10 Essential Life Skills of a Voracious Reader

Reading has an entire host of ways in which it is beneficial to our self-growth, from de-stressing while escaping reality to improving memory and concentration. Which begs the question: if reading is so good for us, why is reading worldwide on the decline? We could all benefit from reading more!

Erina Serafino

Here are 10 essential Life skills associated with being a more voracious reader.

1. Better Communication

Voracious readers tend to have better communication skills, as reading tends to improve both vocabulary and writing ability. Reading also increases creativity and imagination, which makes for greater storytelling ability. Having endless words and descriptions at one’s disposal helps with getting points or ideas across more effectively. There is a treasure trove waiting to be unlocked simply by delving into another book. 

2. Improved Memory

It goes without saying that voracious readers need improved memory skills to keep track of all the different storylines they are no doubt following. Reading constantly engages the mind, keeping both short- and long-term memories activated. It can also strengthen the connections inside the brain, which aids in both remembering and retaining information. Reading is a great workout for the brain, and can help delay or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. 

A brain illustration with colored piles of bulbs.
Photo Credit: Verywell Mind

3. Finding Endless Reading Material

A voracious reader is never without something to read. With an ample waiting pile and more being added on a regular basis, they ensure that they never run out of reading material. Whether it be on an e-reader, on a cell phone, an audio book, or just a good old-fashioned physical book, they are always ready to whip something out the moment an opportunity presents itself. Reading is also a great way to alleviate boredom and pass the time in a waiting room or on public transport.  

 4. Improved Focus

Being able to truly immerse oneself in a book, despite any distractions, is a skill that voracious readers pride themselves on. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is nearly impossible to read in complete isolation. Voracious readers, then, need and develop an improved ability to focus, ensuring that they can read anywhere, at any time. 

A woman is sitting on the bench, reading a book.
Photo Credit: PxHere

5. Situational Awareness 

Even with their noses pressed up against a book, a voracious reader stays aware of whatever might be unfolding in the environment around them. After devouring countless books and indirectly living through a variety of unexpected scenarios, they are better able to assess different situations and their contributing factors. They are open to discovering and potentially solving the mysteries of real life, as well as enjoying connecting the dots to see where it might take them. 

6. Greater Empathy 

We live vicariously through others’, fictional and real, experiences through reading. After being brought to tears by a tale for the umpteenth time, voracious readers cannot help but be fine-tuned to the feelings of others and the motivation behind their actions. Having this knowledge allows for increased empathy towards others and a better understanding of the world from their point of view, which is a great skill for strengthening interpersonal relationships.

7. Broadened Perspectives

The knowledge gained from reading more helps voracious readers see the world from a different perspective. This helps them better assess opportunities and threats and improve decision-making as well as problem-solving skills. A broadened perspective also aids in opening the minds of voracious readers to new ideas and experiences. 

 8. A Better Sense of History

Voracious readers who plough through a wide variety of books tend to have a greater awareness of how history can influence the present. Not only does this aid in providing a better understanding of what might motivate specific behaviours or what preceded a particular situation, it also allows pattern recognition in their personal lives or even wider society. 

9. Comfortable With Solitude

Being comfortable in one’s own company is not for everyone. For a voracious reader, however, there is great value in having time to themselves. Not only is this prime reading time without any interference, alone time can also be great for one’s mental health. Doing an activity alone, for example, sitting alone in a café reading, can increase self-love, independence, and confidence while combating fears of loneliness or social isolation.

A lady is reading a book inside her mini-library.
Photo Credit: Pexels

 10. Curiosity

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it made for a great story for the voracious reader! To read more naturally requires a greater sense of curiosity. After all, would voracious readers be motivated to read if they were not curious about how the story unfolds or learning more about a specific subject? A curious reader can find interesting sides to something, even if it appears boring to everybody else. In everyday life, they may even come across as nosy in their efforts to piece together every detail of a story!

With such opportunities for self-growth within easy reach, there really is no time like the present to get started on reading. Your “to-be-read” pile is waiting! 

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