8 Benefits of Reading (or Ways Reading Makes You Better at Life)

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Here's one nice article from http://lifedev.net/2009/06/reading-makes-you-better/!

The public library is a phenomena that to this day I still can’t get over. Free knowledge, for anyone. Literally, anyone. I can’t think of an equivalent other than going to a clothing store, “checking out” an outfit, wearing the outfit and returning it in four weeks, free of charge.

Except books are so much better than clothes.

Recently I’ve been on a huge reading kick, checking out anything I can get my hands on in the library. (I’m writing a guest post on ZenHabits to detail some of the best stuff I’ve found, so more on that later.)

I’ve found that no matter what I read, the act of reading every day has helped me in nearly every aspect of my life. Here are a few of my favorite ways that reading has improved my quality of life, and will definitely improve yours.

1. Enhanced Smarts

Wow, this may be the most obvious statement of the post, right? Well, it turns out that reading helps in almost every area of smarts. Those that read have higher GPA’s, higher intelligence, and general knowledge than those that don’t. In Anne E. Cunningham’s paper What Reading Does for the Mind (pdf version), she found that reading, in general, makes you smarter, and it keeps you sharp as you age.

No matter what you’re wanting to do or become, you can’t do it without more knowledge. Reading is an excellent way to get where you’re wanting to go.

2. Reading reduces stress

When I’m reading a book, my mind shifts gears. Where I might have a had a stressful day, a book can easily distract me. Fiction is fantastic for this. Reading an awesome fiction book is perfect right before bed time. Though sometimes it’s hard to put the book down if it’s really good. Still, you’ll be relaxed ;)

Photo by MorBCN

3. Greater tranquility

Reading can soothe like no other. Given that I’m a pretty high-energy person, reading forces me to sit and be still. This daily act of making myself be quiet and still has been nothing short of miraculous for my anxiety and my “fidgety factor”.

4. Improved analytical thinking

That’s right, ladies and germs. Cunningham’s studies have found that analytical thinking is boosted by reading. Readers improve their general knowledge, and more importantly are able to spot patterns quicker. If you can spot patterns quicker, your analytical skills receive a boost.

5. Increased vocabulary

child reading
Photo by thejbird

It’s no secret that reading increases your vocabulary and improves your spelling, but did you know that reading increases your vocabulary more than talking or direct teaching? Reading forces us to look at words that we might not have seen or heard recently at the pub. In fact, language in children’s books are likely to be more sophisticated than your average conversation.

Increased vocabulary is especially crucial for bloggers or writers. All successful writers will tell you that in order to write well, you need to read. Every day. You’ll be surprised at the words you start incorporating into your writing.

A beefier vocabulary isn’t just for writers though. Knowing what other people are saying and using the perfect words to convey your feelings is a critical part of being a better human. Better listeners are more successful in life.

(Side note: If you’re concerned with your well-being at previously mentioned pub, you might lay off the more obnoxious terms you’ve picked up.)

6. Improved memory

I have an awful memory. Just ask my fiancee. I usually can’t remember what I’ve eaten for breakfast, let alone things like names and addresss. Yet I’ve been finding that I can remember stuff much easier when I’ve been reading consistently. Do I have any scientific data to match this up? Not really. But I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that reading has somehow given me memory mojo.

7. Improved writing skills

This isn’t much of a stretch, considering that reading improves vocabulary and critical thinking. I feel like a better writer, as I’m constantly surrounding myself with works from people who are better than me. That’s why English classes in High School make you read “the classics”. That’s why art students learn to copy masterpieces, so they know what creating something incredible should feel like.

The more you read, the better of a writer you’ll become.

Photo by prosperina*

8. Helps prioritize goals

Many times we’re certain we know what we “really want” in life. Yet I’ve found that activities like reading show me things I didn’t know about myself. My mind will drift to things that I’d really like to do, and it isn’t long that these little lapses in reading start to cycle. The same sort of goals keep popping into my head, allowing me to see what I really want to do.

For example, I’ve been playing music on a consistent basis, but I’ve always wanted to produce and distribute my own music. As I’ve been reading, I’ve found that song ideas and other general thoughts on music keep popping into my head. It’s my times reading that have really pushed me into giving music a serious go.

When you remove yourself from your work environment, you’ll start to see things that you might really want to do, that you’re not doing yet. Reading gives you a chance for your to wander.

No time? No money?

If you think that you don’t have enough time to start reading, you’re wrong. How do I know? Because we make time for the things that are important to us. How much TV do you watch? How much time do you spend trawling the web? You could easily replace reading with those activities.

If you’re worried about the cost of books, check ‘em out at the local library. Most libraries take advantage of the interlibrary loan system, so you can check out nearly any book on the planet. I also use Worldcat to find libraries in the area that might have my book.

There’s really no excuse to start reading on a regular basis. The benefits far outweigh the costs, and more knowledge never hurt anybody.

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Allow me today to share to you how you can get ahead and make it on top of your class. As we know, there is no short cut for success. You cannot cut corners, but here are some tools to guide you in your academic travel. For students, this is a perfect read!

Rossana L. Llendo contributed this on the Monday, June 6, 2011 issue Philippine Daily Inquirer:

EVERY STUDENT wants to get fantastic grades. Every student wants to be recognized for a job well done. More importantly, every student wants effectively learn each and every lesson in his class.
"Scoring high in tests and quizzes will help move those grades up, but there are also other factors, which are often overlooked and underrated, that would help make you and accomplished student, " says Rossana Llenado, president of Ahead Tutorial and Review Center.
Here re some skills that would help you get ahead of your class from Ahead Tutorial and Review Center, the country's most awarded tutorial and review center:

Read A Lot!
Most teachers give a reading list to help students get a better perspective of the subject. Unfortunately, most students pay no heed to the reading list. Instead, they rely on their textbooks, only browsing on reference books every once in a while - and usually, they only do that to get a particular answer to a particular question. Indeed, some students hardly read, preferring instead to Google their concerns.
True, students must be abreast of new technology but in order to get good good grades, you must do the work, says Llenado. She says, "You must hit the books, and read, read, read!"
"Reading will open your mind to new things, and will lead you to new discoveries in learning, "says Llenado. Trust us: All those books in that reading list will give you better view of why, for instance, you are studying economics or chemistry.

Listen Well!
Lectures are part and parcel of the classroom setup. Unfortunately, some teachers may not be the best communicators, making lectures just a tad boring. But do not make the mistake of ignoring your teacher's words.
"Lectures give another angle to the concepts you've read from books," say Llenado. Besides, your teacher knows these concepts like the back of his hands and you'll be surprised at the little hems of knowledge that he'd spout during during these lectures so, keep your ears open.

Be Heard!
Lectures are often followed by discussions, and during such instances, speak up! Let your voice be heard.
Llenado suggests, "Ask questions. If there is a concept that you do not understand, then raise your hands an ask your teacher to explain again." He would be more than happy to illustrate tricky points to you. As much as you want to be a good student, your teacher also wants to be a good mentor.
It would also be good to share your opinions during the discussion. Do not be afraid of being right or wrong. That's how one learns anyway, by looking at things from both perspectives.

Take Notes!
"During such discussions, it's best to take down notes diligently," suggests Llnenado. While handouts are now practically de riguer in classrooms, documenting lectures and discussions from your point of view makes your notes more personal. There may be some points that are difficult to understand, for instance. During such instances, you might want to do more reading of that particular concept, or consult with a gifted friend.
And come exam time, your notes would prove to be excellent reviewers. "Notes are virtual maps of the various lessons and discussions in your class to help you remember and review everything," says Llenado.

Write Well!
Yes, we know that you may not be the best writer, but school demands a lot of writing, that's just how it is. And so, it's best that you practice this skill as you will be doing a lot of book reports, research papers, concept papers, homeworks, and all sorts of stuff that need a whole lot of writing. "The base of any good report starts with the research. If you do your research well, then the writing will come easy," says Llenado.
Be a master of these skills, and we are confident that you'll be getting up on that stage to claim that coveted medal in time.

Blogger's note:
Explore your potentials. God gave gifts, and it's up to you discover them. I know you have talents, but those talents will be lost if you do not dare to explore them and excel. Find your passion and follow your heart. You ought to Read, Learn and Lead... God bless you! NICE BOOK CLUB

15 National Scouts Jamboree in the Philippines

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To all Scouts: don't miss this opportunity. Learn and grow!

15th National Scouts Jamboree Bulletin No. 1

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