Every year of school, students are told to read more because it will help them learn and improve their grades. However, with most students’ busy schedules, there is often little time for relaxation and even less for reading. Therefore, reading can be seen as a chore or task that is skipped, leading many students to stop reading for pleasure altogether. However, this should not be the case. In this article we will discuss the real reasons why reading is so important for students and why they should continue to do so, even after they leave school.
Reading gives students many skills in a fun and easy way. It develops concentration and intelligence, improves your school performance as well as having many mental health benefits. The best places for students to get books are a school or public library, swapping books with friends, or e-reading platforms. It is especially helpful for students to have a library card, as these are free and give many benefits beyond just access to more books.
While this may have given you a surface-level answer to your question, please read on for the full details of why reading is so beneficial for students.
How is Reading Important for Students?
The first and probably biggest reason most students would be motivated to read is that reading is proven to increase exam results and grades at 16 and beyond. This has been extensively studied by researchers and shows that reading has tangible benefits. If you want to read the findings of more studies like this, please check out this link.
Reading also increases students’ exposure to vocabulary both new and learned. Expanding your vocabulary helps pick up extra marks in exams, as well as helping you to express yourself clearly in all situations. Students who are studying a foreign language can also read in their new language, which again improves vocabulary helps you to immerse yourself in your target culture.
All subjects at school will have a connection to current events or academic studies, with constantly renewing fields of research. Reading books and articles related to your topics of interest within school is a fascinating way to deepen your understanding. Also doing this will impress your teachers by showing off your new knowledge in essays and exams.
Finally, one of the most important things reading can give students is role models. In fiction, children and adults can see parts of themselves in characters. Seeing people like them achieve things that they might not have thought possible can be very motivating. For example, role models in characters from minority groups can be powerful inspirations to students when choosing career paths.
Does Reading Help the Brain?
One of the strongest benefits to the brain from reading is improved memory. When reading, you must remember a cast of characters and events in the book, possibly for weeks at a time. This is a good way to regularly test your long-term memory, as well as increase your short-term recall of details in scenes and conversations.
It has been scientifically proven that reading can increase your intelligence. Just as your body needs a workout, your brain also needs exercise and challenges each day. More information on intelligence and reading can be found here.
Especially for fans of murder mystery books, working out the plot of a book, or following the clues to understand the crime actively develops critical and analytical skills. These skills are key in exams, but also throughout your life in everyday situations where you are asked to quickly make choices and follow cues.
Also, reading improves the imagination and helps you to think of ideas when writing creatively. When reading, you must imagine the story for yourself, and this practice at conceptualising characters helps when creating stories of your own.
What are the Benefits of Daily Reading?
Reading daily is an excellent habit to get into. Just 20 minutes a day can confer all the benefits discussed in this article to you, as well as many others. For example, reading before bed is a wonderful way to unwind and avoid blue light, which has been proven to disrupt sleep. It also is a fun way to reduce screen time overall, which has mental health, concentration, and health benefits.
Daily reading also extends your concentration span. Focusing on one topic or activity without multitasking develops key skills you can use in homework tasks and almost any everyday activity. It also develops mindfulness, which is an effective way to improve mental health and destress. Focusing also increases your resilience to distraction, helping you in exam scenarios.
Reading not only helps mental health by increasing mindfulness but also develops empathy and emotional intelligence skills. This means that it teaches you new ways to deal with emotions and difficult situations. This is a clever way to improve social skills, as well as your resilience to hardship in life.
Where are the Best Places to Get Books for Students?
The best places for students to get books are usually where books are free. For example, school libraries and public libraries are excellent places to get free books. School libraries are particularly useful, as most schools have one and you may not even need a library card to use it.
There is also the choice of “Little Free Libraries”, a scheme where villages and towns often have a box where you can leave a book that you do not read anymore and exchange it for something new, for free! More information on second-hand books and textbooks is provided in this guide.
If you like to own your books, local bookshops often stock books by new independent writers, who give a different or new perspective on stories. They also support the local community in many ways, so shopping local is a great way to get books.
Should You Get a Library Card?
If you want access to a huge selection of free books, as well as free Wi-Fi, computer use, clubs like book groups, and tonnes more, a library card is a great way to go. Library cards are free and can be accessed from your local library. This will give you access to all the services the library offers and allows you to sign out books of your choice for a month at a time to read.
This means you can get lots of different books, so your reading choice expands massively, and for free!
How Do You Get a Library Card?
First, find your local library. The government website has a great tool for this, which can be accessed here. This will be the library closest to you, usually in your town.
Then, visit your local library and bring a form of photo identification such as a driving licence or passport. If you are too young to have these, bring an adult with you who does and can vouch for your identity. This is usually a parent or guardian, or another family member. You may also require proof of address. This is usually a bill, or a letter addressed to you at your home address. For more information on student IDs, please check out this article.
These documents help you to prove that you are who you say you are when you get to the library, so they can give you a card. Ask at any desk once inside the library, and they should be able to help you fill out the necessary forms, then you will have your library card!
How to Get a Library Card Online?
Many libraries now have the option to fill out the forms mentioned above on the internet, then only go to the library to prove your identity. This is great for people who are busy or cannot always go to the library in person. Simply go on to your library website and find the page about applying for a card to see if you have this option.
Libby and Overdrive are examples of library apps, where you can access online books and audiobooks, without ever going into the library! This is a cool way to read more. Audiobooks are great to listen to while completing daily tasks. Some libraries also allow you to sign up for a card through apps such as Libby. You can also renew and reserve books online.
Now go get reading!