Why You Should Read

When we think of reading, we usually associate the term with school, but what happened to reading just for fun? How often should we read and for how long? Why is reading even important? Well, many studies have shown that reading has countless benefits, but sometimes we are just too tired to read. We spend hours reading at school, and most of the time, it isn’t something we have chosen to read. So, as a first step, congratulations! You are already reading something for yourself and not for school, but I’m sure you want to hear some motivation and facts for why you should read.

When you read, you are exercising your brain (you can say you are working out.) Your brain is constantly consuming new information and words, so you can only imagine how much your vocabulary will increase. To add to that, reading is also a stress reliever for many. It takes people to a different place away from the chaos of their own personal life, and it boosts creativity too.

Before I get into some of the statistics, here are some about how often a typical American reads in comparison to watching television. According to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Americans on average spend about 2 hours and 50 minutes a day watching television and spend 28 minutes playing games and using computers for fun.

Now, if we get more specific, let’s use a scenario to exemplify just exactly how you benefit from reading over time. If you read every day for just twenty minutes, you will read approximately 1,800,000 words a year. Additionally, you are likely to score better than 90% of your peers on standardized testing. According to those facts, if you only read for five minutes a day, you will read about 282,000 words a year, and you will score 50% better than your peers on standardized tests.

Lastly, if you read for just one minute a day, you will read about 8,000 words a year, and you will score better than 10% of your peers on standardized tests. As you can see, these statistics are in very stark contrast to one another. Some other reasons to consider reading more often are because: it reduces stress, you may increase your life expectancy (in some cases by two years in a study done by Harvard), your overall knowledge increases, and your language skills improve.


Though life can be overwhelming, I hope you will consider reading more; if not for the statistics, for yourself. Consider joining a book club, having a competition with a friend to see who can read the most, read to reduce stress/ improve your mental health, and read for school. Books don’t have to be read in a week, and they can be on any topic you are interested in, like photography or even cooking. Reading has so much to offer, and there are countless benefits to reading, especially if you want to be a good student. If you set aside twenty minutes every day to read a short story or book, I guarantee that you will see improvement.

Personally, I love reading, but there are many days where I don’t feel like it or am too tired. I went through a period of time where I wasn’t reading and it definitely showed in my writing when I was solving the New York Times Daily Crossword Puzzle (one of my favorite things to help start my day), or even watching wheel of fortune. My ability to spell correctly was lacking because we are so used to autocorrect even if it is oftentimes a nuisance. My reports for school that were once filled with lavish vocabulary were now dull, and I wasn’t exercising my brain enough outside of school. When I did start reading again, not only did I find more enjoyment in life but also that I could manage my stress more. My vocabulary improved tremendously, and when I took standardized tests I did well on the grammar, reading, and vocab sections. So, if you don’t believe the statistics, I hope you consider my personal opinion and that you open up a book and have fun. Happy reading!