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6 reasons why you should be reading more

These days, reading seems to be becoming a lost art. According to new data, teens spend 43% of their waking hours in front of a screen – that’s 7 hours and 22 minutes of screen time a day. With the ease of social media and the transition of most forms of entertainment to online spaces, these statistics seem set to scale up rather than down.

Trust us – we get it. It’s so easy to scroll on social media for hours, eyes glazed over, till next thing you know it’s 2am and you’ve got to get up at 7am for school. We’ve all been there, and it’s not pretty the next day.

But haven’t you ever wished you could be actively immersed in a whole new world for hours of entertainment, all while improving your concentration and strengthening your brain? For avid readers, that’s their reality.

9 year old Luke Bakic is one of these passionate readers, so first we’ll let him tell you why reading is so important in todays society.

1. Expand your knowledge

One of the most obvious benefits of reading is that it broadens your knowledge base. Every book, article, or blog post you read introduces you to new facts, ideas, and perspectives. This wealth of information can come in handy in your studies, making it easier to grasp complex concepts and contribute meaningfully to class discussions.

Plus, as you encounter new words and phrases, your vocabulary naturally expands, which is a huge advantage when it comes to writing essays or participating in public speaking.

If you’re really interested in improving your vocabulary, check out this 7-step framework created by National Geographic:

2. Improve your focus

In today’s fast-paced digital world, maintaining focus can be a real challenge. Reading requires you to slow down, concentrate, and absorb information, which can significantly enhance your attention span over time.

This improved focus is not only beneficial for your schoolwork but also for other aspects of life, such as hobbies, sports, or even just engaging in conversations.

Have trouble starting things by yourself? Try this read-with-me video: it’s curated a cozy reading atmosphere and allows you to fit in a 30 minute reading break with a little company.

3. Enhance your writing skills

Good readers often make good writers – the two sort of go hand in hand. By exposing yourself to various writing styles, genres, and techniques, you’ll start to pick up on what makes a piece of writing effective. This can help you craft better essays, reports, and creative writing assignments.

Pay attention to how authors structure their arguments, develop characters, and use descriptive language, and try to incorporate some of these strategies into your own writing.

Writer and Poet Dakota Warren has her own BookTube channel on Youtube, where she posts about her reading and writing adventures. If you’re interested in improving your writing through reading, you might like some of her videos like “How to consciously expand your vocabulary.”

4. Develop critical thinking

Reading isn’t just about absorbing information; it’s also about engaging with the text. Analysing characters’ motivations, predicting plot twists, and evaluating the credibility of sources are all ways that reading helps develop your critical thinking skills.

These skills are crucial for success in high school and beyond, as they enable you to think deeply about issues, make informed decisions, and solve problems effectively.

Don’t know how to read analytically? That’s ok! There are resources to teach you how to do that too, like this Analytical Reading 101 video.

5. Reduce stress

High school can be a stressful time, with exams, assignments, and social pressures all vying for your attention. Reading can be a fantastic way to unwind and take a break from the hustle and bustle. The great thing about reading is that a good book has the power to transport you to another world, providing a much-needed escape and helping to reduce stress.

Additionally, studies have shown that reading can improve mental health by lowering blood pressure, reducing symptoms of depression, and enhancing overall well-being. Pairing reading with some of our favourite wellbeing apps can be the perfect way to kickstart your wellbeing improvement journey.

6. Increase empathy

When you read, you step into the shoes of different characters and experience their lives and challenges. This can greatly increase your empathy and understanding of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Being able to see the world from different perspectives is a valuable skill, not just in school, but in life. It helps you build stronger relationships, resolve conflicts more effectively, and become a more compassionate individual.

Never really thought of yourself as a reader? Trust us, there’s a book out there for everyone, as Jack Edwards demonstrates in this book guide.

Tips to make reading a habit

Set aside time each day

Consistency is key. Dedicate a specific time each day for reading. It could be before bed, during a commute, or as a study break.

If you struggle sticking to this, why not try using a book tracking app like Bookly? You can track your reading like you’d track a workout, and it even gives you a monthly reading report so you can see how well you did.

Choose what you enjoy

Find genres or topics that interest you. Reading should be enjoyable, not a chore.

Don’t know where to start? There are heaps of online quizzes that match your personality with book recommendations. This one from Danbury library matches you with a specific genre and books in that genre, while this one from Underlined plays matchmaker with you and a YA novel.

Join a book club

Share your reading experiences with others and discover new books through recommendations. If you can’t make an in-person book club, thats totally fine – there are heaps of virtual book clubs out there, or you could even create your own.

Mix it up

Don’t limit yourself to one type of reading material. Explore novels, non-fiction, articles, and more. If you’re not sure where to access different types of material, this blog has a list of places to find different articles on the web.

Or better yet, check out the tonnes of articles we have listed on our website if you’re interested in careers, pathways, and possibilities for high school students.

Use technology

I know, I know – we’re trying to avoid having so much screen-time. That being said, not all technology is created equal. E-books and audiobooks are great alternatives if you’re always on the go or prefer listening over reading.

The most common platform for audiobooks is Audible, but if you have a Premium Spotify account you also get instant access to more than 150,000 audiobooks for online or offline listening.

Want more?

Want more tips and resources? Check out our other blogs on StudyWorkGrow for heaps of helpful advice and information tailored just for you. 

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