Benefits of Reading

Ten Benefits of Reading Fiction

What is fiction?

Fiction is simply any story that’s a made up story, rather than being based upon true events. Fiction covers a broad variety of genres, such as realistic literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror, or romance. The world of fiction is just as broad and diverse as readers are! Whatever your interests are, there is fiction out there that will interest and amaze you.

Reading fiction is an incredibly satisfying, diverse, and inexpensive hobby. However, there’s also a number of incredible benefits to reading fiction that you may not expect.

  1. Reading fiction improves brain connectivity and function

One of the incredible benefits of reading fiction is that it actually improves your cognitive function and the connectivity of your neural pathways. It especially benefits your brain’s functioning in the left temporal cortex, which is associated with language receptivity and is the primary sensorimotor region of the brain. That simply means that both your understanding of language and your ability to imagine and comprehend concepts without relying upon seeing it yourself are improved.

2. Reading fiction improves empathy

For those who read fiction often, being compassionate and kind to others is a far easier task. That’s because reading fiction improves the parts of your brain associated with empathy and caring. This is because the act of reading fiction inherently puts you into someone else’s perspective and allows you to empathize with the feelings of another – even if it’s a fictional character! Practicing these kinds of skills make it more likely that you’ll behave compassionately and empathetically in your daily life.

3. Less stress

If you’re feeling stressed out, picking up a good book may be just the thing! Reading for just thirty minutes a day has been shown to reduce the overall amount of cortisol, or the “stress hormone,” in your brain. In fact, reading has been shown to be even more effective for relieving stress than listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea!

4. Better sleeping

If you’re a chronic insomniac, the best thing to do might be to pick up a book from the library! In addition to soothing stress, making it easier to drift off, reading can also help you sleep better by reducing your screen time, improving your bedtime routine, and can give you some time each day to spend alone and peacefully.

5. Improved relationships

Despite being an activity done alone, reading can actually improve the relationships you have with others in real life. Scientists have found that readers, especially readers of fiction, had significantly improved empathy, social cognition, and prosocial behaviors. Essentially, fiction readers were better friends and listeners than their nonfiction-reading or non-reading counterparts.

10 benefits of reading fiction

Photo @pezibear

6. Improves memory

With screens being more and more prevalent and information more and more readily available each day, people are tending to lose their memorization skills. However, readers have considerably improved memories due to their practice of retaining and organizing information, especially long-form information such as the content of a novel.

7. Fiction readers build more language

One of the benefits of reading fiction is that your vocabulary and language skills are greatly improved! By regularly being exposed to new language from authors and characters in a broad diversity of backgrounds is a great way to expose yourself to new vocabulary and get practice understanding the nuances of other dialects and speech patterns.

8. Fiction improves creativity

For creative types, reading can offer incredible benefits to your creative and imaginative abilities. Your creativity gets stimulated by imagining and visualizing the story of a novel, and that helps “stretch” and “exercise” the parts of the brain that work on your creativity and productivity. So if you’re in something of a creative block, try picking up a book!

9. Reading makes you happier

While not everyone is going to find a need for some of the benefits of reading, everyone can use a mood boost! Researchers have discovered that reading puts the mind into a “pleasurable trance-like state,” similar to meditation, and improves the mood considerably. In fact, regular readers have been shown to have considerably lower rates of depression and self-esteem problems than non-readers!

10. Reading fiction strengthens problem-solving skills

Given the benefits that reading can offer to your cognition, stress, and language skills, it’s no wonder how reading fiction can improve your problem-solving skills. In fact, fiction reading is strongly recommended for those who have complicated jobs that involve fast thinking and problem solving, such as business. Fiction readers have more flexible and imaginative minds, making it easier for them to solve problems on the fly.

Encourage your children to develop a love of reading and reap these incredible benefits of reading fiction throughout their entire life with Tidy Books. Tidy Books creates beautiful kids bookshelves that allow them to see and access their library easily, giving them personal agency in their reading experience and encouraging a lifelong passion for literature.

Géraldine Grandidier

About Géraldine Grandidier

Géraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile. She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids. Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.

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