We should never cease to be readers; pure readers, reading not to learn, or for an ulterior motive, but for the joy of reading itself. We should know how to read and ardently desire to read and to receive, to nourish ourselves, as by delicious food, to grow in wisdom, organically, not to make use of what one reads socially, in polite society: to became humans beings who understand the art of reading, that is to become capable of empathy.” Charles Peguy
I agree with Charles Peguy: it is good to read for no ulterior motive, but for the joy of reading. However, consciously or not, we’ll have some wonderful benefits from reading, as the history has proven it. I have listed here only the most important of them, there are many others small benefits of reading.
The benefits of reading books
Reading other people life’s stories could lead to a life-changing perspective and make you aware of other people feelings and thoughts. If you’d use to think others evaluate the same event as you do, time to find out this does not happen. People see things is a personal perspective and that might be very different from yours. A book can teach you to empathize with other’s people feelings and viewpoints.
Love for people
Reading novels and real-life stories, or personal blogs of people sharing their thoughts and feelings, help you to realize that even The Other is different from you, he/she has the same hesitations, frustrations, pleasures, desires, goals as you have. That the others only think and feel different but struggle with life challenges like everybody else. That moment you start to love people for what they are, for their inner self, not what they have to offer to you for.
It’s not only merely knowledge that we can gain from books, but wisdom also, if we go about it properly. Only few of us have friends or acquaintances that are willing to impart to us in casual conversations the understanding that life has given them, but in the books we can find philosophers or any other profound writers’ wisdom at our discretion. The best of their writings are ours the moment we choose to take them.
Reading stimulates the right side of our brain and thus improves greatly our imagination. Unlike in movies, a book does not contain images, and therefore we are forced to imagine what we read. The more vivid descriptions of life, nature, people, cities, streets etc. a book contains, the more we’ll be pushed to imagine them.
While in elementary school, my teacher would give us homework for every summer holiday to read a certain number of books (I really don’t remember how many) and afterwards to make a short synopsis for each book to be presented to her in September. She used to tell us that particular kind of homework will help us to improve our vocabulary and keep the brain in shape.
Keep the brain in good shape
Although there are some other ways to keep the brain in shape, reading is by far the best method. Never stop reading!