The earth is more literate than ever before. As little as two-hundred years ago, only around 12% of the global population possessed the ability (or access to education) to read – with the vast majority of that 12% being members of the educated, elite classes. By 1960, a dramatic increase in access to education, schooling and libraries had seen that number more than double to 42%. Whilst impressive, there was still much work needed to be done. However, as of 2015, that number had dramatically risen to include as much as 86% of the global population – a cool 6.3 billion people (these numbers were courtesy of Our World in Data). In the next 60 years, there is hope that the remaining 14% are able, also, to experience the effects of increased access to all of those wonderful facilities which we have gained access to in the previous century so that they, too, can relish the joys of reading.
Travel to Another World – The Joys of Reading
Pick Up A Book
Yet, despite all of the positive work which has gone into the process of eradicating illiteracy, you will be surprised by the sheer number of people who have never read a book – missing out on the joys of reading which are so easily obtainable. In the UK, a developed nation where only 16% of adults are classified as illiterate – a number still far too high – only 53% of adults can claim they have read a book in the past year. Again, a surprising number, considering how easily accessible books are. Additionally, one must consider this 53% to be an anomaly – a bloated statistic, boosted by the extra home time which came as a result of frequent lock downs, as the pandemic ran rife in the UK. Therefore, it is highly possible – and widely expected – that this number drops down somewhat in the next year, as life returns to something resembling what it was before the pandemic.
We think, therefore, that many people in developed nations with easy access to reading do not understand the luxury at their disposal; they fail to grasp the concept of reading. Reading is whatever you want it to be: it can be a method to de-stress after a long day; it can be an escape from the real world; it can, in the present day, be an escape from the digital world – there are so many reasons to pick up a book and all of these reasons are positive. Therefore, there is no reasonable excuse to not pick up a book and, if you are visually impaired and/or possess some other disability which makes it difficult or impossible to read, there is no reasonable excuse to not begin listening to audiobooks.
The Joys of Reading
Reading possesses a near unlimited number of benefits. For young people, reading is an easy tool to develop a number of cognitive faculties – from expanding your knowledge, to improving your memory and enhancing your vocabulary. Whether you are a young person in school or someone who has just entered the world of work, reading frequently will offer you a number of advantages in life. Additionally, as a young person, access to reading couldn’t be any easier – with school, colleges, universities etc nearly all containing vast libraries with all the reading to your heart’s content.
For those a little further along in life, reading regularly can be especially beneficial. Not only does it offer the same aforementioned qualities which most benefit the young, but it does much more; it makes life easier, offering you something to look forward to after a long, stressful day at work or at home. It provides that escape from the troubles of the real world; offering you something different, which makes you feel better mentally and within yourself – maybe even outwardly. If you have fears of developing dementia, there are studies which show that reading regularly can reduce or perhaps even prevent the process; your mind’s mental shape being fit and ready to face off any threat, no matter how challenging or terrifying it may be. Reading may not prevent dementia, but it sure gives you the necessary, easily accessible equipment to keep it under control for a while longer. For people already living with dementia, reading regularly is a method of slowing the process – helping you to overcome many of the challenges and obstacles which come with it.
Should you be fortunate enough to have access to books – whether hard copy or digital – or audiobooks, then we can’t recommend them enough; reading is an essential, beautiful quality which can improve the lives of many. With there being literally millions of books out there, there is certainly at least one which should appeal to you, if you are unsure about reading. Whether literature – classical or contemporary – biography, historical, fiction or trivia, something awaits you in the literary world. The benefits are endless – this article contains just a few of them. If you haven’t already, you need to experience the joys of reading first-hand. You’ll be better for it. The world will be better for it.
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