The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Beyond words

The power of reading

Besides being the month that welcomes the first official day of spring, March also has the honor of being National Reading Month. First celebrated in March 1994, in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, National Reading Month is a call to action for individuals of all ages to rediscover the joys and benefits of reading. 

“Today we might take reading for granted but it has a very long history and there was a time when only a few people knew how to read. The first written communication did not happen until 3500 B.C., and the first books did not appear until around 23 B.C. in Rome,” National Today stated. 

Even though nearly everyone has the ability to read today, reading has unfortunately fallen out of style, with many opting to neglect reading entirely. National Reading Month serves as just one of society’s reminders of the profound impact that reading can have on our lives. 

Here are just a few of the reasons why reading is important: 

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  1. Reading reduces stress. Reading has been proven to be an effective and enjoyable way to reduce stress. Being engaged in a good book can transport you to a different world entirely and grant temporary escape from the stressors and pressures of life. Reading also requires concentration and focus, which can create a meditative experience for the reader. 

“A study by the University of Sussex demonstrated that six minutes of silent reading can reduce stress levels by 68 percent. In fact, reading works better and faster than other methods such as listening to music, going for a walk or sitting down for a relaxing cuppa,” the Centre for Adult Education (CAE) noted. 

  1. Reading helps with sleep. Establishing a routine of reading right before bed can send signals to your body that it is time to start winding down. Reading a physical book in the evening can also improve the quality of sleep a person gets, which can, in return, help with stress management
  2. Reading benefits wellness. Besides being an effective stress-relief technique, reading can help alleviate symptoms of mild depression and anxiety, engage the brain (and in doing so, help mental agility), reduce blood pressure, and increase happiness. 

“Booktrust, the UK’s largest reading charity, conducted a survey of 1500 adults in the UK and found that people who read books regularly are on average more satisfied with life, happier, and more likely to feel that the things they do in life are worthwhile,” CAE reported. 

  1. Reading can improve relationships. 

“Despite the solitary bookworm stereotypes, studies have proven a link between reading literary fiction and an increased ability to understand the emotions and thoughts of others, better social skills and relating to others whose lives are different from ours,” CAE remarked. 

Taking time to read can enhance empathy and develop communication skills. Reading books, especially novels that explore the lives and emotions of a diversity of characters, can cultivate empathy. By understanding, and even empathizing with characters, individuals may become more aware of the feelings and perspectives of those surrounding them in real life. 

Literature also contributes to the development of communication skills. Taking time to read can expose individuals to a multitude of language styles, enhance a person’s articulate thoughts, and engage in thoughtful and diverse conversations with others. 

Reading is more than just a pastime, as it presents a multitude of benefits; mental-wellness, stronger relationships, etc. In the fast-paced world of today, it is more important than ever to take the time to read and nurture our minds.

As National Reading Month approaches its final days, try to take some time, even just a few minutes each day, to pick up a book and immerse yourself in its contents. Whether it is finding a few minutes before bedtime or stealing a moment of quiet during a busy day, establishing a habit of reading can help our mental-wellbeing, develop communication skills, and improve relationships. The importance of reading extends far beyond the pages of a book.

For more information about the benefits of reading, please visit and

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Lainey Vollmer
Lainey Vollmer, Staff Writer

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