Why is Reading so Important?



From the moment we begin elementary school we are taught to read.  While there are many who eventually fall in love with the practice, many struggle to understand why such a boring activity is necessary.  English classes are consistently required throughout secondary education and several English classes must be taken as generals in order to graduate college.  Not only that but even in other classes, such as science and history classes, reading is often a requirement on assignments.  So why is reading so important?


Reading Improves Memory


First of all, reading is critical in developing memory.  The brain is essentially a muscle, and just like any muscle, it needs exercise.  Reading exercises the brain and increases its ability to maintain information in the long-term memory area.  Many avid readers do well in all academic subjects due to their ability to memorize.


Reading Betters Communication


Reading is a skill required for most jobs.  Not only does it teach language skills which help communicating ones own ideas, it also teaches children to listen to the ideas of others.  Reading helps individuals to develop the ability to stop and focus on what is being said, which can benefit them in other areas of life, including sports and other academic subjects.


Reading Opens the Mind to Other People’s Ideas


The world is full of thoughts and ideas, facts and opinions.  Reading introduces the individual to all of it.  Whether fiction or nonfiction, reading can lead us, not only to those who think the same way we do, but to those who can explain the counter argument.  As we come to better understand those who disagree with us, the knowledge can either solidify our own opinion or change it to something better.  Reading makes the world so much more comprehensible and attainable.


Reading Opens the Mind to New Ideas


Reading is the starting point for inspiration.  You can find a book or article on just about every subject.  As a reader opens their mind to new ideas, it can inspire some new thoughts of their own. Even a fictional story can lead an individual to a new path for their life.  A book about a doctor may inspire a new career path, a book about family may cause an individual to reunite with their own.  Stories, true and fictional, inspire people and move them to change their life, hopefully for the better.


Words are the Building Blocks of Life


We are each the product of a million words and phrases that have been read by us or said to us.  These words collect in our mind and determine who we are, how we see ourselves, and what our hopes and dreams include.  Being able to remember such words, communicate them, and understand them is critical to progressing through life.

Think of how much control an individual would have if they were able to limit our access to new ideas and stories.  If someone had the ability to keep us away from ideas they didn’t agree with and only allowed us to read what they wanted us to.  Our ability to develop and become individuals would be extremely limited.  The ability to read is a powerful thing.  It enables us to not only succeed in learning, but also makes it possible for us to better understand our own desires and can give direction to our lives.