Reading is Fun(damental)
Reading is one of the most important things you can do to help you in English. You've most likely heard your teaching telling you that there are numerous benefits to reading, so what are they?
1. To Develop Your Verbal Abilities
Although reading alone doesn’t always make you a better communicator, those who read tend to have a more varied range of words to express how they feel and to get their point across.
2. Improves Your Focus and Concentration
While reading blog posts and news articles can be helpful, sitting down with a book takes long periods of focus and concentration. Being fully engaged in a book involves closing off the outside world and immersing yourself into the text, which over time will strengthen your attention span.
3. Readers Enjoy The Arts and Improve The World
Studies show that people who read for pleasure are more likely than those who do not to visit museums and attend concerts, and almost three times as likely to perform volunteer and charity work. Readers are active participants in the world around them, and that engagement is critical to individual and social well-being.
4. It Improves Your Imagination
You are only limited by what you can imagine, and the worlds described in books, as well as other peoples views and opinions, will help you expand your understanding of what is possible. By reading a written description your mind is responsible for creating that image in your head.
5. Reading Makes You Smarter
Books offer an outstanding wealth of learning and at a much cheaper price than taking a course. Reading gives you a chance to consume huge amount of research in a relatively short amount of time. Heavy readers tend to display greater knowledge of how things work and who or what people were. Books at home have been strongly linked to academic achievement.
6. It Makes You More Interesting
Having a library of information that you have picked up from non-fiction reading will come in handy in any academic or scholarly conversation. You will be able to engage a wider variety of people in conversation and in turn improve your knowledge and conversation skills.
7. It Reduces Stress
A study at the University of Sussex showed that reading reduces stress. Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles. In fact it got subjects to stress levels lower than before they started.
8. It Improves Your Memory
Academic and author Maryanne Wolf explains that “Typically, when you read, you have more time to think. Reading gives you a unique pause button for comprehension and insight.” The benefits of this increased activity keeps your memory sharp and your learning capacity nimble.
9. To Discover and Create Yourself
With the endless amount of perspectives and lives we can read about, books can give us an opportunity to have experiences that we haven’t had the opportunity to, and still allow us to learn the life skills they entail. Books are a fast track to creating yourself.
10. For Entertainment
Reading is not only fun, but it has all the added benefits metioned so far. A good book can keep us amused while developing our life skills.
[Adapted from whytoread.com - with thanks]
Books in the News
Well respected newspapers are also in on the not-so-well-kept secret that books for teenagers and young adults are important. Below you will find links to recommendations, news articles, reviews and author interviews from some leading news organisations.
There are literally millions of young readers all over the world. Many young people (and not so young people) are the authors and owners of book blogs where they review, discuss and rate their recent reads. There are also lots of deliciously nerdy unboxing videos of lovely literary and book based hauls. You can check some of them out below - why not start your own and join the conversation!
Stuck for what to read? Need something new? No clue what to choose next? We all struggle to pick our next book conquest from time to time. Below are some recommendations from the LHS English department. Click on the book cover to find out more about the book from worldwide bookworm network goodreads.com.
Pride and Prejudice
The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett