Why Reading is Important & Does It Make You Smarter?

Reading is one of the most important things that you can spend your time doing.

It’s an incredible hobby that is relaxing, beneficial to your mental health, makes you smarter and is relatively cheap.

5 reasons you should be reading every day?

Increase your knowledge about the world

Reading is incredible because it allows you to learn about so many different things. If you have an interest in space there are hundreds of books that you can read. If you want to read about the medieval ages then there are more books than you could probably ever get through.

Equally, by reading fiction you get to vicariously live hundreds of lives. You go on a rollercoaster of life within a few hours. Writers tend to pull everything from within them and bleed onto the page. They edit it to ensure that you feel something. This can have great benefit. It can help you process things in your own life through the context of a book. It can help you grieve, it can help you love and it can help you understand.

Develop your memory and improve your focus

Reading is something that challenges the brain.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body

Joseph Addison

Reading is also something that you get better at the more you do it! I don’t think people always realise this. They say ‘I just can’t focus or struggle with reading’. What they don’t realise is that they struggle because they don’t read.

Now, of course, when things such as Dyslexia come into play it is a whole other matter – but learn to read and read every day and you’ll find soon enough that you’ll learn to love having a little time set aside each day for just you, your thoughts and the words on a page.

Reduce stress

Reading is a great way to destress.

To get outside of your own head and into another.

It helps to distract you from the problems of your own life. This one is mainly just for fiction, however, but sometimes you can find some non-fiction books such as The Comfort Book or Reasons to stay alive both by Matt Haig that will help you get out of your head too.

The brain will always be thinking, it’s very difficult to shut it down. What is much easier is to give it some place to focus – pick up a book, it’ll change your life!

Develop your communication skills

By reading you expose yourself to hundreds and thousands of words.

Read a thousand books and your words will flow like a river

Virginia Woolf

Some of these you’ll know. Some you’ll have absolutely no idea.

The newest word I’ve learned is apotheosis

Apotheosis: The elevation of someone to divine status (Definition: Oxford Languages)

I read this in The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I have no idea if I’ll ever use it in a sentence, although I will try to slip it into one. But it’s just an example of a word that’s stuck with me.

It’s fun

Reading is fun.

Ask anyone you often see with a book in their hand.

The whole act of it.

  • Buying
  • Shelving
  • Reading
  • Talking about it
  • Reviewing it
  • Finding similar books

Whatever process you have with it. It can be a hobby, and a habit, that can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be.

What should you read?


You can read fiction, non-fiction, poetry, journals or whatever you’d like. It’s all worthwhile – especially if you enjoy it!

Sure, there’s going to be times in your life when you have to read things that you don’t enjoy. Namely school and work. Just try to make sure that these don’t put you off reading forever.

If fiction is what you want to read then READ. If you need convincing have a look at this article written by Author Neil Gaiman for The Guardian – Why Our Future Depends On Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming

These days I’m reading more non-fiction. I like to try and balance out reading non-fiction books (history, psychology and memoirs) with (auto)biographical works and fiction. I also try to throw a few poems in the mix. In the past I only used to really like stories, series in particular. But now, I enjoy a range of stuff – so I always keep a variety of books on hand.

One of my new favourite kinds of books are memoirs entirely about food! Stanley Tucci’s Taste and Jay Rayner’s Chewing The Fat in particular. In fact, one of the books I’m most excited to read this year is David Chang’s Eat A Peach. I’m afraid of how hungry it will make me though.

Does reading make you smarter?

Most people you see reading tend to be smart.

Think about the people you know who read, they tend to be the ones who have their lives more together – even if only a little bit.

This doesn’t mean that reading will turn you into the next Elon Musk or Bill Gates but I think it’s no coincidence that ‘smart’ people are usually voracious readers.

They understand that books enable them to learn the sum of an entire person’s life within a few hundred pages – if not less!

I read books and talked to people. I mean that’s kind of how one learns anything. There’s lots of great books out there & lots of smart people.

Elon Musk

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Read Next: The 5 Novels I’m Most Excited To Read in 2022

Read Next: 8 Non-Fiction Books To Read in 2022

I hope you enjoyed this blog post – and if reading isn’t your thing that’s fine. The time you enjoy wasting isn’t wasted time, so if TV/movies/documentaries are more your thing then enjoy them!

(Learned Men may receive financial compensation from links within this post – these are of no added cost to yourself but aid with the running of this site)

About the author


Welcome! I'm Joseph. I'm trying to be a writer! While I could dabble at poetry, attempt and fail at a novel or two or even become an essayist Y'know these are all things I actually want to do... Anyway, that's beside the point. I want to hone my writing, explore my curiosity and share all the wonders of the world that I find with you!

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