? Practice! If you don’t read at all, start with shorter books with stories that could potentially be of interest for you. Set up time (5 to 10 minutes during meals or before bed) and follow that schedule regularly. Also set up a determined time to finish the book and try to be faithful to that. When you finish, get another book. Take more than one book to read at the same time. Reading several books at once is another fun option. It takes time, but with practice you can become an encyclopedia. Open your pages and bonne chance!

– Article by Flavia Motta for The Untitled Magazine

Flavia Motta

Brazilian, journalist. Experience in magazine, website, politics and TV. Portuguese native and english, spanish and french speaker.

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