2. Soothe stress and depression
Why we read may be just as important as the act of reading itself. A 2015 survey found that people who regularly read for pleasure report fewer feelings of stress than non-readers. They find the relaxing effect greater than if they watch television, scroll through social media, or read other, less pleasurable material.
Non readers were also 28 percent more likely to report feelings of depression than bookworms.
Do books simply offer us an escape from what weighs us down? That’s part of it. But reading doesn’t necessarily lead us away from our problems—and if it does, often we can turn around and see them more clearly. We see ourselves, as well as our greatest troubles, mirrored in books. This helps us gain perspective. Characters learn that tough times are normal; so do many readers.