5 ways reading can change your life

(Tribune News Services)
(Tribune News Services)

The 19th Annual Storytelling Festival kicks off this week at Weber State University. In honor of the event, here are five reasons why reading can benefit your life.

1. Reading can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the National Institute on Aging, reading regularly in your younger years will help prevent degenerative neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. It is important to keep your brain active, and reading is one of the most entertaining ways to accomplish that. So next time you’re bored, pick up a book. The intellectual stimulation could save you lots of grief later in life.

2. Reading improves your comprehension.

Having trouble understanding your textbooks? A simple fix to this problem is to read more. Your brain is like a muscle and, like any muscle, it requires exercise to stay fit. The more you read, the better you can comprehend what you read. Similarly, if you’re not a reader, or if you go a long period of time without reading, your comprehension will diminish. Don’t let those reading muscles atrophy!

3. Reading makes you more empathetic.

According to a study by The New School in New York City, participants who read literary fiction were more likely to infer and understand people’s emotions. Spending time immersed in different lives and cultures allows readers to broaden their own capacity for understanding. Reading opens up your mind and brings color to things you may have once thought to be black and white. It literally makes you a better, more understanding person.

4. Reading improves your vocabulary.

This one is a no-brainer. The more you read, the more you are exposed to new and exciting words, which improves your ability to communicate. In today’s world the ability to clearly articulate your ideas and communicate effectively go a long way. If your vocabulary is limited and you can’t spell to save your life, try reading a little but more. You should see improvements in your ability to write and speak clearly. Plus, it’s just fun to learn cool words! So go forth, read a bit more, and you’ll be a perspicacious, loquacious communicator in no time!

5. Reading allows you to live multiple lives.

I think this is the most important benefit that reading offers. Sometimes regular life is boring, and we need something to entertain ourselves. Sometimes life is hard, and we need an escape. Reading offers all of these things. It allows us to step outside our lives and experience new things. Through reading we can travel to far-off countries, learn magic, fall in love, or fight the forces of evil. Thanks to reading, each of us gets to experience things that our normal lives would never allow.The possibilities are limitless, and it’s as easy as opening a book or downloading an ebook.