5 ways reading can help your wellbeing

With a growing pile of academic textbooks to get through, it’s not always easy to find time to read for enjoyment at university. Sometimes it seems easier to scroll through social media for a break, but becoming immersed in a book can have a lot of benefits and is seen as ‘deep reading’ without the distractions of hyperlinks, adverts and pop-ups we find online.

As part of The Great Read we are encouraging you to explore the many benefits that reading and discussing books can bring. For more details on this year’s chosen book “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells, and to download the e-book see here.

Here are 5 reasons to pick up a book this semester:

1. Reading can improve your mental wellbeing

Research by The Reading Agency has shown that reading can encourage relaxation and have a positive impact on mental wellbeing. Browse their list of mood-boosting books for ideas: https://reading-well.org.uk/books/mood-boosting-books

Perfect relaxation for the winter months!

2. Helps with difficult times

Reading novels, poetry or plays can help us understand and cope with times of emotional strain. When we’re experiencing problems it can sometimes help to read about someone else dealing with difficult times too. Reading has even been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression, however, if at any time during your studies you feel you might benefit from some extra support, our Student Services teams will be able to help.

3. Give your academic performance a helping hand

Reading a wide range of literature can help you develop stronger analytical skills, improve writing skills and boost your future potential. In fact, a study has shown that that children who grow up with books in the house tend to earn more as adults.

4. Exercise your brain

At the same time as enjoying a good storyline, you can be increasing your mental stimulation, improving your memory and concentration and expanding your vocabulary, which could come in handy when you’re writing essays or revising for exams.

5. Strengthen your relationships

Yes, reading for pleasure can even improve your relationships! In a study by Kingston University fans of fiction were found to demonstrate more positive social behaviour than their non-reading counterparts, with higher levels of empathy and a greater ability to relate to others.

If you’re looking for more ways to engage with reading, there are plenty of opportunities! You could start a book club with friends, or join an existing one, visit Blackwell’s on campus to look for some new inspiration, try some creative writing, and keep an eye out for our The Great Read events this semester.