Why You Need to Be Reading More
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Why You Need to Be Reading More

Why reading should be equal with exercising on your agenda.

Why You Need to Be Reading More

It all started the day you learned how to read. As soon as those letters started to make sense in your young mind, you would start to hear the phrase that would probably plague you for the next eighteen or so years. “You should read more!”, whether said disapprovingly by a teacher or enthusiastically from a parent who loves a good book, you heard it all the damn time and although you were constantly being reminded, you never really listened.

Sure, for someone with a full time job or a full time schedule of classes, it can be daunting to find the time between Netflix and chill or going out for “one drink” with your friends. However, reading is like a workout for your brain, in more ways than the way it “works out” the muscle that is your brain. It is well known that working out is a good way to relieve your stresses and anxieties, by getting you out of your head and letting you focus on your muscles, and reading can be extremely similar. What many psychologists call the Theory of the Mind, we have an innate ability to want to explain other humans behaviors in terms of feelings, emotions and beliefs. Through reading a good book, we are presented with a broad range of thoughts and feelings to analyze, and sorting out character's true motives by the end of the novel psychologically satisfies us. This part of our mind is also interested in truth values we read about, where our brain finds satisfaction from simply determining if we think a character was right or wrong, morally or otherwise, in their decisions.

What this means, is the more great books you read, the more complex characters for your brain to analyze, and the more happy and satisfied a person you become. While television, especially crime shows, can somewhat fulfill us, it will always be a lot more satisfying to read a few chapters of a book instead of binge watching Law and Order, and possibly staying up until 5 am on a Tuesday doing so. Don’t know where to start? Check out ten of the best books you should be reading to maximize the satisfaction of your brain.

1. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde

Okay, you may have read this in English class, and probably even more than once. But the truth value factor on this one is too good to pass up. Enjoy determining if Dorian Gray is super evil, or just super mislead.

2. "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath

One of my personal favorites, poet Sylvia Plath's only novel centers around a smart and ahead-of-the-game young protagonist who falls apart. The roller coaster of her emotions will have you turning the pages as quickly as possible to understand her thought process.

3. "We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart

What seems like a regular story about a college-bound girl's summer away with family, eventually proves to completely unravel in a way that will have you drooling on the pages. If you're looking for your brain to be blown away, this is the novel for you.

4. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn

Another of the more exciting and leave-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat choices, "Gone Girl" is a whirlwind of emotions and motives from start to finish. Your brain will be super occupied with this choice, you won't even think about your Chemistry homework due in an hour. Plus, when you finish, you can watch the movie adaptation, and any movie starring Ben Affleck is 100% worth it.

5. "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer

While this may be the only journalistic piece on the list, Krakauer narrates the true story of Chris McCandless on his journey away from society and people. Using various studies and sources, you're constantly thinking about all of the different factors that lead up to McCandless' eventual demise in Alaska, and what it all meant.

What it comes down to, is of course your personal preference when talking about what type of book will help to fulfill you the most, but if you don't start, how will you ever know? Just like working out, you will find that the more you stretch your reading muscles, the more you will turn to cracking open a book instead of turning on that TV.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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