I thought, with the love of all things books slowly dying out, even among those who aspire to become writers, I might do an impassioned defense of why it’s worth the effort. When you’re a massive nerd for books and not snobbish about the kind, often the refrain you’ll get in response is ‘can’t I just wait for the movie?’, ‘I just can’t find the time’ and most often ‘I find it boring’.
So why bother?
1- The easiest and simplest way to improve your vocabulary, the quality of your writing and your understanding of grammar and punctuation is to read more. Even the trashiest novel or article will have been proof read by an editor at some point, or written with some competency to begin with.
2- The benefits to your mental health and your mind in general can be huge.
If you get bored reading, it’s because you’re used to consuming multiple forms of media and stimulus at once. Typically the average teenager to millennial age person will have two to three screens in one form or another open at once. It’s literally changing the way we think, the way we learn and means crave this constant level of stimulus.
Giving yourself a break from a screen, or if you read on a digital device- a break from the noise and a break from social media, has proven benefits on sleep quality, mental health and your attention span. It’s not always easy to shut out the noise and put down your phone but it’s a choice that will help you, I promise!
3- Let’s face it, if you’re studying for something, chances are that you will have to spend a long time reading textbooks, notes, research etc etc.
The patience and diligence required for trying to read on a regular basis in this day and age (where the t.v is far more attractive when you’re tired and it means you can check facebook too!) is a habit that will stand you in good stead someday in the future. Plus, the more you read, the faster you get, which believe me came in handy when I was in school and university.
4- Why shouldn’t you wait for the movie?
Because there are more books, on more topics than the media can ever catch up to. Film and television is really still quite young, if you consider how long humans have been writing and telling stories.
The books can show you more, tell you more, it can spend a page or two lingering on some really important seen that will give you all the feels to your hearts desire. There’s a voice behind it, whether it’s written in first or third person, there is still a voice that might talk about something that resonates with you.
Plus, picture this: if you read it, you’re in control of the movie. If you can truly get into a book, you’ll start to see the picture of it in your minds eye like I do; I don’t read a book, I watch a little movie in my head. This isn’t a cool thing that’s exclusive to someone like me who can truly get lost in a book they’re enjoying, it’s universal, if you just gave it chance.
5- You don’t need to find the time, it’s just a case of priority.
Don’t finish that extra episode, don’t watch the next YouTube video, make a choice that means that you’ll perhaps find yourself getting into bed a little earlier, or simply switching off that screen a little earlier, to make time for reading.
Picture something a simple as this: ten minutes before sleep, taking a moment to make time for yourself, just a moment of quiet, just for you.
Long commute on public transport? Find yourself refreshing yours news feeds on the socials? Watching that little buffer symbol is boring, people’s inane posts about their lives are boring. Read instead.
And here concludes ‘A book nerds defence on reading’, mostly because I doubt anyone who doesn’t enjoy reading will make it past more points as I am a chatty one and I secondly because I really ought to be sleeping at the time I’m writing this…