Some Reasons Why Consistent, Lifelong Readers Tend to be Successful
Many factors contribute to a person’s degree of success in life. Some of the more influential ones are beyond an individual’s control, such as genetics, upbringing, or economic circumstances. Some factors, however, are well within an individual’s control—for example, abstaining from heavy substance use such as drugs and alcohol, or anything behavioral in nature. One of these behavioral factors is reading, specifically books. Lately, there has been a lot of research focused on the impact of reading in relation to an individual’s degree of success, and it turns out there’s a significant correlation. Consistent, lifelong readers tend to be more successful in virtually every aspect of life. Readers tend to live longer, earn more money, and have more fulfilling relationships. Not only that but reading books bestows different types of positive effects depending on a person’s stage in life. As an avid reader, Ron Bauer highlights the various benefits of reading.
Reading as a Child
The human mind is the most susceptible to new information when it is young. This is why experts have always recommended reading to children through infancy. It helps them to recognize sounds, acquaints them with language, and expands their understanding of the world as well as vocabulary. Once old enough, encouraging a child to read for themselves as early as possible is incredibly important. Reading provides children with many benefits, both tangible and intangible. On the tangible side of things, it accelerates communication skills, increases vocabulary, and aids in the mastery of spelling, syntax, and grammar. All that is without even mentioning the volumes of facts and raw knowledge that reading imparts. On the intangible side of things, it broadens the imagination and expands comprehension and retention. In this developmentally critical stage of life, the practice of consistent, engaged reading sets a child up for a much easier time succeeding in the years ahead.
Reading as a Young Adult
Conventional wisdom is that academic success in secondary and post-secondary school is a prime predictor for success in later stages of life. Those who do well in high school, college, and university tend to land higher-paying jobs and have access to more opportunities for advancement. The link between active, engaged reading and academic success has long been established, but there is an ever-mounting body of evidence to suggest that reading cultivates empathy, and, hence, facilitates social skills, and can even play a positive role in forming healthy romantic relationships. As young adults navigate the crucial life milestones of taking exams, creating friend networks, and engaging in first romances, having a lifetime of book reading behind them will assist in many meaningful ways.
Reading as an Adult in the Prime of Life
As an individual grows and ages, the benefits of consistent reading continue to accrue and coalesce. Some become more apparent at different stages in life. By the time a person reaches the prime of their life—roughly the ages spanning twenty-five to sixty-five years of age—typically, a career is adopted, a family is started, and large financial decisions are made. It is in this stage when a few of the overarching benefits of reading become truly valuable; those of improved analytic and planning abilities. It cannot be understated how useful the skills of planning and analysis are in the creation of a successful professional and personal life—they touch every facet. According to Ron Bauer, reading can even have a favorable impact on public speaking, which has an irritating habit of presenting itself as a necessity during this stage of life, whether an individual wants it to or not.
Another benefit of consistent reading that doesn’t seem to garner very much attention is that it reduces stress levels. Immersing oneself in a good book to relax deeply, although helpful at any age, is probably at its most effective when a person finds themselves surrounded by the many pressures of responsible adulthood.
Reading as Senior Citizen
As an individual enters their sunset years, reading books acts not only as a source of continuing education and leisure, it helps to maintain mental health in a way very few other activities do. Consistent and engaged reading keeps the mind active and works to stave off conditions that mainly afflict the elderly, such as cognitive decline and dementia. There are some strong evidence that the simple act of reading a book can work to lower blood pressure, as well.
Regardless of gender, race, creed, orientation, or economic circumstance, one quality that the vast majority of successful people share is a consistent and lifelong appreciation for reading books. It’s actually quite remarkable how universal this trait is among those who describe themselves as content with their personal lives and comfortable with their financial status. The conclusion is crystal clear: the regular and lifelong practice of reading books isn’t just good for people, it’s good for people in a virtually uncountable number of ways. And it is, by all available measures, a prime indicator of an individual’s likelihood for success in life.