Reading may seem like an old fashioned or outdated concept nowadays. However, there is extensive and overwhelming evidence of its benefits and impacts on academic achievements, particularly in young people.

Many young children believe that reading has no real benefit or enjoyment, and has no place in their lives. To contrast this, there are many ways that reading can help shape a young child’s life for the better. Firstly, reading helps with empathy. It is proven that by reading stories about other people’s lives, you develop skills to understand the world through someone else’s eyes, while evoking the “theory of the mind” concept- the ability to attribute mental states, like beliefs or intentions from other people, and understand that they can differ from our own.

Reading is also said to reduce stress levels by around 68%, according to the University of Sussex. And professor David Lewis claimed that “it doesn’t really matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book, you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the author’s imagination”. Reading can be shown to lower your heart rate and ease the tension in your muscles and it works faster than many other relaxation methods such as having a hot cup of tea or listening to music.

Reading also grows your vocabulary and literary skills in writing and spelling. And reading doesn’t just help on a school level, studies have shown that 16-year-olds who read books for pleasure outside of school are more likely to secure managerial or professional jobs in later life, and also more likely to follow and fulfil their ambitions.

It is said that reading just 30 minutes a day encourages you to think and use your imagination, training your brain to comprehend ideas and reasoning. It improves your conversation skills; with the language it provides and helps you be a better quick thinker and problem solver. Pick up a book and see for yourself!