Is Reading A Waste of Time?

It’s an online world, right? Whether or not you believe the MetaVerse will work out, it’s hard to argue that the Internet affects everything – politics, business, retail, education. Books were long seen as one of the main forms of education and advancement.

They were a way to learn, a way to advance yourself, a way to gain new skills, and entertainment all rolled into one. There’s no question that various times in history were dictated by how widespread reading was. In Medieval times peasants, and later other groups, would be oppressed by making reading/literacy for some illegal.

When reading became a widespread right in many nations as a cornerstone of education, there’s no question that technology and advancement leapt forward.

Reading was a major part of that at whatever century you focus on, but is it true that books are dying? Have we invented technologies that replaced all the benefits of reading and took it the next level?

So in a world with YouTube and SkillShare, have we hit the point where reading is a waste of time?

The answer, fortunately for all the bibliophiles out there, is that reading is absolutely not a waste of time and there are many benefits to reading both in self-improvement and entertainment…and there’s no reason the two need to be separate!

couple reading book outside
Reading can be a wonderful way to bond, as well.

11 Reasons Why Reading Is Not A Waste of Time

Reading is definitely not a waste of time. Ignoring obvious things like reading magazine articles or being literate to be able to follow sports scores, read video game dialogue, etc, reading books is still one of the finest hobbies, and ways to spend time, that a person can enjoy.

Just look at tis list of 11 reasons why reading is an extremely beneficial use of your time, before we dive further into each point.

The TL;DR List for why reading is not a waste of time:

  • You expand your vocabulary
  • Learn to have a stronger sense of empathy
  • Increased critical thinking
  • Increased creative thinking
  • Library Card = Endless Entertainment
  • Improves sleep (especially when made a habit before bed)
  • Reduces stress
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Can be motivational, educational, or simply expand your base of knowledge
  • Widely broadens conversational topics
  • Doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi or power

This is a pretty incredible list of benefits and watching the latest series on Netflix isn’t going to come close to matching that. Let’s dive further into these benefits.

Thinking/Educational Benefits of Reading

You don’t have to read an educational book to get strong thinking or learning benefits from reading. Reading fiction can still naturally expand your vocabulary, increase your creative & critical thinking abilities, and even give some odd pieces of knowledge.

If you read non-fiction targeted at certain topics just further adds onto those benefits. Books are amazing in the sense that decades or a lifetime of hard earned experiences can be summed up and taught in one entertaining work.

Just the act of seeing new words in context can help you learn new language, even if you never grab the dictionary to look up each one. Just like anything else you do repeatedly, the more you do something the better you get. Reading and thinking are no different!

Not to mention this gives a lot of conversation openers with fellow readers!

Reading Provides Physical & Mental Health Benefits

There are multiple health benefits to reading, which might be counter-intuitive but multiple studies have been done and these trends are consistent. There are mental health benefits, physical health benefits, and those that mesh together as they go hand in hand.

This would be for benefits like reduce stress, which is both a mental and physical benefit. Reading reduces stress notably and that’s not just from surveys, but actual Cortisol measurements.

Reading is a relaxing hobby that has been shown to help lower blood pressure, improves average sleep, and you even burn more calories sitting on the couch and reading as opposed to watching TV or playing video games because your brain is active and engaged.

Not a bad series of benefits doing something that is, at its core, for enjoyment and entertainment.

Reading Doesn’t Rely on a Location or Signal

You don’t need Wi-Fi, a full phone battery, or even electricity at all. Reading is a hobby that you can do anywhere, makes time fly during train rides or flights, and doesn’t bother anyone else.

Because of that, relying on reading as a hobby or as entertainment is going to be reliable and a consistent option in many places and situations where electronics are going to fail you.

Pack a couple of paperbacks in a carry on bag, purse, travel bag, or just carry one in a spare hand and you are all set to go.

woman reading book outside
Who looks at this picture of a woman reading outdoors and doesn’t feel a sense of longing for the calm relaxing vibe that is captured here?

Reading Is Still One of the Best Hobbies Out There!

There’s no question that the benefits of reading books remain. No matter how good video courses can be, no matter how much the Internet can open up, and both are amazing resources, studies show again and again that as far as learning retention, it’s better reading from a page than a screen. Or writing with paper and pen versus typing some notes in.

Reading is an outstanding hobby, practice, and it is many things, but one thing reading absolutely is not is a waste of time.

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