Getting the Most out of Your Reading

About Blog Post May 9, 2024 Rylie Yawson headshot of post author Rylie Yawson
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Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to how, why, and when they read. They might read on their Kindle, iPad, with a physical book, or using a streaming service to listen to audiobooks. Some read because it calms their anxiety and relaxes them, others read to pass time, and still others read to learn and better their personal or professional development. Some read in the morning, at lunch, or right before bed. Or, if you are like me, at 2 a.m., when you should probably be sleeping. Nonetheless, reading can fit into any time of the day. Whatever and however you read, it is important to get the utmost out of it.

The versatility that reading offers in both mental and physical health is hard to ignore. Yes, I said physical health! Study after study shows that reading can lower anxiety, which in turn lowers blood pressure and increases sleep quality. Furthermore, it strengthens the brain's existing neural pathways and creates new ones. So, how do you get the most out of your reading? You can start by being intentional with your reading time. If you often find yourself anxious, read a self-help book that discusses overcoming anxiety. Or, find a book that introduces you to a world of imagination, such as a fantasy book. Listen to your mind and pick up a book that will enhance your reading experience.

Annotating is also a fun way to get the most out of your reading. Yes, even if you read fiction books, you can annotate! Highlight favorite quotes by your favorite characters, important moments of the plot, connections to other books, etc. This can help you stay engaged with your reading, especially if you are in a book club or often talk about books with friends. It is also a new way to make your reading a more aesthetically pleasing process.

Lastly, understand that it is okay to put down a book if you do not like it. Oftentimes, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to finish a book even if we do not enjoy it. The point of reading is to relax and enjoy yourself. Your reading experience is your own! Don’t hesitate to put that book on your “DNF” shelf and move on to a book that will better suit your reading preferences! As we get closer to summertime, create a list of books that you wish to read (or visit that long TBR list that you’ve had for months) and start looking forward to a summer of reading like never before.