5 Reasons to Read More Books (and decrease screen time)
If you haven’t noticed from all the recent book reviews, I’ve been trying hard to get back into reading. Pretty successfully, I might add. I’ve been a gamer most of my life, but in recent years it seems like I’ve been using games as more of a time-waster than something I’m actually compelled to do out of my love for the game. I’ve been thinking about other ways to use this time in a more productive manner.
Not trying to knock gaming, it has it’s own benefits, but I have other reasons for wanting to set a good example. My boyfriend and I have come to the realization that we both want kids. I ditched my birth control and we have the “let’s see what happens” mindset. This got me thinking about my habits and what I want to model for my future little ones. I grew up in front of screens, and I can see how it affected me. From attention problems, to using it as a crutch for when I’m bored, the way I use screens was embedded in my brain from a young age.
I decided that limiting screen time for my future kids while being sucked into screens myself just makes me a hypocrite, so I’m trying to develop better habits now. Here are 5 reasons to read more books and hopefully break some of that screen addiction!
Much like art, reading is a great way to reduce stress. There is nothing like cuddling up with a book, a hot drink, and a pet. Even if it’s an action packed book, there’s something about letting your imagination do the work, rather than watching it unfold on a screen.
2. Build a better vocabulary
I’ve learned so many words from books just by looking them up when I don’t understand them. You don’t have to do this for every word, and many words you can learn through context, but if you keep seeing the same one pop up, don’t be afraid to look up the definition! If it’s a word you keep seeing, then your brain is already recognizing it, this repetition will help you remember it when you look up the definition.
3. It teaches self discipline
As you may have noticed from the “DNF” (did not finish) label on some of my book reviews, I don’t mean you should stick with a book if you’re not getting sucked into it. The self discipline comes from making yourself focus and sticking with reading. You can’t be thinking about other things while reading, or you’ll soon realize you have no idea what’s going on. On that same note, if you go too long without reading your current book, you may forget what’s happening. Consistency is important and this is another degree of self discipline.
4. Helps find and develop skills and interests
If you’re not an avid reader (yet), you may find that you don’t know where to start or what kind of books suit your interest. Jumping into books of different genres can help you narrow down what you do and don’t like. A great resource is Goodreads, that link will take you to my profile but you can search the site from there. They have all kinds of lists and recommended books. Another great resource is reddit, particularly r/suggestmeabook and r/booksuggestions.
5. It increases your general knowledge and convictions
Similar to number 4, it can really help determine your convictions and your stance on certain issues. Books show you different perspectives, and things aren’t always black and white. You may think you hold a position where you wouldn’t be swayed under any circumstance, until you read something from a different perspective. It also teaches you about things such as culture, different worldviews, and how things work in general.
I hope you’ve been inspired to open a book and get into reading! I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance of a library which is part of the reason I got back into reading. The library, thrift stores, used book stores, ebay/Amazon, and even regular brick and mortar book stores are all great resources. The library has been a great source of free entertainment so make sure to stop by! Also try setting a goal, Goodreads lets you set yearly goals and monitor progress on books you’re currently reading, I can’t recommend them enough!