September 30, 2020

Growing up we’re told by parents, grandparents and teachers that reading is important; that it improves our minds. I think in this day and age reading is more important than ever.
However, I can’t help but notice kids and teenagers these days are always on their cellphones and social media websites. Reading is the last thing on their minds. I think it’s very important that parents teach their kids how necessary reading is and the benefits that come from it.
Anne E. Cunningham, an associate professor at the University of California, wrote a paper called What Reading Does for the Mind. During her research she found that reading in general makes you smarter and keeps your mind sharp as you age. It also improves your analytical skills, including being able to spot patterns faster.
These aren’t the only benefits though. Cunningham also found reading can also reduce stress. When people read, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, their mind shifts into a different gear so they aren’t focused on what’s stressing them, but rather what is going on in the book.
One of the most obvious ways reading helps us is by increasing our vocabulary. Reading forces us to focus on words we might not have ever heard of before. If someone wants to be a writer, increasing your vocabulary is crucial.
Reading can also be fun. If you’re immersed in a fiction book you can use your imagination to picture what the characters and scenes look like. For each book you read, you live in a world much different than our own.
American screenwriter and author, George R.R. Martin, once said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
That quote is from one of Martin’s books, A Dance With Dragons from his series A Song of Ice and Fire, and couldn’t be more true.