Benefits of Reading for Teens
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
- George R.R. Martin
(Author, A Game Of Thrones)
How often do you hear your parents, elder siblings or teachers telling you to pick up a book once in a while as you wonder what all the fuss is about since you already get enough of them in school? Try telling that to a voracious reader, and he will show you how one cannot really 'get enough of' reading! From Bill Gates to Oprah, all the most successful and prominent faces of our generation have a thing or two in common - their insatiable hunger for learning and lots of books! Here are some great reasons why fostering a reading habit in yourself is the best thing you can be doing right now.
Sharpen & Shapes Your Mind
You might not trust us, but you will have to trust science on this! Researchers suggest that reading has the power to give your brain a cognitive workout that no other activity possibly can provide, thus shaping and reshaping your mind in supremely constructive ways and improving its overall functioning. There is no doubt that reading surely is to the mind, what exercise is to the body, making it the sine qua non for one’s mental development, especially as we gradually step into adulthood.
Embedding the habit of picking up a book in your daily regime can contribute to character building through acquainting you with a plethora of new ideas and alternative perspectives. Reading can introduce us to an ocean of emotions from anger to empathy, helping us explore our thoughts and feelings, and instilling important ethical values within our personality. From respecting differences to expressing emotions, and learning life-changing lessons, books are undeniably capable of offering much more than just stories to us.
Books open doors to such illimitable and ever so efficacious knowledge that introduces us with a world full of possibilities existing beyond the front porch of your house. If you aspire to be the smartest person in the room, taking up reading is definitely what your first step should be. From autobiographies to science fictions, poetries to novellas, the entire concept and abounding nature of knowledge is such that it is not just limited to encyclopedias, but each book that you will ever read in your life would undoubtedly prove out to be a positive addition.
Whether it is while conversing with our friends, or writing an essay for a school project, we often feel out of words or unable to come up with the right ones quickly. Acquainting us with countless new words and phrases every day, reading books is regarded as the most ideal method for expanding one’s vocabulary, thereby helping us to express our thoughts and emotions better in our lives. As a teenager prepping for college, a good vocabulary comes in handy in many ways and is acknowledged as important as your grades while applying to various universities worldwide.
Take Your Writing Skills to the Next Level
Behind every brilliant writer is a home library filled with a mountain of books. If you wish to become a writer, you would require plenty of knowledge, a sound vocabulary and a fair share of creative aptitude, all that comes to us through instilling a reading habit within us as the first stepping stone. Different genres of literature introduce us to different styles of writing and help us to better see the world through the writer’s eyes and even develop a more clear and creative way of writing within ourselves over time.
Increase Focus & Concentration
Don’t you feel as if time flies while you are engrossed in one of those page-turner novels? You would be surprised to know how much your concentration power increases in other tasks of your everyday lives as well, as you develop a reading habit since it allows you to focus your mind at one task at a time with its unlimited potential. Hence, reading can help you perform better at your academics, sports, and daily chores as well!
Books can not only help you in expanding your knowledge about the entire world’s affairs and stories, but also help you to enhance your retaining power for them too. Gradually you find yourself benefitted with a sharper memory and retention for academics, life events, or in remembering your parents’ anniversary!
If it weren’t for the books and movies, how else could we have ever been able to imagine a teenager learning witchcraft and wizardry to fight back his archenemy with a missing nose, or a young lad adopted by a pack of wolves followed by befriending and growing up with wild animals in a jungle! Books help us travel through dimensions of time and space, enabling us to see a whole different world that the writer builds with characters whose lives we start to relate to and experience along with the story. Reading instills creativity in our minds and helps us to not only better imagine the world as the writer tries to portray it but even come up with our own peculiar and interesting theories.
Reading has been proven as one of the most trusted stress busters for people in general and for those trying to overcome depression and anxiety. Besides, utilizing time in reading books is undoubtedly more productive than scrolling endlessly through social media or binging Netflix all day.
Mode of Entertainment
One of the most obvious reasons to pick up a book right now indeed - books are your best friends in times you feel bored. So, next time you have a lazy Sunday with no homework to yourself, are tired of your math textbooks or don’t wish to spend your summer vacations plating video games all day, pick up a book and have fun!
Must Read Non-Fiction Books for Teens
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5
Amazon Price: Rs.59
The book is based on diary entries of Anne Frank, an ordinary teenager whose life forever changes when she has to move into hiding along with her family owing to the oppression of Hitler on the Jewish community during the Second World War. They live for the next two years of their lives with no direct contact with the outer world. Anne’s Diary gives an account of the life spent during that time as her family muddles through daily struggles, portraying all sorts of emotions ranging from animosity to curiosity as a teenager. Since its release in 1947, the book has been a source of inspiration for millions making Anne Frank the voice of all the oppressed who might have remained unheard. 'The Diary Of A Young Girl' is a must-read for History fanatics and those who wish to take a peek in the mind of an ordinary yet extraordinary teenager.
Wings Of Fire: An Autobiography by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari
Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5
Amazon Price: Rs.256
Considered one of the most inspiring autobiographies, Wings Of Fire takes us through the simple yet extraordinary life of former president Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who till this date managed to inspire people through his kindness, determination and life mantras. From being a underprivileged kid trying to make ends meet to becoming an Aerospace Engineer and contributing to the country’s development in numerous ways, all whilst leading a life of simplicity and never letting an inch of ego or pride set in his personality, our “Missile Man,” was undeniably one of his kind and indeed had ‘wings of fire’.
Rich Kid, Smart Kid by Robert Kiyosaki
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Amazon Price: Rs.493
As you step into adulthood, one of the most important lessons you should be learning and which is often not taught about in school is Finance. Written by Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad (a financial bestseller worldwide), the book manifests the importance of financial literacy and economic independence through lessons on money, wealth and learning gained by the writer from his father. 'Rich Kid, Smart Kid' provides an insightful knowledge and ideas on the value and power of money, importance of savings and various facets of entrepreneurship, making it a must read for all teenagers looking for a financial head start.
The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
Goodreads Rating: 4.1 /5
Amazon Price: Rs.99
The book gives a personal account of the extraordinary life journey, incredible ideas and pragmatic yet exceptional vision of the Father of the Nation through his self-penned essays, evincing his transformation from Mohan Das to as the world came to recognize him - Mahatma Gandhi. Reading 'The Story Of My Experiments With Truth' will provide you with an insight into the ideologies and values of Gandhiji which set him apart from millions and gave him the courage to stand up against the status quo of the British Colonisation. This book is a must read if you wish to expand your historical knowledge, understand the Indian struggle for freedom, and learn the power of truth and non-violence as endorsed by Gandhiji.
Like a Girl by Aparna Jain
Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5
Amazon Price: Rs.468
We all have heard enough of “sit like a girl”, “don't throw like a girl” and even “don't cry like a girl,” but how about “own the world like a girl”? Like A Girl is an illustrious collection of 56 real-life inspiring stories of remarkable women breaking stereotypes since decades, each being pioneers of a significant change of their times. From Rani of Jhansi and Razia Sultana to Saina Nehwal and Medha Patkar, the book portrays strong female protagonists as epitomes of courage and brilliance thus as a source of immense inspiration for girls. This book is not only meant for girls but is also a must-read for boys to learn about women power and instill a sense of respect for them in their minds.
Must Read Fiction Books for Teens
Malgudi Days by RK Narayan
Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5
Amazon Price: Rs.375
Malgudi Days – a simple yet one of the most popular books ever written by an Indian author, is a mesmerizing collection of funny and witty short stories (later, adapted into a TV series) revolving around the lives of people living in the fictitious village of Malgudi. Malgudi is home to a variety of people coming from all different socio-economic backgrounds, whose lives are woven together and presented by the writer in a lucid, yet interesting and humorous manner, which gets the readers hooked as soon as they pick up the book. Covering simple issues of the lives of simple people residing in the village, it does not fail to touch most important matters which lie in the society such as poverty and Illiteracy, through intriguing stories which end in ways that leave you wondering.
Children of Blood and Bones by Tomi Adeyemi
Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5
Amazon Price: Rs.248
Set in a fictitious land of Orisha, Children of Blood and Bones is a magical tale of Zelie, a ferocious to-be Maji, one amongst the diviners who once possessed magic powers, and Amari, a kind-hearted princess, whose father, King Saran caused the suppression of the diviners, along with their brothers – Tzain and Prince Inan, on a quest to search for the sunstone to perform the ritual to get magic back in Orisha. In this debut novel, Tomi Adeyemi writes about Prejudice, Inequality and Oppression, Faith and Duty, and most importantly, portrays the power of fierceness and being true to yourself. The book is a gripping read for all teenagers, instilling a rebellious character within them while advocating bravery.
Unhurried Tales by Ruskin Bond
Goodreads Rating: 4.4 /5
Amazon Price: Rs.394
Unhurried Tales is the collection of some of the well-known stories written by Ruskin bond, including ‘Time Stops At Shamli,’ ‘Bus Stop, Pipalnagar’ ‘Tales of Forsterganj’, to name a few. The book takes you on many enchanting journeys where we find ourselves dissolved into laughter at eccentricities of the guests at the hotel in Shamli, only to be left grieving over the fate of the last tiger with the next novella. The bravery of Sita fighting back the ‘Angry River’ inspires us, while the events in Fosterganj leave us in splits. The author’s struggles in Pipalnagar and the ‘Blue Umbrella’ of Binya, a benevolent girl living in the laps of Himalayan Mountains – the writing style through which Ruskin Bonds narrates the stories are captivating and worthwhile, making Unhurried Tales a must-have in your book collection.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Goodreads Rating: 4.2/5
Amazon Price: Rs.1,289 (Collection of 5)
From being a regular good kid with some temper issues to realizing his superpowers as a demi-god, this acclaimed pentalogy unfolds the story of Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon, the God of the Sea, who along with his friends, sets out on a dangerous adventure to prevent the war between the Gods. With top scores in writing, plot, characters (and Monsters!), Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a thrilling series of fantasy novels and an enthralling mix of the Greek mythology and the Modern world. The series is as much about Greek Gods and monsters as it is about embracing your flaws and finding yourself and your real purpose beyond your weaknesses, thus finding its place in every fantasy thriller lover’s bookshelf.
The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
Goodreads Rating: 4.0/5
Amazon Price: Rs.573
As a growing teen making transition from being a carefree child, this exciting fantasy novel helps you revisit your childhood as you immerse yourself in the story of Cass and Max-Earnest, two brave 11-year olds trying to discover the mysteries left behind by a magician. Your inner child loves the much interactive and intriguing writing style of the author that helps you explore all your five senses through the plot. The secretive advancement in the story with each chapter makes the book a total page-turner and would only keep you hooked to find out about the ‘big secret.’
Never Too Late to Start Reading
Reading is a habit that has a lot of latent benefits that may not even be visible to you directly. It even helps shape personalities and understand the ways of life better. Even if you're in your late 40s, it is not a bad time to start reading. Pick up a thriller and start reading. Thrillers are page turners and hence, will keep you hooked. If you like the genre, you can move on to another book from the same reader. Else, you can switch to some other genre or another author from the same genre. Happy reading!