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Does Reading Actually Increase Peoples’ Happiness?

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Last updated on May 30, 2023

Editor’s Note:

This article is a part of the Holos Project, a four-way partnership (ENGin, The Los Angeles Times Insider, Published Points of View, The Outspoken) established to empower the voices of Ukrainian students across the world through one-on-one journalism mentorship. This article was written by Kira Pysana from Ukraine with the mentorship of Rohin Joshi from the United States.

“Holos” is the Ukrainian word for “Voice”. 

Firstly, reading improves memory, focus, communication skills, mental health, and reduces stress. One of the most important things about reading is that its benefits won’t work with just one book per year. Readers should have a strong daily habit. Reading shouldn’t make you suffer and think: “When will I finish? I am extremely bored,” but instead, it should be interesting.  

 As you probably know, reading is the best way to improve your memory, expand general knowledge or just to have a good time. It is also a great way to rest and feel happier. According to Cross River Therapy statistics, over 50% of people that read before falling asleep rest better than people who don’t read. Everyone is busy during the day, but reading is worth taking some time. We are always able to find 15 minutes for social media or usually even more, perhaps you can find a few minutes for reading, because of its importance. You get out of reading entirely what you put into it. 

Try to schedule time for reading. We’re all busy – some of us study often and many adults must work. Finding time with so many chores and responsibilities might make it hard to start reading.  Try to choose the best time for it. For example, you can read after waking up, or before sleeping. That choice depends on your preferences, as for me, it’s easier to read in the morning, because you have a fresh mind. It’s also a productive way to start your day because you feel refreshed. Reading also provides an escape from a person’s problems. Everybody needs that “escape,” yet sometimes, an escape can be lazy, bad for your health, your personal life, and make your problem even worse. But, reading is a healthy escape option, to not make your problems expand. Scheduling can help in developing a reading habit but what’s a habit? Habit is settled, regular tendency or practice and especially one that is hard to give up. That’s what we need. 

You should read only interesting books. You won’t be able to make a strong habit if you really hate reading. Find a book that is fascinating for YOU. Sometimes, you might think that the book will be very interesting, but when you start, you recognize that it’s the absolute opposite. Calm down. That’s completely OK! Maybe you will read it next month, next year, yesterday, or never, it depends. You shouldn’t give up after reading one boring book. There is one simple tip that I use: if you’ve read about 50 pages, and this book doesn’t seem to be interesting – leave it. Try to find something else.

Read a specific number of pages per day. That might be 50, 70, 100, as many as you want. You can also increase this number. If you read 50 pages a day, you will read about 90 books a year (depending on the book’s size). But, don’t be too strict with your numbers: it’s all approximate. It should make you happy. You can always read less or more. Just keep going every day.

Know your “why”. Why exactly do you want to read? You clicked on this article for a reason. I think everybody has different reasons. Write them on a small piece of paper, and when you lose your motivation, look back. Or write a whole list that’s called “WHY” with all your reasons for reading. Always remember why you started.

Start right now. It will be hard, but just remember that great things never come from staying in your comfort zone. You’ll never know if you never try. 

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