We have known since we were children that readings books is important. It teaches us to write well, opens our minds, enriches our culture. But there is much more than that. In fact, it also allows us to develop empathy and emotional intelligence. Moreover, it teaches us making sense of things and opening up to possibilities. When we deal with a story that doesn't end the way we thought, we also learn that not everything goes the way we want it to. Finally, we could even become more social by reading more.
We have known since we were children that readings books is important. In fact, it teaches us to write well, opens our minds, enriches our culture. But there is much more than that. So here are 5 reasons why reading is such an important activity for our personal growth.
Readings Books to Develop Empathy
Reading novels necessarily implies the activation of identification processes. Through reading a book we immerse ourselves in another person’s life and thus see the world through their eyes. In particular, according to a study by Emory University, when we read, we work on our emotional intelligence.
For example, we are able to “feel” the movements of characters in the areas of our brain that are responsible for movement.
In other words, we improve our ability to discover and understand other people’s emotions. This ability is important because it helps us understand the dynamics of social relationships.
Making Sense of Things and Opening up to Possibilities
Reading stories means playing a game through which you learn to make sense of the immensity of things that have happened and will happen in the real world. Reading, then, is like a gym for our lives. We learn to understand reality and its mechanisms, and we practice how to deal with it.
At the same time, however, we can experience reading a book as a moment of escape from our lives. Every now and then we need to take refuge in a “possible world”, different from our daily reality. And a book is perfect for this.
Learning That Not Everything Goes the Way We Want It to
When we identify with a novel, we must always remember that, unfortunately, we do not control the story. And sometimes that can be painful or frustrating. Maybe our favourite character dies, or something happens that we didn’t plan for, or something we don’t agree with. And yet, this is another great lesson that reading offers us.
Working On Ourselves
Reading allows us to get to know the world. But it is also a way of getting to know ourselves better. The words of others contained in the books we read let emotions, reflections, thoughts. All this allows us to explore our inner self.
The most common stereotype related to reading is that book lovers are asocial subjects, who take refuge in fiction books because they find it hard to deal with real life. We have already seen how reading actually helps us to live better, with more awareness and consciousness of ourselves.
On the other hand, a study by the University of Toronto proves that even reading makes us more social. Reading, in fact, helps us to develop what psychologists call “proactive behavior“. These are those behaviors that are positive for others, such as sharing, cooperation, and contributing to the community. In other words, this study proves that reading helps us to treat ourselves and others better.