Many centuries ago the only way for one to enjoy a quiet moment alone was by reading a book. For ages, literature was the only form of communication over long distances, the only way to spread news and the only way to keep safe the contents of a story that needed to be retold for generations. In today’s age of computers, the Internet and videos however, literature has become increasingly obsolete. When last did you hear of anyone needing to visit the public library? When last did you even see a public library? Anything a library can offer, the Internet can do quicker and easier, isn’t that what we’re told? But is this way of modernization really as positive as we all think or are we losing out on something our grandparents had? Why do people keep buying books when there are so many alternatives that claim to make life so much easier?
Those who love to read will tell you that there is no substitution for a book. Even when trying out e-book readers most purists revert back to paperback because the electronics simply cannot provide the same experience while studying using online tutorials and videos are arguably just not as effective as spending time with a book.
Reading a book can expand your horizons in ways you never thought possible. No longer do you just see what’s presented to you like in a video but you are able to fill the background and complete the characters whichever way you like and mould the story in a way that best works for you. This not only develops your imagination but some argue also your instincts and intuitions.
Literature also helps you to expand your mind and develop critical thinking skills. When reading a book you learn to look between the lines, find symbols, themes, connections and learn about the characters and what drives them. When watching a movie, all the information is forced unto to you, robbing you of the freedom to shape the story while books force you to delve deeper for hidden meanings before a conclusion can be reached. Like any skill, you can only grow then you exercise and reading exercises these skills over and over again in a way that no movie or video can.
The benefits don’t stop with fiction either. Reading a book about the culture, history or religion of other nations gives you an in depth look into those people. The world has changed dramatically with every passing century and life today is obviously nothing like it was 500 years ago. Reading about the world back then allows you to wrap your mind around everything that happened and live yourself into those situations which will undoubtedly provide a better appreciation of the past and the people who lived in it.
Reading also helps you to improve your writing skills. Today’s youth are becoming increasingly less inclined to write or develop proper language skills because of the corruption brought on by texts, Tweets and hash-tags. You will never be able to improve your ability to grasp and utilize a language unless you spend time with that language in its most basic form, literature.