Reading is one of the oldest past times for us humans and arguably, it still is today. We read all the time; you are reading right now and read constantly while browsing social media. But, what can we really learn by reading?

Personally, I think that reading can genuinely teach us anything. From science to music there is a book for every topic and niche. Of course, if you want to learn a new skill, you can’t do this solely from a book, you have to go out and do it but that is a topic of discussion for another time. Reading a book fills our heads with little snippets of information and really broadens our field of knowledge. The good news is that I’m not only talking about reading non-fiction, reading novels and other types of fiction books can have the same effect.

I’ll always remember that Stockholm is the capital city of Sweden after reading “The 100- Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared” even though that book only mentioned the fact a handful of times. The principle remains the same with all books: they give us facts with a context or story line which undoubtedly helps us to remember them. You never know when the information you learn from a book will crop up in your every day life. Honestly, it surprises me when I’m in the middle of a conversation with a group of friends (old or new) and I find myself bringing up information that I read years ago but still holds relevance in our discussion today.

I mentioned before that any type of book, regardless of it being fictional can teach us things. While this is true, not all books get everything correct. This is generally the case in history books where figures and dates can only really be estimated because we don’t have an accurate figure to give. If you read something in a book that sparks your interest be sure to research it on the internet or even another book so that you have a better grasp on the topic. This way you will learn more about it and be sure of its validity.

Over time you will find that the more books you read, the more your conversational ability improves. Not only will you be able to relate to people you engage with more naturally; you will have the confidence to do so. Some of the worry towards striking up a conversation can stem from the fear of not having anything to talk about. However, the more you read, the less of this fear you will have since you simply have more knowledge in your head. If you know how to manipulate a conversation then you can take anything the other person says and steer the discussion in a direction that is more suited to what you know. Not only will you be seen as a great conversationalist; people will respect you for having such a great base of knowledge.

To sum up: there are no downsides to reading. Provided you read in your free time, your time will not be wasted. Any time spent reading is time spent towards bettering yourself and improving your understanding of the world. The most important thing is to find books that you enjoy reading so as to not be put off reading for life. Once you start reading for pleasure, you will begin to notice all of the benefits I mentioned appearing in your life.

If you are a slow reader why not check out my post How to Become a Faster Reader for some helpful and insightful advice.

Thank you for reading! What have you learned from reading?