THE 10 BENEFITS OF READING

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 28th edition of the Hong Kong Book Fair was held from 19 to 25 July. The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre hosted the theme: Under the theme of “Reading the World ・ People, Places, Passions”. This year’s event attracted about 670 exhibitors from 37 countries and regions and more than 320 cultural activities were held during the fair period. Its aim was to encourage readers to travel around the world and broaden their horizons. – Source: hkbookfair.hktdc.com

A week after large companies and exciting start-ups visited the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Hong Kong Book Fair 2017 happened. On its first day last July 19, book lovers lined up as early as 6:30am in the morning.

For HK$25/adult (HK$10 for tourists), you may enjoy seeing books of all sizes. Touching a range of genres, piled up for sale at very affordable prizes, tons of books were released at the convention. This annual event brings people in with their luggage to be filled with good buys and probably for profit as they buy lots of copies to sell.

This is the 28th edition of the Hong Kong Book Fair and this year, its theme focuses on travel – just at the right timing of the specific subject I chose for my Freelance Course! For the second time I checked out this event (I was still single during the first time I did), I had brought my daughter with me to expose her to the best portal in seeing the world through reading.

But why do we really read?


Besides taking you to places, here are the other benefits that may just convert the non-readers into becoming one.

ACQUIRING INFORMATION

Published books, most especially non-fiction, has a sole reason to inform. Oftentimes, it aims to give quality information. An editor reviews it before a publishing company agrees to put it up for sale. Resources in writing the book should be credible and topics should be researched or proven. Simply put, it goes through a needle-hole before it gets on the shelves of a local bookstore. That means, a shitty book, does not exist! Reading a book opens a channel for new information to be acquired, thus, the whole process, This adds up to your knowledge which leads to its second benefit.

PREVENTS YOUR BRAIN FROM DETERIORATING

Brain cells develop when we exercise our ability to learn. And learning usually happens when we experience something new. A skill develops when it’s done numerable times. When we don’t use our brain cells, they might end up becoming non-functional for real. There are studies that Alzheimer’s disease, a neurological disorder where brain cells die resulting to memory loss and cognitive decline,  maybe connected to not letting the brain cells act on its purpose in the first place. The simplest way to keep them busy is to let it receive information. Read.

HELPS YOU BUILD YOUR THESAURUS

For clarity of expression and communication, most especially in writing, having a rich pool of words in your mind enables you to tell a story. As far as describing something or explaining a procedure effectively and in detail, this may come in handy. Describing someone happy is different from describing him ecstatic. Writing cookbook directions specifically, like, “folding” beaten eggs into the mixture is an umbrella word for a whole process. Step-by-step procedure goes from beating the egg then having it equally distributed in the mixture. It goes all the way to making sure it got no bubbles of some sort as you let it settle. The word, “folding”, shortened the instructions, as you can see. Also, it lessens vague and generalized knowledge into something exact and specific.

INSPIRES YOUR CREATIVITY

Don’t underestimate your capacity to imagine, dream and reason out. For these are the very skills that separate human species from being carnal and animalistic. We are bound to be creators and reading is a way to feed its ultimate motivator, our curiosity. May it be writing a book, producing films or molding something. When getting something out of our system, we need something to come to us, to our senses, to our brain cells, to our hearts. Reading somehow enables us wonderfully, period!

KEEPS YOU ENTERTAINED

Books cover a limitless genre. It is a medium of entertainment for some that they compare reading a book as like watching a movie. Remember, “The idle mind is the workshop of the devil.” Instead of choosing to be of no purpose for minutes to a day, try ad pick up any book. Start with a title that interests you, then give it a chance.

REDUCES STRESS

At your own pace and liking, you may find reading as something that could actually distract you from anything distressing. Those who love to read books find relief when they give time to it as they separate themselves from a fast-paced, high-tech world. Nowadays, the evolution in technology had become too overwhelming. Personally, I catch myself daydreaming of a nook where you could curl up with a book. That could com with a cup of latte every now and then for an escape. And how good it would be if I could actually make time for it.

ENHANCES YOUR ABILITY TO STAY FOCUSED

Your selective hearing gets enhanced when you are into your book so much. For an instance, while I may be in the MTR where people would talk right and left, I can remain focused. I wouldn’t find it that much of a bother at all. It prevents me from getting bothered in the first place because of my ability to filter what I want to hear. It’s not about “selective hearing” per se but it actually helps me put into a funnel the things worth noticing and paying attention to. Let me explain further. It means, my discipline to select what I need to hear or what I should focus on at the moment makes me able to block unnecessary stimuli.

This makes you resilient to unnecessary comments that doesn’t serve you well. Therefore, it enables you to block negative vibes and provoking statements. It prevents your mind from going out of control. Reading feeds your ego and the superego which is necessary to balance your id.

ENHANCES YOUR ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE 

The more information you get your teeth into, the more output you could creatively come up with. This includes the way your converse to people. You don’t get tongue-tied and you know it’s not some bull s#!* you just made up if you know what you’re talking about. You can say now that “you read in an article that….” or “you came across this book that talked specifically about”…. and the people, who you were actually talking to, will be encouraged to do the same! Read. Because they were influenced in a good way. Because you were so reliable with what you said and because you open your mouth with sense, you attracted these people to pay attention to you. Some might even look up to you because they perceive you smart.



HELPS YOU BECOME SELF-AWARE

Reading fiction can awaken your soul because you give life to what you read through your imagination. What you think of the characters, how you picture them, how you form their images in your head. How you receive their personalities and empathise with their journeys speak a lot of truth about yourself. We long to be these heroes in the books we read. Or sometimes, we find ourselves liking a particular villain because you fight for the same belief.

All of these help you know yourself more. On the other hand, reading non-fiction drives you to seeing the world with your own eyes because of the things you’ve read, exploring the seas to prove to yourself the underworld exists, or trying new hobbies because you saw a picture parasailing, skiing and scuba diving somehow. Books bring you to different worlds with its pages. You never knew you would want to be in there until you’ve read about it.

MAKES TIME RELIVABLE AND PREDICTABLE 

They said, if you want to stop time, you write about it. Only then can you relive the exact moment over and over as you read these written words. So many historians had put a lot of effort in compiling books from the ancient times connecting it to today’s to keep record of man’s evolution. Because of it, we were able to study trends, our ability to socialize, how human species actually existed and to that we even have predictions of the end of the world. Scientific procedures tallied results. It calculated flights and predicted its scheduled return long before it actually happens. Study of physics and astrology became possible that predicted phenomenal occurrences. This is because of the books that speak of calculus, physics, the solar system, algorithms and many many more configurations.

I’m sure these may seem limited to some of you but I have presented to you the basic benefits I know of. If you wish to add something to this, I urge you to share it via the comment box below.

Give yourself time. Give reading a chance and see what happens.

“Who Was?” was my favourite shelf. They are books about famous people and they are not too long or too thick. They are pocket-sized and they are very informative.



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I have a deep regard for your time. It's when I write and cook that time becomes non-existent. I love learning and while you think I am the kind of lady who has a lot of things to say, just take it that I was sharing what I had learned with full impact over a cup of Joe.

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