It’s summer time!! With no school work or studying for the next few months, you finally have plenty of time to have fun and do the things you really want to do. You can go outside and play ball with some friends, play video games, make crafts, draw pictures, watch movies, catch up on all your TV shows, sleep in….
But when’s the last time you picked up a book and spent some time READING?
A lot of kids unfortunately think that reading is “uncool.” Only nerds read. Or they think, I have to read so much during the school year, why would I want to read more than I have to? Or, reading is too much work. It’s way easier and more relaxing to just lay out on the couch and turn on the TV.
There are tons of reasons why you should put down the controller, or turn off the TV, and pick up a book. Here are some examples:
- Reading makes you smarter. Really, it does. Reading the words on page after page, thinking through what’s going on in the story, and using your imagination to visualize it all exercises your brain. Reading a story takes a lot more effort and brain power than mindlessly watching something on TV, or scrolling through Facebook posts.
- Reading expands your vocabulary. You’ll most likely run into words that you don’t know the meaning of, and have to look them up. And/or you’ll read a lot of big, long words that a lot of people don’t really use in everyday conversations.
- Reading reduces stress. And it’s so relaxing! Books are such a great escape from the real world… no matter what’s going on in your life, you can pick up your book, block out everything else, and get lost in the story. You can get completely emotionally invested in a fantasy world.
- You can learn from books. Sure, you can learn from TV shows and movies, too. Books can teach you about different cultures, different lifestyles, different types of people, and all kinds of stuff.
- Reading improves concentration. Obviously… you need to be focused in order to read something, especially for such long periods of time.
- Reading improves your imagination. Again, you need to visualize the place, the people, and everything that’s going on!
- Reading develops empathy. When you do become so emotionally invested in a story, you can feel the emotions the characters are feeling, and/or imagine how you would feel if you were there, too.
- Reading can help you become a better writer. If you read a lot of different people’s writing, you can learn different writing styles and see different ways of wording things.
- Reading helps develop your cognitive skills, and can even prevent neurological diseases, like dementia.
- Reading will help you do better in school, and prepare for college (because of your better writing skills, better concentration, expanded vocabulary, etc.)
Having a good hobby like reading can also help you stay out of trouble. What do teens often do when they’re bored? They can get mixed up in some not so cool stuff.
There’s still a lot of summer left, go down to the book store or library and pick yourself up a few good books!!