The Importance of Literature & Benefits of Reading
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
In today's post I will be explaining why literature is so important and some of the benefits of reading.
Why is Literature Important?
Literature allows a person to step back in time and learn about life on Earth from the ones who walked before us. We can gather a better understanding of culture and have a greater appreciation of them. We learn through the ways history is recorded, in the forms of manuscripts and through speech itself. In periods from ancient Egypt, we can gather their history through hieroglyphics and paintings. The symbols Egyptians left behind are what we now use to understand their culture. This is different to Greek and Roman culture, which is found with greater ease, because of their innate desire for accuracy in their writing. This is the power that words have. They have the ability to spark a meaning, reform a nation and create movements while being completely eternal. Inevitably, they will outlive their speaker.
The impact of literature in modern society is undeniable. Literature acts as a form of expression for each individual author. Some books mirror society and allow us to better understand the world we live in. Authors like F.Scott Fitzgerald are prime examples of this as his novel The Great Gatsby was a reflection of his experiences and opinions of America during the 1920s. We are easily connected to the psyche of authors through their stories. However, literature also reiterates the need to understand modern day issues like human conflict. Literature is a reflection of humanity and a way for us to understand each other. By listening to the voice of another person we can begin to figure out how that individual thinks. I believe that literature is important because of its purpose and in a society, which is becoming increasingly detached from human interaction, novels create a conversation.
For the majority of people around the world, our first serious encounter with literature comes from school. Reading and writing has been drilled in all of us from an early age and this is set in motion with the start of examinations. Being able to empathise with a group of characters written on a page is categorical and from a student’s perspective a necessary skill. Additionally, the ability to sense themes and messages opens us up to another way of thinking. Literature becomes a vessel.
Benefits of Reading
In this section I am going to highlight the top 10 benefits for all ages that I have found.
1. Reading Exercises the Brain
While reading, we have to remember different characters and settings that belong to a given story. Even if you enjoy reading a book in one sitting, you have to remember the details throughout the time you take to read the book. Therefore, reading is a workout for your brain that improves memory function.
2. Reading is a Form of (free) Entertainment
Did you know that most of the popular TV shows and movies are based on books? So why not indulge in the original form of entertainment by immersing yourself in reading. Most importantly, it is free with your local Public Library card.
3. Reading Improves Concentration and the Ability to Focus
We can all agree that reading cannot happen without focus and in order to fully understand the story, we have to concentrate on each page that we read. In a world where gadgets are only getting faster and shortening our attention span, we need to constantly practice concentration and focus. Reading is one of the few activities that requires your undivided attention, therefore, improving your ability to concentrate.
4. Reading Improves Literacy
Have you ever read a book where you came across an unfamiliar word? Books have the power to improve your vocabulary by introducing you to new words. The more you read, the more your vocabulary grows, along with your ability to effectively communicate. Additionally, reading improves writing skills by helping the reader understand and learn different writing styles.
5. Reading Improves Sleep
By creating a bedtime routine that includes reading, you can signal to your body that it is time to sleep. Now, more than ever, we rely on increased screen time to get through the day. Therefore, by setting your phone aside and picking up a book, you are telling your brain that it is time to quiet down. Moreover, since reading helps you de-stress, doing so right before bed helps calm your mind and anxiety and improve the quality of sleep.
6. Reading Increases General Knowledge
Books are always filled with fun and interesting facts. Whether you read fiction or non-fictions, books have the ability to provide us with information we would’ve otherwise not known. Reading a variety of topics can make you a more knowledgeable person, in turn improving your conversation skills.
7. Reading is Motivational
By reading books about protagonists who have overcome challenges, we are often encouraged to do the same. The right book can motivate you to never give up and stay positive, regardless of whether it is a romance novel or a self-help book.
8. Reading Reduces Stress
Reading has the power to transport you to another world and away from the monotonous daily routine. By doing so, reading can decrease stress, lower heart rate and reduce blood pressure.
9. Reading Sets a Positive Example
Reading is a key component of early literacy development and you can set an example of just how crucial this is by modeling the behaviour yourself. Children are excellent at mimicking the adults around them which means that if you regularly set aside some "me time" for reading, your children will learn to do the same.
10. Reading Teaches Empathy
Books allow us to experience realities outside of our lives. They teach us to relate to others by often putting us in the shoes of the narrator. This simple technique is called empathy. Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Reading builds on empathy by constantly presenting us with thoughts and scenarios outside of our perspective.
Book Reviews are coming, it's just taking me a lot longer than anticipated to read the books, as I have been in a reading slump for the last little while. Hoping to get them read in the next month or so and then have the post scheduled for next month and later on in the year.