One of my favourite quotes is credited to American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson. He said, “if you encounter a man of rare intellect, ask him what books he reads.” Over the years, a lot of research have proven that reading books contribute immensely to the overall intelligence of a person. Books contain hidden treasures, the more you read, the more you find more of these treasures.

In the 21st century where we are inundated with a lot of resources and information, finding books to read and cultivating a reading habit becomes easier. The world has reached a stage where you have to acquire many skills in order meet up with daily exigencies of one’s profession. Reading is a valuable habit one must inculcate to excel in one’s career, whether as an academic or an entrepreneur, reading books contributes immensely to your career.

When last did you read a book? How many books have you read this year? If you are the type that does not think highly of reading books, then you are missing out on a lot of benefits that reading offers. In this article I will share a couple of benefits of reading and why I think you should make reading a habit.

Improves the brain

Alzheimer and dementia are two diseases that affect the brain and the symptoms include memory loss, forgetfulness and limited social and thinking abilities. Studies have proved that these mental conditions can be prevented if the brain is stimulated regularly. One of the best ways to stimulate your brain and keep it active is to read books. Just like other muscles in the body requires exercise, the brain also requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy. Reading books has been proven to be a plausible way to keep the brain active.

Invaluable knowledge

The more you read the more you learn. Books are a rich source of information and afford you the opportunity to broaden your horizon. In fact, one of the reasons why we read is to gain knowledge. There is always a bit of information you never knew about in a book. If you do not read, you never get to find out about such information. Also, reading books on a variety of subjects makes you have in-depth knowledge about it. It also ensures that you at least know something about everything.

Effective communication skills

The importance of good communication skills cannot be overemphasized. Whether you are discussing with a client or you are speaking at a social gathering, communicating effectively is very essential. Through books, you learn new words and improve your vocabulary which helps you articulate your thoughts properly. This skill is crucial in maintaining a relationship and become a better person both in your career and personal life.

Better Analytical Skills

Executing projects, writing reports or solving a problem, your analytical skills will come in handy. One of the most effective ways to improve your analytical skills is to be an active reader. Reading books exposes you to new ideas, it requires you to think and process information which ultimately improves your overall analytical skills.

Learn about History

To address the problems of our present day, it is important that we know our history. Books are valuable resources to find out about the events of the past and how they can shape our minds in solving the challenges of the present. We also get to learn about the history of other places and have an insight of how various people have developed over the years. A good knowledge of history becomes instrumental especially when you engage people in climes different from yours. You will be surprised by how much you will have to say about them by virtue of what you had read about their history.

Reading is fun

Reading is relaxing and exciting. If you read books a lot, you are never bored. Reading books is a good way to relax your mind. Books keep your mind occupied and an escape from your worries.

Reading regularly has a lot of benefits that contribute to your overall wellbeing. However, not many of us enjoy reading. I’m not advocating that we all become bookworms but, we all must find time read regularly. As I have already stated in this article, reading books is not an exercise in futility rather an exercise with many utilities.