Why are books pretty much the best thing our species ever contributed to the universe?
Books are your personal teleportation device. The whole, “a reader has lived a thousand lives” things is 100% true. Books allow you to travel the globe and to even travel to places that don’t exist in our reality. You get to meet people you have never heard of, you get to live in time periods that are long past, and you get to walk in the shoes of someone other than yourself. A book allows you to melt away from where you are into an entirely other dimension, and the most magical part is that it all takes place in your head.
It is exercise for your brain that is actually enjoyable. You are so lucky to have a brain that functions the way yours does, but your brain needs you to use it. It needs to be able to make new connections. You can always learn something new. You can always build new memories. And your brain loves it. You brain wants to be taken care of. You know that you need to exercise your body, but often the brain is neglected even though it is where your essence is located. You wouldn’t be you without your brain, so it is important to keep it in peak working order. Plus if you find a book you like, you get brain exercise with relaxation and pleasure. For further evidence, here is a PET scan that shows brain activity. Note that the most amount of activity occurs in your forebrain (the part of your brain that makes you uniquely humans) when you are thinking about words (reading).
You will be able to talk about things with “intellectuals.” One of my favorite ideas comes from Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He argued that the greatest minds in our society will never say, “oh I am a nuclear physicist/lead prosceutor/spinal surgeon/etc… I don’t get Shakespeare.” Great minds know more than just the information relevant to their field. Books are important for understanding the world around you, because there is no way you will ever be able to experience everything there is to experience on your own. However, if you use the tool around you, you will be able to look to the past, look for context, and look for humanity within the pages of a book. Neil even gives us his personal reading list for understanding our society.
Books are like a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign without the rudeness. Unfortunately, people have started to disregard headphones as a sufficient conversation block. Instead they wave their hand in front of your face to get your attention. However, with a book you can be so engrossed that if someone is trying to get your attention, you can just feighn ignorance due to the amazing plot that demanded your entire attention. If you want to be triple safe… book + headphones + silent section of the library. PSA: If someone interrupts a reader, they open themselves up to attack.
Reading is cool. Emma Watson says so, and so do a bunch of other cool people. The people we look up to typically have one thing in common. They are readers! Role models are there to guide you towards being your best self. So follow their lead!
Books are magical. It makes me crazy when people say that they hate to read. I would gurauntee that everyone in the world loves to read given the right book in their hands. So find your book. Expand your mind. And fall in love with words.