Reading For Pleasure: How Can Adults Benefit Through This Habit?

Written by: The Story of Sprout



Time to read 9 min


We often talk about how reading nurtures the growing young minds of children, but there’s much less information on how it can benefit adults. Reading for adults provides benefits beyond fun and pleasure. It works as a magical gateway to escape the daily mundane lives. Not only do they improve emotional and mental well-being, but they also develop a deeper understanding of themselves. If you still need more reasons to make up your mind about this healthy habit, continue reading. 

We will delve deep into the countless benefits of reading for pleasure and how it can transform an adult’s life. So, let’s get started!

What is Reading For Pleasure?

As children, our parents encourage us to read to sharpen our minds. So, as we grow up, reading becomes nothing more than a chore for us so we can perform well in college. This compulsion deprives us of the pure joy that only comes from reading for pleasure. 

The National Literacy Trust of the United Kingdom defines pleasure reading as:

“Reading of our own free will and as a personal choice to pass the leisure time for acquiring satisfaction from the process.”

The report highlights how reading for pleasure is more of an inner desire, not something practiced to counter peer pressure. Professor Teresa Cremin states a few indicators to describe the act of reading for pleasure. Let’s see what they are:

  • It’s an Intrinsic motivation
  • People do it at their own pace 
  • Others have no right to dictate the process

The Types of Reading For Pleasure

In a 2016 study, researchers interviewed teenagers to dig deep into the types of pleasure derived from reading books other than academia. Through a series of interviews, they concluded that there are four types of pleasure in reading literary pieces for fun. 

  • The pleasure of play
  • The pleasure of work
  • Intellectual pleasure
  • Social pleasure 

Pineau explains these terms in a published research work. According to her, the pleasure of playing is similar to the one we experience when playing games. The pleasure of work, however, is developing a better understanding of the surroundings and becoming a better version of yourself accordingly. 

Social pleasure is the urge to connect with others by sharing your reading interests with them. Last but not least! Intellectual pleasure. It affects your cognitive abilities and opens up new career prospects.

Benefits of Reading For Pleasure

As adults, we get to taste (not-so-sweet) flavors of practical life. Therefore, things sometimes can take a toll on our hearts, emphasizing the need to break free from the old and boring routines. Reading is an excellent way of escaping this vicious cycle. So, let’s walk through the benefits we can enjoy if we take up reading for pleasure!

1. Provides a Cure for Loneliness

Reading is like a faithful friend. Not only does it offer good company to lonely people, but it also helps them avoid negative thoughts. Let’s see how!

Later in life, about 40% of adults experience feelings of isolation or loneliness. Much of what we learn from the research, these sentiments result from limited social life, loss of income, or financial limitations. However, several studies found that older adults who enjoy reading have lower chances of going through such emotions.

For example, scientists interviewed an 86-year-old woman confined to her house due to severe health issues. Despite the challenges, she maintained a positive outlook toward life. When asked about her coping mechanism, she pointed toward her bookshelf and said, “I am not alone. I have the whole world right here with me.”

2. Works as a Catalyst for Social Skills

The concept of social pleasure is closely related to several sources of entertainment. It is the pleasure derived from meeting new people who share similar interests as you. And again, reading happens to be a gateway for it. It helps you connect with others by sharing your favorite anecdotes and fables, thus working as a catalyst to foster your social skills.

Moreover, each piece of reading introduces you to new and diverse characters. It makes you more aware of the events or behaviors you wouldn’t have known otherwise. As a result, you develop a deep understanding of the world, which helps you handle your social life in a better way. 

3. Results in Better Sleeping Patterns

During a survey, 50% of respondents agreed that reading for pleasure enhances their sleep quality. Apart from the popular public claim, some scientists conducted an online trial. They wanted to assess how pleasurable reading can affect sleeping patterns. The findings revealed that people who indulged in pleasure reading before bed experienced: 

  • Lower sleep disturbance 
  • More sounder sleep

This claim finds its roots in the profound commitment required for reading the books. It takes a conscious effort involving your brain or eye muscles to promote a state of sleepiness. Hence, your body unwinds and releases the sleeping hormone — melatonin. It’s the main reason adult readers enjoy a good night’s sleep.

4. Opens Up the Path for Self Consciousness

Reading is a pleasure, but it also makes you self-aware. Want to know how? Well, you explore different narratives when you step into the galaxy of books. It makes you think about your beliefs and ideas. You start to introspect and question more about your likes or dislikes. This intriguing journey makes you grow on both personal and spiritual levels.

According to the Harvard Business Review, reading shares a close link with self-consciousness. But how so? You learn about your triggers as you witness different characters fighting new dilemmas. It makes you more grounded and aware of your emotions. Thus, you can make sounder decisions and set boundaries through clear communication.

5. Produces a Calming Effect on the Brain

As adults, we have to deal with many responsibilities. In return, our robotic routines yield stress or pressure as a by-product. But guess what? Reading offers the perfect antidote to calm our nerves after a long and tiring day at work. It cleanses the mind by transporting us to a different universe, away from all the worries. 

According to the survey, brain relaxation is the most commonly reported benefit of reading. Your body deactivates the part of the nervous system involved in handling stressful situations and releases the happy hormones. This process makes you feel as light as a feather the whole time you read a book.

Make it a habit, and you will see the difference. Your mind will feel more focused, productive, and deeply connected with your inner self.

6. Develops Empathy and Compassion

New setting, new characters, and different stories — is that only what each book can offer? Well, no! There’s obviously more to it than we can imagine. Reading lets you explore new realms without moving an inch. You find yourself relating to some imaginative figures and getting repulsive toward others. 

But as the story unfolds, your mind begins to grasp all their life choices and emotional retorts. What happens as a result is incredible. Your ability to understand people gets a boost, renewing your sense of compassion and empathy. A news article published by BBC also backs this claim. It mentions that you extend the values you learn to others, which builds stronger connections.

7. Promotes Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to collect random thoughts and focus your attention on the present moment. Scientists claim that the phenomenon is highly beneficial for human health. Not only does it heighten your self-awareness, but it also helps you fight negative emotions. Does reading have anything to do with that? Absolutely! 

A team of researchers experimented with over 800 Japanese participants. Their goal was to study the effects of reading on mindfulness habits. The findings revealed a positive correlation between reading habits and mindfulness.

8. Enhances the General Knowledge

Whether religion, politics, or current affairs, reading makes you well-versed in every subject. You familiarize yourself with mixed narratives through diverse character arcs and different stories. The process helps you gain a broader perspective, giving you a new vision to lead your life. 

Moreover, a deep sense of topics, such as world history or culture, makes you an exceptional conversationalist. This scenario opens up new learning opportunities, allowing you to hold discussions and exchange fresh ideas with your social circle. Thus, your existing stock of knowledge gets a boost.

9. Improves Health and Well-Being

Reading for pleasure is all fun and relaxing! But guess what? It is good for your health, too. Doctors say that mental stimulation is an excellent way of fighting Alzheimer’s. The good news? Reading offers an easy solution. It slows cerebral decline by keeping your brain engaged and lowering the chances of Alzheimer’s or other mental disorders.

According to another research conducted at the Cochrane Library, activities involving brain power (like chess or reading) improve the symptoms of dementia. Not only that, but they also delay the worsening of symptoms by six to nine months. With all such life-changing benefits, shouldn’t we all prioritize reading for pleasure and see the difference it makes? 

The Rise of Decline in Reading For Pleasure

Statistics about reading and success share a close connection, but our priorities are aligned differently in the modern-day world. The evolving technology and fleeting attention spans have severely affected our reading habits.

To address the issue, the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a survey. The results showed that reading time for an average American underwent a grave decline in the last few years. 

The average American spent 23 minutes a day reading in 2004. The figure declined to 16 minutes per day in 2019. The sad news? According to the data collected last year, the average span has dropped even more by six minutes

How to Harvest the Feeling of Pleasure in Reading?

Well! It’s no surprise that adults now spend less time reading for pleasure in this era of instant gratification. But are there any ways to revive the love for pleasure reading? Fortunately, yes. 

We’ve mentioned a few fun ways to help upgrade your reading habits. Have a look!

1. Set Goals

Give yourself a number and decide how many books you will read over a specific time limit. You can reward yourself with your favorite treats on achieving milestones. It will help you foster a healthy reading culture with a powerful impact on your quality of life. 

2. Expand Your Community

We catch up with our friends to watch movies or visit museums. So, how about scheduling a meet-up to share the mutual love for reading?  Gather your pals and organize a book club to discuss your favorite themes and stories. It will enhance your reading habits while cultivating a warm and loving connection with your mates. 

3. Visit Libraries

Visiting local libraries and exploring different genres are fun ways to stimulate your love for reading. The process will help you choose the books most appealing to your senses. As a result, you will want to sift through other similar books, thus empowering you to continue reading.  

4. Find the Right Books

The choice of books matters a lot in growing your love for reading. While boring books with weak plots can break the habit, interesting ones motivate your desire to keep reading. So, what’s the best way to find the right books? A vigorous exploring session. Go through different genres until you find the one best suited to your taste. 


The Bottom Line

Sprout is just the book you need to rekindle your love for reading. It is a fascinating tale of a young boy finding his way through life in a thrilling adventure. He meets new people and fights the challenges, helping him reshape his whole personality. Through his fearless journey, he unveils the power of truthfulness, honesty, and wisdom to lead a life full of joy and contentment.

With its vivid graphics and captivating style of expression, the classic tale has the power to grab your attention and leave you in awe. It offers valuable life lessons to spark your senses and inspire you to become your best version.

So, what’s the wait for, then? Visit our website and order your copy of Sprout now to instill your hearts with life-long love and pleasure for reading. You can also purchase the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.