Graphic of two men and an eye reading a book on a tablet
Since Strive have recently collaborated with the School Library Association, we thought this would be a great time to speak about some of the often overlooked benefits of reading.  
As we have a new generation experiencing instant media and an overload of information from many different online platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok, reading has taken a back seat. 
But there’s so many reasons to ditch all that for an hour, let’s have some balance and get reading. 
1. Boost mood, motivation and confidence. 
Reading a book takes work, although it may not feel that way if you are interested in the subject. There is an allotted time to complete it, there are no shortcuts and all that great information that you’re after requires effort. 
Knowing that you can dedicate time to a task and complete it can boost our mood, motivation and confidence. At first, give yourself a dedicated time that you’re going to commit (even if it’s just 10 minutes to begin with!) 
2. Engage your imagination and creativity. 
Like a muscle that gets worked at the gym, our minds like to be stimulated. Reading increases our creativity and it feels good to just get lost in a story. It doesn’t matter whether you’re sat in your bedroom or on the bus to work, those moments of being so absorbed in something are refreshing. 
As the world around us requires us to process so much, it can be nice to be able shut it all out and use our imaginations. Some people are better at imagining than others but it’s also a skill that can be developed. Your brain likes to build associations to things , it’s the best way in which we learn. Reading allows us to accumulate more associations that we can now tie to other information, making it easier to keep expanding our knowledge. 
3. Cultivate intelligence & knowledge. 
Readers are leaders! Anyone that has made their way to the height of their academic career has normally read the work of people in their field previous to themselves. Reading allows us to take on the knowledge of those that we admire.  
By reading you can learn how people have made mistakes and how we can then avoid repeating these. This is how fields like science improve: by understanding what doesn’t work and then predicting and testing what is most likely to help us achieve the outcome that we want. 
4. Cost-effective learning & personal development. 
In terms of how much it costs to go on a course or workshop, in comparison to reading over the topic, reading will win every time. It’s amazing that vast amount of knowledge that is available to us, with the dominant force of Google allowing the majority of information to be free although not always trusted (always make sure to check your sources). 
A self-help book normally falls under £10 ; this knowledge when applied could completely alter the course of your life, change your thinking and add skills to your everyday interactions. 
If you’re interested in a subject and have someone in mind whose information you trust then reading their book is kind of like sitting down with them and having the opportunity to have their thoughts on a subject matter. 
5. Better interactions with others 
Nothing kills a conversation more than not knowing the answer and having to do a quick Google search- the conversation loses its momentum. 
Reading the latest news makes you informed and have more topics of conversation. Being able move from topic to another shows social intelligence and this increases the type of people that you’re likely to speak to and have more in common with.  
People gravitate towards similarity and therefore being educated in many different subjects increasing your chances of being able to make more friends and also lets you expand your own comfort zone.  
The Schools Library Association works towards all schools in the UK having their own (or shared) staffed library to help all children and young people fulfil their potential. Their website also hosts a variety of online reading resources.  
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On 20th June 2022 at 14:48, Peter Smith wrote:
I liked the article as I have been a keen reader since childhood when thankfully I didn't have the magenetic draw of a smartphone! I see that it is harder for children these days, which is why it so importnat that those involved in education, as well family and friends, can influence a child to try out the beauty of books and the fantastic worlds that will be opened up to them. I for one have travelled the world through books and met many people and cultures in doing do - all thanks to opening a book and getting lost in facts or a story.
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