When is the last time you sat down and actually read a book? If you’re like me, I went years without doing any reading purely for pleasure. I spent a lot of time reading nonfiction or doing research, but that was for work. Since I left my day job and started my own business, things have surely changed.
Reading is an activity loved by millions. Yet there are those who have yet to discover the true joys and benefits of indulging in a great book. Maybe, like me, they just didn’t have the time, or maybe, like many I know they put down their last book when they finished school and never picked another book up again. Whichever group you’re in, it never hurts to be reminded just how wonderful the written word can be!
Here are some benefits reading brings:
Travel to exotic places. Maybe one of your life’s desires is to travel more but you’ve struggled in making it happen.
No worries – just pick up a book that tells about visiting various countries. Eat, Pray, Love is a fantastic example of how to “travel” from your armchair and fulfill your dreams.
Learn about obscure subjects. Although you may not plan to learn about unusual subjects, reading can actually help you discover topics that pique your interests and motivate you to dig further into a subject.
Expand your mind about how others live. For many, their own culture is the extent of their sociological knowledge. However, there’s a whole world of people out there who think, behave and live differently from you. Wouldn’t it be fascinating and mind opening to discover how others live?
Reading has the capacity to introduce you to people from all the cultures in the world and all walks of life. Books like Princess: A True Story of Life behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia or The Joy Luck Club do just that.
Re-consider an opinion. Even though you might be a person whom others see as set in your ways or strongly opinionated, one joy of reading is that you’re able to really learn the underpinnings of either side of an argument. The plus is you can do this on your own, without having to defend your ideas in any way. Books don’t argue back!
Exposing yourself to another perspective you haven’t thoroughly pondered and learning how others present their cases is a surprising benefit reading can bring to you. Stories have a way of putting you into the shoes of another.
Recognize the humanity in others. Whether the stories you read are true or fictional, a special joy of reading is that you can better see and relate to the humanness of others.
Reading about a secret mistake someone made or a tribulation that someone weathered illustrates how we’re all connected in ways we may not have considered. It can also be affirming to know that others are going through things you may not want to discuss with others.
Use reading to relax. The serenity of reading may be matched only by activities like yoga or meditation. If you want to relax and experience serenity, try picking up a book. Reading the right book before bed is a great way to get settled and ready for a good night’s sleep.
Although not every type of book will help with this, find those that tap into that mood for you. A favored author or a series you love just might bring you a little closer to bliss.
Find your peace. When the world gets loud and crazy and you’re not sure what to do, seek out your corner chair and grab a magazine. Whether you’re looking at Architectural Digest, House Beautiful or some other easy-to-flip-through journal, seek your much needed serenity through reading.
Calm your mind. Life can be pretty tumultuous. Your mind’s sense of calm can be disrupted. But if you use reading as an outlet, you’ll be able to find your balance and return to a more serene place.
Reading books or poems that center on nature will help you find a calm center.
Disassociate from life’s turmoil. Reading can be life’s sweet escape, at least for a couple of hours. Regardless of the turmoil and chaos that may cross your path, you can re-focus your energies on reading an engaging book that’s full of adventure or laughter.
Reading rejuvenates, regardless of your situation. When you open a book, you open your life to endless possibilities for joy and serenity. Life will be more satisfying than you’ve ever imagined. What are you going to read next?
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.