Book reading helps us organize ourselves culturally and emotionally. They make life more meaningful and manageable, but they also do other things. Reading stories provides us with the opportunity to grow in wisdom. Stories broaden our horizons and help us develop our moral compass.
“If you are not reading a novel a week, you cannot live a moral life,”
According to renowned Methodist theologian Stanley Hauerwas. That may seem extreme but consider it. Our own lives are too brief to provide enough “material” to support a deep moral decision-making process. Reading novels and stories allows us to enter deeply imagined lives that are not our own. Experiencing complex moral situations broadens the pool of knowledge from which we make decisions. Great novels are also complex enough to help us flex our moral muscles.
Despite being enslaved by information, wisdom comes from knowing truths about human nature, not facts; it comes from seeing through facts to their underlying patterns. The stories we read and hear shape who we are.
Why reading good literature is important?
Reading fiction, it turns out, is an excellent way to strengthen your social brain. According to research, reading novels, for example, shapes our brains and sculpts our social skills. The study found that people who read fiction perform better on empathy tests. This result held true even after controlling for the possibility that empathetic people would naturally prefer to read fiction.
According to the study, the more fiction a person reads, the better their ability to form mental models of others. Another study published in 2010 discovered that children who were exposed to a lot of fiction had a better ability to read the brain states of others. Oatley discovered that adults who read novels improved their social skills, including emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and extroversion, in another study published in 2009.
Reading fiction appears to allow you to “live in other people’s heads.” As a result, there is a more robust theory of mind. That is, the ability to see things from another person’s point of view, to comprehend that person’s mental model, and to frame issues and ideas in terms of other people’s experiences.
Benefits Of Book reading
I have put a lot of emphasis on the importance of reading already. Anyhow here is the list of major benefits of book reading:
- Reading Broadens your thinking perspectives.
- Influential literature can motivate you.
- Reading reduces stress and anxiety.
- Increases your emotional intelligence.
- Reading is an excellent and low-cost entertainment.
- A better understanding of human nature.
- Increases your general knowledge.
- Reading can also be helpful if you have sleeping problems.
When you finish the book, you are better prepared to face the world because now you are aware of the world’s bitter realities. Remember, your brain is wired to see what is essential rather than what is true. Reading fiction has an impact on your cognitive processes. It has the potential to alter your personality.
Why Should We Develop Reading Habit?
Here are some reasons which tell us why we should develop the habit of reading.
Reading takes us on a journey of self-discovery. Especially when we read inspiring self-improvement books. Consider how the late Stephen R. Covey’s writings influenced people all over the world. We can take proactive steps to become better people after becoming aware of our own flaws. We frequently transform on a personal level before we can become change agents in our organizations.
2. Information and experience
Reading broadens our horizons and stimulates our thought processes. When we delve deeper into “serious” topics like anthropology, sociology, and politics, we gain knowledge that helps shape our worldview. It prepares our minds for more mature and creative thinking skills, which may be necessary when leaders steer an organization’s direction in the business world.
A 2013 Canadian study led by Maja Djikic at the University of Toronto, on the other hand, found that reading literary fiction improves decision-making and makes people more comfortable with uncertainty.
3. Book reading induces compassion
Another study, conducted by psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano, concluded that reading fiction improves cognitive empathy, or the ability to understand the emotions of others. People buy emotions, not products or services, as we all know. If we apply the same principle today, we are in desperate need of caring leaders in positions of power.
In fact, a 2012 Towers Watson study found that whether employees believe their managers are genuinely concerned about their well-being is the most important driver of employee engagement. This empathetic skill is essential when we are negotiating compensation during a payout or dealing with employees who are dealing with unforeseen personal challenges such as the death of a loved one or serious health issues.
4. Book reading enhance verbal Intelligence
It is no coincidence that some of the greatest leaders have the wisest and memorable words. They all have one thing in common: they read voraciously. As a result, reading broadens our verbal intelligence. When communicating to a team or the entire organization, we can effectively articulate ourselves and inspire others. It also provides opportunities for us to interact with our peers and openly discuss ideas.
5. Book reading is a source of pleasure
Reading helps us to sharpen our minds and de-stress after a long day at work. We keep our minds alert and in check by immersing ourselves in good books. We improve our memory and retention skills indefinitely by putting what we read into practice. Such healthy minds lead to a more productive and meaningful life. This is supported by scientific studies that show reading can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the adage, all leaders are readers. If you aren’t already a voracious reader, why not start now? After all, it’s better to start now than later.
Enough emphasis has been put on the importance of book reading. So, if you are convinced to opt for this habit or one might as a hobby, you should start with some interesting and good reading material. Here are some good books for you to read.
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