Reading is fun and engaging, but one of the most entertaining parts of reading is probably stepping into another world and immersing yourself in that book’s setting.
Whether it is a new realm, fighting off dragons or trying to survive in a dystopia, it becomes obvious that reading improves imagination. Your imagination is the one that lets you get transported in the magical world between the pages of a good work of fiction.
“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” – Confucius
If you’ve already built a solid reading habit, you should have figured it out by now: reading can improve your life in so many ways! It leads to better well-being in general and improved mental health, personal growth and, not to mention, a positive boost in your confidence too!
Why is imagination so important?
Well, now, who hasn’t heard about Albert Einstein? We’ve all heard about him, right? But did you know that he believed that imagination is more important than knowledge? He thought that someone who has great imagination also has the ability to create and discover more than the average not so imaginative human.
Nowadays, scientists have come to the conclusion that reading can indeed help broaden your imagination by stimulating the right side of the brain. We might even go as far as to say that reading literally opens up our minds to new concepts and possibilities.
Imagination has a lot of proven benefits: it encourages creativity and innovative thinking. Without imagination playing its part, people wouldn’t be able to come up with new ideas or inventions that help advance our society as a whole. And reading is a key part of enhancing imagination.
How does reading improve imagination?
Reading is good for us – there’s no denying that, for sure. Our brains need to be kept active in order to stay healthy and reading is a great exercise for the mind. The more you read, the better you concentrate and the better you will be able to imagine ideas and new concepts.
What’s happening exactly is that reading completely absorbs the mind because of the effort it takes to comprehend all that’s being said. You then analyze the deeper meaning and make your own ideas and judgments based on the theories portrayed in the text.
Similarly, when you read fiction, you get transported to another world, in a different place and time. You temporarily escape reality and, instead, you visit a world that you’ve imagined for yourself, based on the words you’ve read. Maybe that’s why we get so upset when the book turns into a movie and the actors look nothing like we’ve imagined.
Exercising your imagination through reading will help you improve your ability to visualize new worlds, characters and perspectives. This will make you more creative and empathetic in the long run, too.
Think of it this way: explorers learn about the world and all its diversity through experiencing these elements directly. The exploration itself helps broaden the mind, boosting creativity, imagination and changing perspectives forever. It is similar for reading: if you can explore and ‘see’ these new places or imagine what it would feel like, that is your imagination working. We can’t all be proper explorers, but what we can all do is discover new worlds through reading books.
So then, if we can all read and imagine things, how come others are more creative? The key to improving your imagination on a regular basis is proportionate with the level of interest you have in that particular book or subject. The more you immerse yourself in the content, the more your imagination will be stimulated and your creativity enhanced.
Right now, we all live in a fast-paced world of information and instant gratification. We’re surrounded by gadgets that feed us data and that keep our attention. It can be an overwhelming situation. Think about all the things we do, all the updates that we share, all the content that we consume – we can’t possibly process and digest it all efficiently on a daily basis. But there is a simple solution: put your phone down. Turn off your TV. Remove all other techy distractions from sight. And then, pick up a book and concentrate on reading it. Even 30 minutes of regularly getting absorbed in a book will make a big difference on the long term.
Reading fiction, especially fantasy, science-fiction or any other genres that are full of new concepts can take you to places you’ve never been before and you might never be able to see in real life. And after you get to see other worlds, you probably won’t be satisfied with the one we’re living in. But this is a good thing – it will make you try harder to make ours better. It will make you more creative and it will help your attention span. Books will also make you more open-minded, as Lisa states here in this TED talk below:
Reading can improve your life in several ways and it will change everything. So go grab a book and put on your seatbelt, because this is a ride you won’t forget.