How many books do you read a year?  According to Statista, 9% of individuals read up to 3 books each year. Thirteen percent of individuals read up to 5 books per year.  Twenty percent of individuals read up to 10 books per year, and 17 percent of individuals read up to 15 books per year. This means that 59% of the population reads books and 41 percent of people either read more than 15 books per year or 0 books per year.  The truth of the matter is that everyone should read more fiction books because they will stimulate your brain, improve your creativity and expand your critical thinking skills. You may even be warding off dementia.

1 . You’ll Expand Your Vocabulary

Reading fiction can help you expand your vocabulary faster than reading a dictionary or thesaurus, and it will give you the ability to use the new words.  This is because fiction writers often strive to use the most accurate word available to describe a scene, character emotion or action. Some new words I’ve run across while reading fiction include maudlin, abominable, repugnant, unprepossessing and nefarious. If you know what these words mean, that’s fantastic, you can learn even more.  If you have never heard of or used these words, you can learn the definitions of these, use them and learn the definitions and uses of even more words.

 

2. You’ll Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

Reading about character getting out of intense and often dangerous situations can help you improve your critical thinking skills.  When you read about a character trapped in a room and how he or she gets out of the room, your mind also thinks of ways to get out of the room that may or may not match the character's actions.  When your mind moves forward to solve any type of problem, even an imaginary problem, it expands and adapts. You may even learn something new. Many fiction writers deeply research various aspects of their fiction.  For example, if the book contains a character giving the heimlich maneuver to stop another character from choking, the author may actually describe the procedure, which means you’ve just learned the basics on how to stop someone from choking.  While also taking a first aid class can expand this knowledge, you will have the basics so that you can potentially help someone if they are choking.

3. You’ll Improve Your Creativity

Reading can help you improve your creativity.  This goes hand-in-hand with critical thinking skills, but if you’re looking for inspiration for your next creative project, reading a book can help.  Reading fiction books can give you alternate perspectives on even the most seemingly menial of things. For example, if you’re thinking about renovating your kitchen, reading a book about a character who has a kitchen can help.  If you’re contemplating painting a new picture, a scene in a book may inspire you to paint something similar or your own ideas of what the scene may look like.

4. You May Be Warding Off Dementia

Keeping your brain active and stimulated may be able to ward off dementia. According to Psychology Today, reading may reduce memory decline, brain lesions and tangles by up to 30 percent.  In fact, it is estimated that individuals who read have few physical signs of dementia than those who do not read.

Reading goes well beyond the characters and plot in a book.  Every time you read a fiction book, you are stimulating your brain on a cellular level, much like if you were to go to the gym on a regular basis.  Working out helps you maintain and grow your muscle mass. Reading helps you keep your brain in good condition.