The Importance of Reading


by Kayla Whiting

Do you ever catch yourself reading a novel and feel like you are living the story plot?

Reading is astonishingly important because, by reading, you can exercise your brain and widen your horizons. It can take you places away from reality. In the article Reading Literature Makes us Smarter and Nicer it states, “A 2010 study by Mar found a similar result in young children: the more stories they had read to them the keener their theory of their mind or mental model” (Paul). Even in little children we have found that reading creates greater imagination and develops minds to increase learning capabilities the more one reads or gets read to. By increasing a child’s theory of mind, it will help the child be smarter in situations they may be placed in down the road, therefore widening their horizons.

We are told we need to exercise everyday and to take care of our bodies, but what many don’t realize is that our minds are a big part of our bodies, too. Annie Murphy Paul says in Reading Literature Makes us Smarter and Nicer, “The emotional situations and moral dilemmas that are the stuff of literature are also vigorous exercise for the brain, propelling us inside the heads of fictional characters and even, studies suggest, increasing out real-life capacity for empathy” (Paul). By reading a book for a good amount every day, we can exercise our minds and improve the reader mentally by giving them a cathartic new range of daily emotions. When increasing real life empathy, your mind is gaining knowledge and you can feel emotions you would otherwise not gain or experience.

Sometimes the outside world can just be too much to handle with all the trials and adversity happening around us and we just need to take a break and get away. That is something that reading can do for you. It can give you a sense of release and mentally take you away to another place. Stephen Greenblatt says in his quote Why Read, “I am suddenly part of a huge world- other times other places other inner lives that I otherwise would have no access to” (Greenblatt). This quote supports how reading is important because it helps you widen your horizons and allows you feel things you may not have otherwise. Reading daily will also help your imagination and the knowledge you will gain from reading will help you in many situations later in life.

Reading is important because, by reading, your brain will be exercised in a way that helps you escape reality in an engaging, rewarding way.