While it may seem like reading is a basic staple in the American culture thanks to a booming market in digital readers like Kindles and Nooks, in reality, according to an article in the LA Times, American adults have low (and declining) reading proficiency.
With the advent of so much video content to be found online, why crack open a book and struggle to understand the printed word when you can have someone just show you something visually?
For that matter, why read an 800 page Harry Potter book when you can watch a movie about it in just a few hours? In our “30-second sound bite world” we have lost the ability to dig deep into ideas and concepts for the long periods of time that reading a book requires.
Thankfully, reading is not an entirely lost art, and there are still plenty of people tucked away in nooks, crannies, corners and quiet places who still love delving deeply into the pages of a good old-fashioned book. These people may be hard to find, but here are 5 reasons why finding them is worth the effort.
5 Reasons Why People Who Read Are Some of The Coolest People
1. People who read books take time to see the big picture.
Have you ever messed up and then had someone treat your mistake as if it’s the end of the world? This alarmist thinking is often the product of watching too many news segments that garner viewers by turning every minor event into a major crisis.
But people who read books often see a larger picture and have a greater ability to wait for more of the story to unfold before taking jumping to conclusions. They understand that life is a journey and there are many twists, turns and set-backs before reaching the end goal.
In fact, they understand that things that might seem like a set-back at the time can actually become a great boon in the end, so they are far less likely to engage in knee-jerk reactions.
2. People who read are more likely to stay mentally sharp as they age.
The brain is much like a muscle, which means the more you use it the stronger it remains and the less you use it the more rapidly it deteriorates. Reading is a neurologically demanding activity that is to the brain what lifting weights is to the muscles.
Research conducted at Tufts University and Haskins Laboratories, (affiliated with Yale University) has shown that reading helps keep your memory sharp, your learning capacity nimble, and contributes heavily to greater overall mental acuity in old age.
3. People who read will often understand you better than anyone else.
Most people tend to gravitate towards those that are much like themselves, because those are the people they understand the best. Readers, on the other hand, are exposed through literature to all manner of social environments and cultural norms. They therefore tend to not only understand people like themselves, but those who are completely different from themselves as well.
4. People who read are are generally more interesting.
Most books are set in a time and place other than the one the reader lives in and even fictional books tend to be well researched and introduce the reader to all manner of new and intriguing ideas and concepts. Readers have the ability to hold their own beliefs while remaining open to the possibility of alternative realities.
Readers, therefore, can often speak competently on a great number of topics and are even gracious debaters. Because they view conversation as a means to explore other viewpoints, they are not intent on persuading anyone to their personal point of view, but rather see it as a means of examining different perspectives.
5. People who read books are more adventurous.
For the most part, people love their little routines; eating at the diner where their order is already known and frequenting the coffee shop where the barista knows exactly how to prepare their favorite latte. We like to think we like change, which is why we love things like going to a new restaurant, but in reality once we are there, we order food that we are comfortable with and will only go back if the environment seems comfortable and familiar to us.
Readers, however, regularly inhabit strange new worlds in their mind, which makes them far more comfortable with the different and unique in real life. Readers will almost always know the coolest little out-of-the-way places that the mainstream populace is completely unaware of and traveling with a reader is most often a delightful experience.
All in all, you will be hard pressed to find more intelligent and engaging people than readers. It’s a pretty good bet that if a reader chooses to spend time with you rather than with one of their favorite books, you will be in for an interesting time. A reader’s ability to engage in interesting and novel (pun intended) conversation will rarely leave you with an uncomfortable lull in conversation.