If you’re like most adults, you may not have read since teachers in high school or college assigned it. In that case, you may have read the classics and very few novels outside of those. So, what exactly are the benefits of reading as an adult? It turns out that there are quite a few! Here’s what reading does for you:

Broadens Your Horizons

If you don’t typically like to read, you may not have found your genre yet! You can discover a wide variety of different books, including romance, non-fiction, graphic novels, and even Christian fiction, at your local library. Best of all, you get to choose what books may interest you. And if you’re not sure what to read, just ask! Your library staff is well-versed and knowledgeable about the books in their department, and can help find the perfect book for you.

Helps You Relax (Or Stimulates Your Mind)

Socrates is associated with stating “A multitude of books distracts the mind.” And it is true; books can help the reader escape from their own lives for even just a moment. Studies have proven that reading is one of the best ways to relax and wind down after a long day. As an alternative to TV or scrolling on your phone, books are a screen-free way to entertain yourself.

But if you’re looking for something a bit more exciting, certain novels can captivate you as well— mysteries can stimulate your mind as you attempt to solve the novel’s puzzles, and thrillers will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Enhances Memory and Cognitive Function

The brain is like any muscle in the body–it is crucial to exercise it to maintain its efficacy. Mary Pope Osborne once said “Reading is the basic springboard for learning. And books provide the liftoff. They are the great equalizer, opening up new worlds to everyone.” It is crucial to keep learning even as time goes on, and you can learn a lot from books! In fact, according to various studies, reading is shown to reduce the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Reading can also improve your memory in general; as you remember details from each novel (including character names, descriptions, and settings), your mind creates new memories and strengthens old ones.

Strengthens Your Writing Skills

The more you learn, the more you can apply to your daily life. Reading improves your understanding of sentence structure and can enhance your vocabulary, which in turn strengthens your writing. As you read more and more, you also can learn about new styles and types of writing that you can incorporate into your own stories. But it doesn’t stop there—if you work in a role that requires writing of any kind, reading can help you, too. Even writing the perfect email can be an art form that needs fine-tuning.

Hopefully, you already have a few favorite books, but if you don’t, consider these points and visit your library today!