Studies suggest that 40% of adult Nigerians never read a non-fiction book from cover to cover after they finish school. The average Nigerian reads less than 1 book per year, and only 1% of successful men and women in Nigeria read one non-fiction book per month. (Henry,2004)
Honestly, I’m surprised by this statistic. Our reading culture in Nigeria ends after Comprehension in English Language and the compulsory Secondary School Literature books, or effectively after we “pass exam”. Afterwards, its Facebook Feed, Twitter Timeline or just the monthly pay-slip.
You are about to ask me “Who book don epp?” or “Na book I go chop?”. But, I’ve been reading a lot in recent years and below are some of the reasons I read daily and the reasons you should too!
- More Knowledge
Knowledge is power. Economic power, Intellectual power, whichever is your ambition, reading books supports it. I believe reading is the best known way to gain knowledge that maybe useful at work, family life and achieving personal goals. Books often give detailed insight on an issue so reading puts you in a better position to speak intelligently about a subject to co-workers, friends and family members. This could also boost your career, as well-read and well-spoken people who are knowledgeable in different topics tend to get jobs and promotions more quickly because they are thought to be versatile.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss
- Richer Vocabulary
Having a rich vocabulary isn’t arming yourself with “big” words like Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon (aka Igodomigodo) is known to do. The focus is to have enough words to allow you communicate clearly. By reading often, you come across new words and how best they can be used. These words subconsciously make their way in to your day-to-day conversations, making you better at expressing yourself and communicating your opinion or ideas with clarity.
- Better Speaker
Following my previous point, with a rich vocabulary, you become a more confident and articulate speaker. You may even come off as more knowledgeable and influential than you actually really are because your “Charisma points” have been given a serious boost by your superior command of the language, trust me on this one.
- Better Writer
Hand-in-hand with the rich vocabulary: exposure to published, well-written work has a visible effect on your own writing, even in the small things like leaving a loved one a short note or writing an office memo. Observing the sentence structure and writing styles of notable authors influence your own style, you learn how to write exquisite pieces by reading the works of others. Inevitably, you become a better writer, communicating succinctly.
Now, believe it or not, a good book can help you escape current realities, at least for a while, and give your brain the reboot it needs to deal with life’s challenges. I get a few hours of respite from stress at work or my personal life by slipping away and losing myself in the pages of a well written book. It lets me relax, and I often come back with a new perspective on these difficulties. You should try it. I recommend a book over alcohol, but even better is a book and a glass…or two of wine.
““Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ― Mark Twain
- Boosts Creativity
Reading a variety of books often exposes you to new ideas, experiences and solutions to problems you might have encountered or are yet to come face-to-face with. Either way, you learn a new way to handle some situations in life.
“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ― Isaac Asimov
A well-written story can be very entertaining. Depending on the genre you enjoy, from drama, horror to science fiction, reading a good book can be far more entertaining than watching a movie. Books don’t have soundtracks, I know, but with books you get all the fine details that actors can’t completely project; like the character’s thoughts. With a movie, it’s 3D at best, but with a book, I swear it’s a 100D. You aren’t watching the story; you are in the story. In my experience, it’s the most fun when you read out loud so your partner, friends or even your children can enjoy the story with you.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” ― George R.R. Martin
- Mental Health
Finally, as if all the reasons above aren’t enough, research suggests that staying mentally active slows Alzheimer’s Disease. Analyzing stories, figuring out how the book ends or “who the killer is”, forces you to think deeply and critically evaluate characters and scenarios. All the mental activity is good for your brain and will keep it healthy for longer!
Thank you for reading this. Find out How to Read More Books
Please share any benefits of reading you’ve experienced and if you haven’t any, I hope you pick up a book soon.