The benefits of boosting your reading habits at university
Trade the screens for paper pages. Source: Tuấn Vỹ/Unsplash

You’re winding down from a tough day at university – a great time to start that book you were gifted by a friend or the one you found hidden in the shelves of the library.

You put your phone on silent and leave it on the bedside table.

As you tuck into bed or a comfy chair, you flick open the first page and lay your eyes upon its content.

Let the relaxation begin… Source: Andrii Podlinyk/Unsplash

A few minutes pass and you’re struggling to get into the introductory chapter.

Your eyes look over to your phone and temptation takes its toll.

Soon enough, you’re scrolling through the screen again, the neglected book taking your phone’s place upon the table.

Does this sound familiar?

Getting back into the reading habit

A new survey by The Reading Agency showed that we live in a “notification nation, where 66% of participants said that they would read more if they spent less time scrolling and 55% of all adults and 72% of young people admit they lack sufficient self-control because they can’t help but continue to check their smartphone when they could be reading.”

When you’re used to quick distractions and instant gratification, the paperback book finds it hard to compete for your attention.

But reading a story to the end is a fulfilling, stimulating experience. It takes time and patience – something may students may be dedicating to their studies rather than the occasional novel.

In the digital age, there has been a backlash against traditional book-reading sessions. Instead, reading apps like Kindle have swept the globe, tempting readers to the screen, allowing them to swipe through e-pages rather than rustle through a paper book.

Because of this, many companies believe the art of reading has not diminished, but instead has heightened.

“Smartphones can help us connect with others and learn more about the world around us. But this survey shows that many of us struggle to switch off and that this can take a toll on our wellbeing. Reading is the perfect way to disconnect. This doesn’t mean abandoning your smartphone – there are lots of brilliant audiobooks and ebooks that can help you escape into another world,” explains Debbie Hicks, Creative Director of The Reading Agency.

Benefits of boosting your reading

There are plenty of advantages to reading both online and through physical books.

Perseverance, for example. Sticking to a book, despite the constant distractions experienced by the ‘notification nation’, demonstrates hard work and patience against the appeal of giving up.

Transcending the pages into professional life, perseverance teaches students to keep striving for their aspirations, even when challenges arise.

There’s also the obvious advantage of knowledge-transfer. You’re never too old to stop learning! Keeping your mind open to new concepts and ideas will improve your work dramatically and enrich your perspective with innovation and originality.

After all, if students become too dependent on their screens, what will be the long-term effects on their attention spans and productivity?

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