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3 Health Benefits of Reading Books Every Day (Plus 9 Reading Lists to Get You Started)

As it turns out, there are some amazing benefits to reading books (and not just for the pure joy of it, which is reason enough). There are actual science-backed health benefits to reading books and a host of reasons why we should all be turning the pages at least a little bit every day.

So whether you’re looking to start a new reading habit, curious about the benefits of reading, or just need a reason to hold on to your library love affair, we’ve got you covered.


3 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Reading Books:

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We all know working out and eating healthy is good for you. But did you know reading can also be good for your health? Apparently reading isn’t just an enjoyable hobby to squeeze in when you have a free moment. Reading can be a part of your regular wellness routine, too!

Here are three science-backed health benefits of reading books.

1. Reading Strengthens Brain Functionality

One study shows that reading strengthens brain function by increasing communication between various parts of the brain.

Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, says, “Reading material that requires thought, consideration, and effort to metabolize what’s being described leads to the creation of new neurons in your brain. These neurons also increase new neuronal connections, both with each other and older networks, which accelerates processing speed.”

2. Reading Prevents Long Term Decline in Cognitive Function

There’s also a fourteen year study out of Cambridge University explaining how reading can prevent long term decline in cognitive function. Participants read once a week and older participants who read more frequently showed even more improvement.

Reading can be a part of your regular wellness routine, too!

Similarly, a study out of China showed that regular reading was associated with a lower risk of dementia.

3. Reading Reduces Stress

And in case you’re looking for even more reasons to make reading a daily ritual, this study shows that just 30 minutes of reading can reduce your stress level. That same study says that you can also reduce your stress by participating in 30 minutes of yoga or something humorous. So bonus points if you can find a funny yoga book to read!

5 Tips for Cultivating a Regular Reading Habit:

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With so many benefits of reading books, it’s obvious why you should read every day, at least a little bit. But you’re busy, right? How in the world will you find time to sit down with a book every day? Well, as an avid reader who still, on occasion, has to hit reset on her daily reading habit, here are a few easy and practical tips for you.

1. Eliminate Distractions

If you’re the type who can’t even get through commercials without picking up your phone to scroll (I’m guilty!), then this is a big one for you. When you do find time to sit down with a good book, put your phone away. If TV is a distraction, try reading in a different room. Whatever it is, separate yourself from it so you can focus.


2. Find Books That Interest You

This might sound like a no-brainer, but I cannot count how many times I’ve forced myself to stick with a book I just wasn’t into simply because, well, I started it so I should finish it, right? Nope!

If you’re not into it, move on. I’ve fallen off the reading wagon many times because I was trying to read books that just didn’t hold my interest.

Pro-tip: Keep an ongoing list of books that look interesting to you as you get recommendations or hear someone talking about a new one!

3. Schedule a Time That Fits Into YOUR Life

It’s a popular idea to read before bed because, for some people, it helps them sleep better and is a good transition away from the TV and phone blue light. Personally, that doesn’t work for me (or maybe it does, because I get one page in and I’m asleep).

30 minutes of reading can reduce your stress level.

The point is, find what works in your life – right before bed, in the school pick up line, on your lunch break. It will only become a habit if it fits into your regular schedule. You don’t have to force what’s popular at the moment.

4. Always Carry a Book With You

You never know when you’ll find a few spare moments that you can spend reading. So toss that book in your bag as you head out the door. Be ready to pull it out the next time you find yourself sitting around or waiting for something; in line to pick up your morning latte, at the doctors office, etc.

A fun experiment – the next time you find yourself mindlessly reaching for your phone, grab your book instead and read for as long as you would have scrolled.

5. Baby Steps are Okay!

Remember, it’s okay to start small. You don’t have to cut Netflix completely out of your life (hallelujah!), maybe just watch a little less Netflix each night. Set a goal to read for 30 minutes at a time or whatever feels doable – even 15 minutes.

The goal is to create a sustainable habit, not read every classic in a week (or at all if classics aren’t your thing; remember to find something interesting!)

Amazing Book Lists to Get Your Started

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Okay, you’re ready to read! But where to start? Here are a few lists to get you moving in the right direction. There’s a little something for everyone!


Experience the Many Benefits of Reading

With so many benefits of reading books, there’s no reason we shouldn’t all get a little more cozy with our favorite novel. It’s good for your brain, your stress level, and it’s fun. So go find something interesting to read and enjoy!

What are your favorite books or reading lists? Please share in the comments below – we love hearing from you!

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Amy Horton

Amy Horton is a Freelance Wellness Writer and Blogger for online magazines, businesses, and entrepreneurs. She creates digital content that supports women on the journey of living well and feeling whole. Offline, she’s a yoga enthusiast and avid coffee drinker, with an affinity for Shonda Rhimes TV dramas.

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