ReadingBenefits of Reading in Modern Society

Michael D Schoenfeldt
3 min readJan 29, 2022

An important skill, reading regularly can positively impact different aspects of a person’s life. Proficient reading skills have been described as a requirement for living a successful life. Reading makes learning a language and interacting with people from diverse backgrounds much easier. Reading gives access to cultural values that broaden perspectives on various issues.

Reading helps people become more empathetic toward the conditions of others. In the workplace, for example, reading helps to understand the peculiarities of other people, understand oneself better and ensure teamwork. Also, reading broadly helps people make more thoughtful and informed contributions to national discourse.

The development of a country is based on the quality of its human resources. Reading serves as a pathway to education which is crucial in developing human capital. In Frans Johansson’s book The Medici Effect, the author noted that creativity is intersectional, with ideas often giving birth to other ideas. Readers may develop reasoning and writing skills that are key to developing human capital.

Reading plays a vital role beyond education. Reading spurs critical thinking, which may improve cognitive function. Reading helps improve analytical and comprehension skills. This, in turn, helps retention and stabilizes emotions. Similarly, reading helps to ensure that an individual’s mind is healthy and young as it has been reported that reading reduces one’s chances of contracting Alzheimer’s disease.

A study by the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation monitored 294 older people in their 80s and subjected them to mentally drilling tasks like reading and writing. These older people were also subjected to thinking and memory tests in the years leading to their death to monitor their progress. Upon their death, the autopsies reported that those who engaged in reading and writing experienced less memory decline than those who didn’t.

Many people read for pleasure. Books help them escape from the cares of reality. Some books help relax the mind and replenish energy. People who have difficulties sleeping are often advised to pick up a book. Books can improve a person’s general mood.

According to a study, six minutes dedicated to reading can help slow down the heart rate and reduce muscle tension. The study further noted that reading helps reduce stress levels by 68 percent.

Reading also helps people develop good oratory skills. Readers may have a large vocabulary and a better command of language and grammar. These skills often improve employment prospects.

Reading has been linked to competence in a professional since workers must keep reading to stay up to date in their careers. Furthermore, the mind of an avid reader is often trained to spot tiny details and be meticulous with facts. Readers are cognitively conditioned to find connections or correlations in the smallest pieces of unrelated information. Consequently, a reader’s mind is inclined toward solving puzzles and transforming raw data into useful information.

Today, there are many sources of digital and physical distractions. Avid readers may be able to manage their attention and stay focused. The ability to remain focused and multi-task is an essential soft skill that most employers look for.



Michael D Schoenfeldt

A retired Army colonel based in Kansas City, Kansas, Michael D. Schoenfeldt most recently served as the commander of an armored brigade combat team.