Bibliophiles’ love to read and what we read varies as much as the individual choosing the book. However, a lot of us enjoy reading fiction, whether it be historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, or any other genre. But, did you know that reading fiction has its own special benefits. Take a look at these Top 5 Awesome Benefits of Reading Fiction and decide for yourself.
Empathy occurs when your brain identifies with the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of others. This is a wonderful trait to possess because by relating to the feelings of the outside world, you are more caring and thoughtful to the needs of others.
Studies have shown that putting yourself in the mindset of another person in the form of fictional stories helps your brain gain a better understanding of the world. Moreover, when you read fiction you visit worlds where you would never find yourself in reality. Becoming another person through the magic of fiction allows you to feel their thoughts and actions. Accordingly, this, above anything else, helps you to view the real world differently.
Do you ever feel so stressed out or anxious that you can’t calm down? Me too! Actually, this is a common problem. Stress comes in many forms, some of which can be good, but it is stress none-the-less. What are the stressors in your life?
Whatever they are, you can rest assured that picking up a novel can help alleviate some of that stress. How, you ask? By immersing yourself in someone else’s reality you forget about your own for a while. This lets you live another life temporarily, consequently, your problems don’t seem nearly as catastrophic as those in the protagonists’ lives do.
Did you know that there is actual science-based proof that regular readers sleep more soundly and for longer stretches of time than non-readers? The reason for this is your brain releases natural chemicals into your body that make you feel better and more calm. Therefore, you are generally happier and relaxed, enabling you to sleep better.
Studies have shown that reading a fictional print book just before bed, for just six minutes, can work wonders on your sleep patterns. You fall asleep much easier than by listening to music or drinking tea, and especially easier than watching television or scrolling through social media.
Disclaimer: The reason for choosing a hardcopy of a book rather than reading on an e-reader or your phone is because the blue light emitted from your electronic technology messes with your body’s biological clock. You should always turn off electronic devices at least 2 hours before bed for a better night’s sleep.
Your brain needs a daily workout to remain in great form, especially as you age. The more you stimulate your brain, the better your cognition will be. This is because increased stimulation forces different parts of your brain to work together.
What better way is there to make your brain work harder than reading a juicy thriller? Not only does your brain fire on all cylinders when you read fiction, but you also get the joy of using your imagination too.
There have been studies done that say reading a book of fiction increases your cognitive abilities better and for a longer period of time than playing chess or putting together jigsaw puzzles. Again, this is because all your brain’s “centers” are coming together to work as a team, whereas, when playing chess or doing puzzles, only a few brain “centers” are firing at the same time.
It seems obvious that those people who have a large vocabulary are the ones that read, which is true. Readers have a better vocabulary. But, did you know that readers of fiction have an even larger vocabulary than non-fiction readers?
The reason for this is that not only do fiction books have more happening within them in regard to character and setting, etc., but the words themselves are unfamiliar, causing the reader to pause briefly to work on sounding it out, figure out the word from the context of the sentence, and maybe even looking up the meaning. Readers tend to remember these words more, because you tend to work harder for them.
From all of my research, I have found that a person needs to read every day, whether it is 20 minutes right before you go to sleep or 2 hours sitting in the window seat on a rainy day. The best way to gain from the benefits is to read. So, next time you are looking for a great stress reducer or a good night’s sleep, pick up a great mystery and lose yourself in another world.
Check out my book reviews to choose your next work of fiction!