I’ve known people who claim to use reading as a means of falling asleep.
My response? “You’re reading the wrong book.”
If you’re here, chances are you agree with me. What’s the use of reading anything that switches your brain off instead of turning it on?
My friend, you and I share a common bond: we love to read. Anything, any time, any place. But what really gets us fired up is some night reading. Late night. And late night reading calls for books that hold our attention, that force our imaginations to submit and surrender to their twisting plots and lovable anti-heroes.
We are Night Owls.
My goal is to shed light on new titles and make recommendations so you Night Owls can keep staying up past your bedtime. (It’s 2 am somewhere, right?)
Check out my Geeking Out page for my newest book-crush. My reviews are organized by Middle School Young Adult, High School Young Adult, and Adult.
There’s also a chance you are suffering from insomnia… and you hate reading… and that makes me cry. Nonetheless, it is my duty to convert you.
Maybe you’re one who hasn’t picked up a book since your last English final. Reading is regarded as a chore, a mundane activity holding you back from the tasks you enjoy.
For the very young, quiet reading is sometimes used a punishment, both at home and school. Middle graders begin reading hundreds upon thousands of books just to produce an infinite number of formulaic book summaries. And high school brings loftier texts full of irrelevant allegory, obtuse symbolism, archaic language and shockingly c-r-a-z-y English teachers. College can offer more of the same with longer books and even weirder professors.
If I were a non-Night Owl, I’d probably want drop kick every book that crossed my path, too. I can totally imagine why the sweet, musty scent of a library reminds some of work instead of adventure. I get why The Movie is more appealing than The Book.
I understand the plight of the non-Night Owl, but I don’t have to like it.
Not to get too preachy, but reading is so important for kids and adults. Let me count the ways:
1. Reading exercises your imagination!
The best thing about being a kid is having a crazy cool imagination. There are no rules. The sky is green, the tub drain is a wormhole to another planet, and the kitchen tile is lava. Freaking awesome.
The worst thing about being an adult is letting go of your crazy cool imagination. The rules take over. And, actually, the sky isn’t a color at all, the tub drain leads to the sewer, and the kitchen tile is limestone.
Facts are great and necessary, but a sense of the ridiculous can serve you well in any field or profession. A healthy imagination allows you to problem-solve creatively, a highly regarded trait in the workplace. When you read, your brain interprets the descriptions, actions, feelings, facial expressions, styles of clothing, landscapes, everything… you use your experiences to imagine this fantasy world into your mind’s reality. You’re the director of this made-for-you movie!
2. Reading exercises your whole brain!
Reading not only strengthens your imaginative abilities. It strengthens connections in the brain and builds new ones! Back away from the remote, and pick up a book!
3. It expands your vocabulary with ease!
When you read, your brain absorbs info about new words and grammar all on its own. You subconsciously learn how to use those new words, how to structure well-written sentences, and how to communicate effectively – all by simply reading. Kids who read perform better in school. Adults who read perform better at work. Reading FTW!
4. Reading improves concentration!
Many activities can improve your mind’s ability to concentrate, but reading is especially gifted at this task, because: a) it forces you to sit (or lie or stand or squat or treadmill) in one place; b) it does not involve lights, sounds, actions or cameras of any kind; and c) it is sort of one-person job, unless you’re reading aloud, and even then, you’re in your own little world.
5. It expands your base of knowledge!
Ever known anyone who moved from a large metropolitan city to a small good-ol’-boy town? From a place where growth and continuing education thrived to one where time just sort of stands still? If so, you know what I’m getting at here. Nothing against small towns; they can be downright charming and wholesome. They can also frustratingly oblivious to new ideas.
An undeveloped reading habit is a lot like one of those small town good ol’ boys. You’ve been doing the same thing for 173 years, and you’ve got no intentions of changing now. You don’t even want to know about new ways of doing things. Doesn’t interest you in the slightest.
Reading equals learning, straight up. Who on Earth doesn’t obsess over one topic or another? History, construction, science, geography, world religions, philosophy… even fiction opens your eyes to new ideas and possibilities. The more exposure you get to other ways of thinking, the more you will learn about yourself and the world around you. Become informed. I promise, you’ll wonder how you ever made decisions without knowing all you’ve learned.
For more reasons why reading is amazing, try this.
And I sincerely hope that if you non-readers stumble my way, I can offer books of interest also.
There are roughly 250,000 new titles published every year in the United States. There’s gotta be at least one you’d enjoy.
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