Is Reading A Waste Of Time?

5 Reasons Why Books Matter

A hand holds up a pile of blue, black, and white books in front of a plain white wall.
Photo by Thought Catalog from Pexels

There are hundreds of thousands of books out there, from autobiographies to poetry to epic fantasy. To some people, thinking about all those new, unexplored books out there makes them giddy with excitement. To others, it’s enough to make them pass out with exhaustion.

You might be in the middle. Maybe you like books, but don’t have enough time to read them. Maybe you have a good amount of free time, but you’re not sure if you should spend your hours reading.

Here are five reasons why you should spend your time reading books, and will hopefully help you decide if this hobby is the right one for you.

5. Conversation Topic

Maybe you’re not the most book-loving person in the world, but some of your friends might be. Books are a common conversation topic — and for good reason. Things like book clubs were built solely for the purpose of talking about good books, which is conversation bound to be filled with debate, theories, predictions, and just plain fangirling.

If you’re someone who loves to be with other people, you might want to ask your friends what their favorite books are, or what they’re reading right now. Check those books out, maybe read a little bit of it, and you might find out that you actually really like it. Now, you and your friend can have a nice little topic to chat about, whether it’s arguing over which superpower is coolest, or seething over the latest scheme the minister’s been planning.

4. Improve Your Writing

You’ve probably heard it before, but I’ll tell you once again: One of the best things you can do as a writer is read.

There are plenty of reasons why reading benefits you as a writer. One of the biggest is inspiration. A new angle on a topic, a new character trait combination — while I’m not suggesting copying, analyzing and absorbing other author’s writings can help you get ideas for your own writing.

Also, even if you’re not an active writer, reading might just be the thing to inspire you to become one. I started writing because of all the amazing books I read, and from a young age I wanted to create my own worlds, my own characters and conflicts and settings and problems. So if you want to try this whole ‘writing’ thing out, you might want to turn to reading more books, just to get the storytelling part of your brain up and running.

A white book is held open by hands on a wooden table, a messy white cloth to the left and a green leaf in the right corner.
Photo by Enzo Muñoz from Pexels

3. Gain Knowledge

There’s plenty of knowledge to be learned, and there’s plenty of types of it. When I say ‘books’ and ‘knowledge’, you probably think immediately of non-fiction books, which whole purpose is to teach and educate you about real-world topics, like business and lifestyle.

However, in this case I mean fiction books. Fiction books? Teaching you? You might be surprised at this, but it’s true. While it’s not as obvious as non-fiction books, novels are a great source of education. What they teach us is something every single person has experienced, and is still learning about: life.

Fiction gives us a peek into other people's lives. You yourself might have never met a single mother with dreams to become an architect, but maybe you meet one in a book. It shows us different problems, conflicts, solutions. It teaches us through the characters, through the world. It takes us away from where we are, and transports us to where the characters are. It also educates us with themes, morals, and messages, conveying hard-learned lessons through fictional people.

2. Entertainment

Perhaps the most obvious reason why people love reading books, entertainment is something that novels strive to provide. Good books, ones that immerse you into the world, that spin words and sentences into living people and real problems, are enough to consume hours and hours of your day, without you even noticing. They can make you laugh and cry and scream and sit on the edge of your seat, suspense tensing your every muscle.

Books can make you happy. And that alone is a reason to read.

1. Escape From Reality

You had a hard day. It was long and tedious and you can’t stand the thought of doing it all over again tomorrow. You just want to take a pause in this life where nothing good or interesting ever seems to happen.

You just want to escape.

That happens a lot, to a lot of different people. And books can help. Books can sweep you away, away from your demanding boss and inconsiderate coworkers, away from your tangled, messed-up relationships with your friends and families, away to a world full of love and loss and magic, depending on the book.

Perhaps the best genre at doing this is fantasy. Novels like Harry Potter and Wings of Fire are just so different from reality, that reality goes away, and all you’re left with is the world hidden in the pages. The feeling of being freed from all the troubles and toils of the real world, of all your problems melting away, can occur with just a cozy blanket and a book.

So is reading worth it? Yeah. To a lot of people, reading is what keeps them going, what makes the real world tolerable. You don’t have to start with huge, seven-hundred paged, three ton books, either. You can just ease into it with smaller, easier-to-read novels, and find out what books you like.

With a bit of searching, discovering new genres and styles, authors and voices, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what books you like. And once you do that…well, there’s nothing stopping you from becoming a book-obsessed reader, just like me.

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Writing. Technology. Entertainment. And that feeling of jumping from hobby to hobby aimlessly.

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The Electronic Pen

The Electronic Pen

Writing. Technology. Entertainment. And that feeling of jumping from hobby to hobby aimlessly.

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