The Health Benefits of Reading Fiction – Guest Post…

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Reports suggest that less than fifty percent of people read fiction, and that number may be declining. I was recently surprised to find out that a relative of mine, a middle-aged man, never reads novels and chooses instead to watch podcasts. A close friend told me that she only reads magazines, and someone else said that he hadn’t read a book for years.

That inspired me to list the health benefits of reading fiction. There are so many positive effects that it should be made compulsory. It helps your career path, improves the functioning of your brain, increases your social skills and helps prevent disease. That means there are significant impacts on your physical, social, spiritual and mental health.

The Health Benefits

  1. Young people who read extensively tend to do well at school and university. They often go on to have highly successful careers.

  2. Reading fiction helps to exercise your brain and keep it in good condition.

  3. It improves focus and concentration, an important skill that is being lost as we become more addicted to intense multi-tasking on our electronic devices.

  4. It helps to improve your analytical thinking skills, as most people do not just read passively but attempt to solve the central mysteries and problems in a story.

  5. You will have a better vocabulary.

  6. Your writing skills are improved, and extensive reading is seen as essential for anyone wanting to be a writer.

  7. Your general knowledge will improve with every fiction book you read, as various locations, periods of history and points of view are explored.

  8. You will become more articulate, able to utilise your large vocabulary, general knowledge and language skills.

  9. Your memory will be improved, because you need to focus on following a storyline with multiple characters and plots.

  10. It helps to prevent or slow the progress of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease.

  11. Reading fiction is a relaxing activity.

  12. It helps to lower blood pressure and reduce stress.

  13. Reading as part of a bedtime ritual can improve sleeping patterns.

  14. It allows you to experience how other people live their lives and deal with problems.

  15. Reading fiction allows you to experience excitement, adventure and romance through the lives of the characters.

  16. It gives you new perspectives on problems and issues.

  17. It can increase your empathy skills.

  18. Readers of fiction appear to be educated and informed, and people are impressed when we mention our love of reading.

  19. It can provide a source of social interaction if you choose to belong to book clubs or attend other reading-related activities.

  20. It has been suggested that readers may have improved social skills.

  21. Reading fiction can provide many hours of entertainment at comparatively low cost.

  22. It can be a wonderful way to pass the time whenever you are waiting, especially while travelling or attending appointments.

Let’s hope that there is no further decline in the percentage of people reading fiction, and that perhaps it might start to improve.

Toni Pike

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42 thoughts on “The Health Benefits of Reading Fiction – Guest Post…

  1. I love this list! I’ve never needed a reason to read fiction except for pure enjoyment. There is so much distraction from electronic devices that many people haven’t read much beyond what’s on their cell phone.

    Liked by 3 people

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