Yes I Read… But Not Because I Have To

It’s Monday night. You just finished the worst day of the week. You could really use a way to relax. So what do you do? Do you open up a bottle of wine? Well, obviously. Do you draw yourself a bubble bath? Perhaps. What about cracking open that book in your nightstand?

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why would I want to jump right into studying after a long, stressful day?” But the type of reading I’m referring to is not related to studying. I’m talking about reading for pleasure.

Many people, especially college students, are so overwhelmed with other types of reading that they forget how pleasurable reading a good book can be. Last summer, I got back into pleasure reading, and I’ve noticed a few things:

1. I feel more relaxed every day.

There is nothing like unwinding with a good book. Reading is such an easy activity; it allows me to take my mind off of all my stresses and just enjoy one simple pleasure. When I put aside time to partake in a relaxing activity, I feel stress-free both while I am reading and in all other aspects of my life.

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2. I sleep better each night.

I tend to read just before bed. Unlike watching TV, which requires a bright light to shine on my face, reading requires only a simple book. Reading is soothing, and relaxes me enough to fall asleep. When I awake, I feel happy and refreshed, which doesn’t always happen when I opt to watch TV before bed.

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3. My brain feels sharper.

Also compared to watching TV, which is a completely mindless activity, reading requires me to use my mind to read and interpret the words in front of me. You may think that would actually wind me up before bed, but as I said, it doesn’t. While I’m reading, the only thing working is my mind, which not only relaxes me, but keeps my brain sharp every day.

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4. My schoolwork has improved.

Because I’m taking that time each night to sharpen my mind and relax, which helps me sleep better, I am better prepared to take on the school day. Each night, I give myself a few hours to study before diving into the books I read for fun, which gives me incentive to study efficiently. And after focusing on boring books for hours on end, it’s nice to read about something I enjoy.

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5. I’m happier and more invested in my personal life.

While you’re in college, everything in your life can feel like it either has to do with getting a good grade, getting a good job after graduation, or partying. It’s nice to set aside time to partake in an activity that is just for your enjoyment.

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So, my friends, I urge you to put down those textbooks (after you finish your studying), pick up a good book, and enjoy the simple pleasure of reading again! What will be your next book? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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