When was the last time you put aside a few minutes a day for relaxing and reading? The answer for most of us is “I don’t know”, in our increasingly busy lives it is quite hard to find time for the smaller things, the simpler things. Endless commitments and ever more connected lives mean it is harder for us to set aside time for things that we often overlook, one of our older pastimes… Its time to consider extending our daily reading habits beyond our Facebook newsfeed and Instagram captions.
It opens doors to learning new things, new ideas and concepts. No matter what age you are, we can all agree its good to never stop learning? Picking up a book that looks interesting may be a gateway into a new world; sparking your imagination like you never expected.
ALSO! This has been proven to keep our brain young! Research has shown that people who mentally challenge themselves, through mediums like reading, have a lower chance of developing Dementia or Alzheimer’s and may even prevent it entirely.
More obviously, reading expands your vocabulary. People who read more books are exposed to more vocabulary and these have a much greater chance of making it into your everyday speech. This is a great idea especially if you are learning a new language. Challenge yourself! Add a few good books to your language-learning repertoire and before you know it you’ll have countless new words to use with your native friends.
Inevitably there are those of us with considerably busy lives, constantly between work commitments, household chores, children, shopping…. The list goes on…. BUT! There is no excuse there! Audiobooks are now available right on your mobile. Services like Audible and even free websites, like LibriVox, provide a library of great literary content straight to your smartphone. Even if you’re taking the metro to work, stuck in rush hour traffic or cooking your favourite meal there’s always an opportunity to take in the great benefits of reading.
My first reccomendation for anyone looking to learn English would be the Language Transfer series of podcasts available on YouTube and Soundcloud. Starting from the basics there are 40 lessons that you can work through at your own pace and replay as many times as you like. Put on in the background or sit down and listen this is a great way to supplement your English language learning.
A book for intermediate English learners would be 'James and the Giant Peach' by Roald Dahl, this is a literary classic and the language used isn't overly complicated, and deliveres an enjoyable storyline. Although aimed at children this book can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
So next time you’re endlessly scrolling Facebook or about to binge watch another hour of Netflix, spare a thought for the books sitting on your shelves that you “just haven’t had time for”.