11 Reasons Why Reading Makes You Smarter

Leaders of the industry report that they read up to 5 books every month. There obviously is a connection between reading a lot and success so let’s find out what in particular are the benefits of frequent reading.

Here are 11 reasons why reading makes you smarter:

Let’s dive into the details on why reading contributes a lot to your life success and what you should do to become smarter.

1.Better vocabulary

The more you read the more words you know, the more words you know the more thoughts you can express. When you can express more thoughts, ideas, questions, and problems you can find better solutions, answers create opportunities for yourself and others. This becomes especially clear when you think about learning another language.

Just imagine how much new knowledge and wisdom would be available to you if you could read Chinese. I have been to a library in China and was overwhelmed by the amount of available knowledge that most of us will most likely never be able to read.

2.Improved writing skills

Reading a lot and learning new words, phrases eventually makes you a better writer. Especially for non-native speakers like me surrounding myself with literature from people who are fluent in English and so much better than me help me to constantly improve my writing skills. Especially when you are using tools like Grammarly that have the ability to suggest alternatives to common words and phrases your ability to express yourself in different ways increases dramatically.

3.Different perspective

When you read a lot about a specific topic you will come across different views, ideas, and approaches to specific problems. Sometimes taking a step back from your own opinion and knowledge and looking at a challenge from a different angle helps to gain a new perspective and might even change the way you think entirely. Reading the 4h-Body from Tim Ferris and taking a course about selling images online changed the whole direction of my life. I eat differently now, stay in shape, and even quit my job to pursue a full-time freelance career. All because I got new ideas.

4.Advanced learning skills

The reason I put this item on the list is that once you start to read more (non-fiction) books you try to optimize the process. And like with everything else there are ways to improve your reading speed and comprehension level through various techniques. Practicing these skills not only makes you a faster reader but also helps you to memorize more in a shorter period of time. Just take a look at my article here to learn how to read a book effectively and remember the content.

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5.Broader knowledge

This one is obvious, the more you read the more you know. But reading a lot also increases the quality of your knowledge. You do actually learn how to “judge the book by its cover” and get a good feeling of what is material worth reading and what isn’t. One of my favorite statements throughout this blog is: “The best book to read is the one you don’t read” meaning that the more you read the easier it is to judge if the material is valuable and the author is credible.

There is actually a name for this to what you normally refer to as “Book smarts” which is crystallized intelligence. This basically just means that the more you read the more you fill up your internal library.

6.Increased self-esteem

Better self-esteem is a direct result of crystallized intelligence. It is easier for you to follow discussions, understand topics and have more solutions at hand. Moreover, you gain respect when contributing to a conversation with valuable facts or even a smart quote from a famous person. Just make sure you use your knowledge the right way, don’t correct others or come across as the nerd teacher nobody likes.

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7.Smarter decision making

It is obvious that the more facts you know and knowledge you have the better your decisions will be. But reading a lot, especially non-fiction in a methodical way strengthens your analytical thinking. Dissecting a book like a surgeon sharpens the way you think and tackle problems. Once you have learned how to quickly and efficiently read books and more importantly take valuable study notes you will be able to make smarter and more precise decisions. Another huge advantage is that because of the way you read books improves your ability to spot patterns increases as well which helps to identify root causes of problems much quicker.

8.Significant memory improvements

Reading more does not automatically improve your memory. Only if you try to get better at reading by approaching the material in different ways you will increase the amount you can remember. Learning new ways to work through study material does not only make reading heavy non-fiction books easier and more fun but also improves your memorization techniques.

9.Less stress, more relaxation

When you are reading a book you usually drift away and once you get back you realize that hours have passed. This incredible rewarding experience is called the flow (you can read all about it in my article here). So reading and being smarter is not all about scientific literature. Diving into a relaxing novel to forget your daily stress and have a good night sleep can do miracles for your study abilities. Using an immersive story to calm your mind and spark your fantasy improves your creativity and relaxes your brain-muscles. When you wake up with a totally rested mind it is much easier to take in new topics and process challenging study material.

10.Better ability to focus

When you are diving into a novel and get lost in the story focus is usually not a problem. But with practice, you can achieve the so-called flow state for non-fiction books as well. Using techniques like Pomodoro to have the most productive study day will help you to get more done in less time and actually remember it. Learning to read in a smart way will eventually drip into your daily life as a technique on how to tackle problems and find the best possible solution.

11.Life Changer

Being smart doesn’t just mean knowing things. Getting new ideas, seeing how other people found their dream and how they got there can change your life. Many define self-help books as nonsense but when you read some people’s stories of how they got to the top or achieved their dreams by getting the right ideas and then worked on it is truly inspiring. Whatever it is you wish for your life, I bet someone else already got it. Just find the right book, course or material or simply ask on how he/she got there and get started.

So keep on reading your way to greatness!

Related Questions

What are hobbies that make you smarter? The top 5 hobbies and the reasons they make you smarter are:

  1. Reading – Better vocabulary, more knowledge, smarter decisions
  2. Play a musical instrument – Patience, Perseverance, Concentration
  3. Meditation – Reduce stress, self-control, increased focus
  4. Learn a language – Increases amount of accessible study and reading material
  5. Travel – Meet new people, get a different perspective

What are the top books that will make you smarter? The reason why certain classics are classics is that so many people read and benefited from them over time. So here is a list of books that make you smarter including the reason why:

  1. The 4-h series by Tim Ferris – The 4-h body, workweek, and chef do not only teach you a lot about weight loss, smarter work, and cooking but about trying to go about everything by using a new and sometimes scary approach. Tim Ferris pushes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you to redefine your ways in a smarter way.
  2. Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill – This all-time classic is probably on every must-read list on the internet. And while the title suggests this is all about making money this book is more about drivers for success in general, change and the knowledge about what moves the world.
  3. Frames of mind by Howard Gardner – There is nothing that makes you smarter than learning about how our mind works and how you can use that to your advantage. Understanding the different versions of intelligence everyone of us has and why our current education system is flawed when it comes to effective learning is something that will change the way you learn forever.

Why does reading a lot of books make you smarter but watching movies does not? When we only compare non-fiction books to documentaries you still get more out of a book because it is usually much more detailed and enables you to easily go back and skip forward. It is also much more convenient to take notes while reading a book than it is pausing a video to write down key facts.

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