To Read or Not to Read
ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL! Do you recognise this quote? It’s from Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. What about the title? It’s from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a little bit changed.
Today, in honour of the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series, we want to talk about why reading is beneficial! We know, we know, we’re starting to sound like your parents, but hear us out first, decide later : )
Whether you read women’s magazines, a Charles Dickens novel, poetry, short stories or new fiction, reading benefits the mind and body:
- At the end of the day, you’ve had your dinner but you feel tired and can’t sleep yet? Reading helps you to relieve stress and fall asleep! I personally fall asleep after three pages of Charles Dickens or Wuthering Heights.
- It improves your memory, decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s – now, if that isn’t a fantastic benefit I don’t know what is!
- Scientific studies have concluded that those who read regularly are more empathetic! When you read about how others are feeling, you learn to read those signs on people’s faces and in their body stances when you speak to them in person, allowing you to have better social interactions.
Reading is also beneficial when you learn a new language – but that shouldn’t be a surprise! Don’t be mad, but when we learn new things we are like children absorbing new information, wherever it might be from.
The main benefit of reading in a foreign language you are learning is that it helps you remember vocabulary better. Reading words in familiar and unfamiliar contexts helps us understand the different meanings. If you don’t understand the word contextually, grab a dictionary-thesaurus. Reading also helps to improve your speaking and writing! You might not even notice that you are improving but your subconscious picks up on correct phrasing and words and hey, presto! – you are using them too.
If you don’t want to read children’s books, maybe YA (Young Adults)? These are slightly longer and more difficult to read, but at least it isn’t Shakespeare – the truth is, Shakespeare is difficult for British people too!
My advice? If a book you love was translated into English, read it in English. At least you know the story already and can focus on improving your English!