> Skip to content

Article  •  15 March 2021


5 reasons reading is good for you

The abundant benefits of books.

Improvements to your sleep, concentration and vocabulary are all on the cards if you read more. Not to mention the hours of entertainment and the thrills/laughs/tears/gasps you're sure to enjoy. When was the last time you reached for a novel instead of your phone or TV remote? Make reading part of your every day and reap the rewards. Here's a handful of reasons to pick up a paperback. 

1. Reading reduces your stress levels.

Did you know that reading for just six minutes can reduce tension levels by up to 68 per cent1? Something as simple as reading a few pages can ease tension in muscles and even slow down your heart rate.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee recommends reading as part of your daily plan to feel great. In Feel Better In 5 he writes ‘many of my patients find that getting into the practice of reading in the morning can be calming. Consider reading something uplifting and motivating that puts you in a positive frame of mind to start the day.’ Here are a few up lit suggestions to get you started. 

2. Reading teaches you something new.

Whether it's a non-fiction book that has you reading fun facts out loud to whoever will listen (Bill Bryson's The Body is good for this!) or you're marvelling at the exquisite writing in a novel (The Yield we're looking at you) books can teach you so much. Plus reading the classics will come in handy for the usual book-themed questions on trivia night. Read for pleasure or the pursuit of knowledge, either way you'll discover something new in the process.

3. Reading transports you to another place/time/world.

What was life like in 1939 in Britain? Or 1914 in rural France? Well-researched historical fiction can take you back in time, while in fantasy realms anything is possible. With overseas travel still off the cards, it's literary trips that we're looking forward to this year. Escape the everyday and journey to outer space, Malibu, the Nevada desert and Tokyo without leaving the comfort of your armchair. Holiday here this year indeed.

4. Reading connects you.

Books bring people together. And with the rise in online book clubs (read our article here about how to start your own), bookish Facebook or Instagram communities, library groups and Goodreads there's never been a better time to connect with like-minded bibliophiles. Stave off loneliness and make some new friends over a shared love of Jane Austen or The Hitch Hiker's Guide the Galaxy

5. Reading can help you sleep.

Matthew Walker, the author of Why We Sleep, recommends incorporating a good book into your bedtime routine. If you're having trouble falling asleep he suggests that you 'get up and read a book under dim light in a different room (or different part of the room). Only go back to bed when you are sleepy. This way, your brain re-learns the association between bed and sound sleep.' Plus you'll have squeezed a few more pages into your day! It's a win-win. 


1. Dr. David Lewis “Galaxy Stress Research,” Mindlab International, Sussex University (2009)

Why We Sleep Matthew Walker

The phenomenal bestseller that's starting a sleep revolution, now in paperback

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
The six books that changed my life in 2020

Dot Tonkin recommends you move these to the top of your TBR stack.

Want more enjoyment and better reading? Put down the e-reader, data suggests

In the debate over e-readers versus paper books, scores from PISA 2018 suggest that good-old-fashioned books beat digitised modes of reading.

5 tips for helping your child embrace discomfort

Help your kid accept tough times with this advice from Embrace Kids.

A doctor shares the key things you should know about histamine intolerance

What are the symptoms of a histamine intolerance? What even is a histamine intolerance? And how do you get rid of one? Dr Will Bulsiewicz breaks it down in The Fibre Fuelled Cookbook.

9 stars who are said to practice The Wim Hof Method

See Wim Hof's list of famous fans and try a breathing exercise from his book.

The Glucose Goddess’ number one trick for dessert without the sugar crash

If you love dessert but hate the sugar crash that follows, this trick is for you. Jessie Inchauspé – AKA The Glucose Goddess – shares her top tip for enjoying sweets, so you can have your cake and eat it too!

5 key ways to re-establish control of your body and mind after trauma

Bessel Van der Kolk provides some key guidance on how to reclaim your life after trauma in his insightful book, The Body Keeps the Score.

3 tips to help flatten your glucose curves

For most of us, energy peaks and troughs throughout the day are something we accept as part of life – but what if it didn’t have to be that way?

Five books to celebrate International Day of Happiness

Embrace your happiness with a list of books that will give you hope in a world facing unprecedented challenges.

An exercise to instantly boost your mood

A simple, positive, practical toolkit for better mental health, from clinical psychologist and TikTok star Dr Julie Smith.

10 ways to take back your power

Kemi Nekvapil shares an empowering exercise to help you live without apology.

Build better habits in 4 simple steps

Does changing a habit seem like a daunting task? Atomic Habits author James Clear has four simple steps for making it stick.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles