By Allie Myszka
From network nighttime dramas to decades of archival episodes on Netflix, Americans have
never had more television shows at their fingertips than they do right now.
While this can be great some of the time, television seems to make us forget about another form of
When we were kids, we’d moan and groan over having to read a book. But now that you’re an adult, you might be surprised at how much you truly enjoy reading, especially if you find a book you truly love.
Need some more convincing? Here are some good reasons to swap your Grey’s Anatomy binge for a good, old-fashioned reading break.
1. You’ll be able to sleep better at night.
It’s no secret that the blue light emitted from televisions and other electronic devices can mess with our sleep schedules. In essence, the light “tricks” our bodies into believing it’s the middle of the day, which makes it difficult — if not impossible — to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep.
Fortunately, paper books don’t require a screen, and getting lost in a good book can actually help your brain wind down from the day so that you’ll sleep more soundly.
2. Books expand your vocabulary.
Remember when you were in school and you had vocabulary or spelling words to study each week? Books can be considered the adult version of that … no flash cards required.
Whether you’re reading a fictional romance novel or a biography on one of your heroes, you’re bound to learn a few new words while you enjoy a storyline. Plus, your work emails sound so much more sophisticated with words like “ubiquitous” woven in, right?
3. Books keep your imagination alive and your brain active.
As we mature and the responsibilities of adult life wear on us, many of us lose touch with our imaginations. Without recess or the excess leisure time of childhood, we don’t have a need to create images in our mind. But don’t worry — your imagination isn’t lost, no matter how old you are. It may be out of practice, but much like a muscle, your creative mind can become stronger,
and reading a book is a great way to exercise it. Instead of having television producers fill in a picture for you, your brain awakens in a different way to create your own mental image. Add to that the benefit of learning brand new, fascinating factual information, and books are truly still as wonderful for your mind and soul as they’ve always been.
4. Reading a book forces you to intentionally slow down and focus.
When we watch television, we aren’t actively engaged. In fact, many of us tend to multitask and scroll through our emails or social media while watching a TV show.
With a book, your mind is forced to focus only on one thing, and that’s an art that seems to be slowly dying in our age of multiple devices and constant distraction.
If you’re going to comprehend anything you’re reading, you must be present and focused on the book in front of you, and that learned focus can help you relieve stress and practice disciplined focus that prove useful in other areas of your life.
So, as the seasons change and your routine shifts with the cooler weather, will you incorporate
some time for a cozy date with a book in your nightly routine?
Allie Myszka was born and raised in Georgia and moved to Nashville after graduating from the
University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). She’s a freelance writer, Pilates instructor, old soul, and
chronic DIY-er. Connect with Allie at alliemyszka.com.