Monday, June 6, 2016

Ten Reasons I Love Reading

I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic is "ten reasons I love X" and one of their suggestions was "reading." I remember a while back when some students at the college where I work had to write an essay about why we should read books, and they were struggling to come up with ideas. I thought, there are so many good reasons to read books! Here are ten of the reasons I love to read.

1. Being entertained.
I think this is why most people read! Whether it's in books, movies, TV, or just listening to someone, we humans love a good story.

2. Understanding and empathizing with other people better.
There have been plenty of studies showing that fiction readers can get inside other people's heads more easily and understand what they're going through. I definitely find I'm more open to relating to someone who's different from me more easily if I've read books about someone like them.

3. Learning new things.
Everyone at our work has to take the "StrengthsFinder" quiz when they're hired, and my top strength is "Learner." I'm a huge fan of nonfiction and love the chance to better understand some aspect of the world or history.

4. Connecting with others who have read the same books.
This is why I love book clubs — it's fun to discuss books with other people. You can learn a lot about someone by their reactions to a particular book. (I also love this article about a father and daughter reading the same books.)

5. Having relatable examples to draw on when making a point.
When trying to explain something to someone else, it can help to reach for an analogy they'll understand. The more books I read, the more likely I am to find a story that mirrors what I'm trying to say.

6. Understanding references in popular culture.
My husband is way more into comedy than I am (movies, TV shows, stand-up), but I love when I get to be the one to explain a joke to him because it references a book he's never read!

7. Challenging my pre-existing beliefs.
As much as we seem to exist within echo chambers of our own beliefs nowadays (unless your Facebook feed isn't as locked down as mine is), there are definitely books, like The Hidden Brain and The Righteous Mind, that have challenged what I thought I knew about other people's thought processes (and my own!).

8. Finding inspiration or tips to apply to real life.
Most of the things I learn from books are just interesting tidbits about the world, but occasionally I'll run across an idea that is absolutely transferable to my daily life. I followed the processes laid out in The Happiness Project and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to great success, became a vegetarian because of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and have applied principles from Switch to my work.

9. Being able to recommend books to other people.
As I shared in a previous post, I love when people ask me for book recommendations! One of the great things about reading a wide variety of books is that I can tailor recommendations to the person or the specific type of book they're looking for.

10. Always having something to occupy the time, no matter where I am.
One reason I've moved more toward digital books is that I always have a book with me, usually at least two — one on my Kindle app and one on audiobook. Getting stuck in a long line or waiting room is just an excuse to read a few more pages, and I don't mind doing chores when I can have a good narrator in my ears at the same time.

Why do you love reading?

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