How Reading Books Can Make You A Better Person


Next time you’re bored out of your mind, don’t reach for your smartphone, reach for a book instead. Reading books provides a range of benefits you may not be aware of. In fact, the more books you
read, the more awesome you will be.

Reading makes you (more) empathetic

Reading fiction gives you an inside peek into scenarios and realities you couldn’t otherwise live yourself. This opens up your critical thinking capabilities and activates your empathy sensors. You become more aware and sensitive to people’s plights, cultures, and customs, and feel more forgiving and nurturing where you might have once been condescending or inflexible.

Reading is an immersive experience

A good novel will have you questioning reality. A good novel will drag you so deeply into its plot that your identification with the protagonist will be mind-blowing and reality-blurring. Enough said.

Reading is knowledge

You can watch a documentary or tutorial to learn a new skill but nothing beats the original experience of reading, processing, and understanding new knowledge or how-tos all by yourself.

Reading is a bottomless chest from which you will always be able to get a few jewels — with each book and each tale.

Reading is traveling for your soul

Reading helps you leave all your workaday troubles behind, even if for a short moment. It empties your mind until you’re powerful enough to confront your daily demons.

Reading is entertainment

For the bibliophiles out there, reading is a matchless experience. Reading gives you immense joy. It engages your senses and enthralls your mind with scenery, plots, and mind-blowing images.

Reading makes you interesting

From learning smart, little-known facts, to initiating great discussions with friends, reading makes you a knowledgeable, interesting person people will love to hang out with.

Reading is inspiration

Reading stimulates your creativity. You start thinking critically and more boldly, all because you’ve already been exposed to various scenarios and have garnered the tools and knowledge to be less ordinary and more unique.

Reading is growth

Even if you don’t read a self-improvement book per se, virtually any well-written book will help you become a better person. From building your self-esteem to becoming better at decision-making, books give you the tools to cope with life’s conundrums — and the ever-important Zombie apocalypse.

Reading is power

It’s a cliché but it’s nonetheless true: reading empowers you. The knowledge and worlds you experience when reading give you confidence and wisdom on how to deal with real life situations more gracefully and wisely.

Reading is your key to becoming a better person in all aspects of your life

Reading is how you improve your marketability, your communication skills, your empathy and emotional intelligence, your appeal — and even your sexiness. Reading is one of the few habits known to man that you can never have too much of. So go on, read on!

Bonus benefit

If you speed read you get to reap all these benefits in a shorter time. Awesome, right?


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Did You Know: Our Galaxy Is Hurtling Through Space At Around 671,080 mph


Source: Random Quick Facts

It Started With One Man in 539 BC… It Continues To Be The Talk of the Town To This Day

What is Human Rights?


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One Great Activity To Enjoy In Your Spare Time — Plus, You Get to Learn Things!


How did we spend our time in the pre-Internet era? We couldn’t Google our questions, and we didn’t spend hours on end on YouTube trying to find the next best indie band. Communicating via apps and social media was unimaginable; you’d have to go ring your best friend’s doorbell and ask them to come out to play. Today, we work, play, and communicate via screens connected to each other through virtual networks. Naturally, we turn to tech and the Internet for entertainment, too. An this means that today, when we have free time, we tend to be rather unproductive, passive recipients of whatever digital content others have produced for mass consumption.

However, there’s one activity we can engage in that’s truly constructive, active and enjoyable: reading.

But, you might ask, why read an entire printed book when you can simply read a book’s summary online? Why read when you can watch a movie, go out with friends, or just hang around doing nothing?

There are plenty of reasons why reading, and especially speed reading, is the best activity you can take up when you have free time.

In fact, turning reading into a habit can overhaul your life. By implementing the reading formula of Read, Retain, Relate and Read, you get to accumulate exciting new knowledge and use it to advance your career and your interpersonal relationships. But there’s even more to reading.

Reading Equals Learning

Our generation is completely hooked on the habit of getting things the easy way. Reading is a demanding cognitive skill that requires active engagement for it to be fruitful. As a result, you get to actually learn when you read about something.

Unlike watching videos or listening to lectures, reading immerses you in the concepts and principles contained in the text, giving you a chance to figure out relationships and rules yourself. Self-processing results in better understanding and higher knowledge retention.

Language Improvement

When you read a lot, you get to improve your communication and language skills. Reading lets you pick up new vocabulary, learn new phrases, and get familiar with mind-blowing metaphors and other linguistic nuances. Plus, the more you read, the better your writing becomes. This is because you’re consistently exposed to proper language use — something you rarely come across online.

Know Thyself

A few people are naturally inclined to look inward for self-knowledge. For the rest of us, self-reflection is a daunting prospect, and perhaps an unfamiliar task altogether.

Reading books introduces various scenarios that pique your attention and challenge your worldview. When we identify with the protagonist, it brings to mind many questions, such as “How would I react?” or “I’d never speak to him like that” or “She shouldn’t be so naïve.” Books are miniature life lessons you can learn from without going through the awkward and often painful life situations they describe in your own daily life. Need we say more?


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Why Reading Is Important For All Age Groups


I am reading. You are reading. Grandma’s reading and father’s reading too. This is not a nursery rhyme, it’s a manifesto about reading’s universal appeal and importance.

Everybody has the right to read, no matter their age. More importantly, there’s really no clear category distinction as to what a person can read and when. If you’re a 52 year old mother of three and enjoy reading Young Adult literature, that’s OK. If you find The Little Prince mesmerizing after all these years and enjoy reading it to your 3-year old girl more than she likes to listen to it, that’s also OK. Reading as a habit has a multitude of benefits, and putting artificial restrictions on this habit, or constricting the scope of reading options, is rather pointless.

Reading for Young Children

Children that get into the habit of reading will be pleased and astonished by how quickly it becomes their preferred medium of gaining knowledge, losing themselves in fantasy, and expressing their creativity.

Reading unveils an immense world of countless possibilities for them. It educates them, makes them laugh, and gives them hints and clues as to what life is about. Most of the time, they don’t even realize that they’re being taught as they read.

For example, Dr. Seuss’s popular “The Star-Bellied Sneetches” is a book that uses a funny plot line to share important underlying lessons on discrimination, prejudice, and tolerance. Getting children to love reading ensures that they learn to nurture noble values and develop strong ethics and a forward-thinking worldview.

Reading for Young Adults – Adult Literature

As adolescents, many children dive into reading as a way of finding answers to thorny questions on identity, existence, sexuality, relationships, feelings, and romance.

But that’s not the only reason adolescents read. They read because reading is fun – because what they get from reading is extraordinary. Literature generously gives them inside peeks into new worlds, new tools for thinking, for being brave, for resolving issues, and for making sense of our often confusing (as some authors present it, approaching dystopic) and tech-driven lives.

Adults resort to books for the same reasons, much of the time. No matter the genre, the pursuit is always the same: a mental escape, a storehouse of new knowledge, a new way of thinking, a new breathtaking world shared between author and reader. Adults can explore difficult philosophical works to help them gain a wider understanding of the world, or revisit their youth by rereading some of their childhood favorites.

Reading for Seniors

Once you’ve been bitten by the (reading) bug, there’s no way of letting go of it. Reading becomes a daily habit that you return to, no matter what. It becomes your constant in a world permeated by continuous change and unpredictability.

But reading when you’re older is not just matter of habit. In numerous studies reading has been confirmed to help combat brain aging, and many studies have shown that reading keeps people’s thinking agile. Even everyday functions like reacting to traffic light changes or identifying a phone number improve thanks to habitual reading.

Reading for All

The extraordinary experience of reading a printed book is one that has endured for centuries. It hasn’t been compromised or weakened despite the growing popularity of other reading media like the Internet and ereaders. Instead, these new ways of reading has ensured that it has become a habit deeply entrenched in our daily lives.

We read hardcopy novels, we read digital blogs, and we learn about the latest news through the online New York Times. Reading is something that ties us together and allows us to share experiences through the stories that we tell.


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Every Solo Traveler Must Have a Book Companion

Having no one to talk to while waiting for your flight or going on a solo road trip can get boring really soon. Books give you comfort and keep you company while travelling alone. Here’s the Top 7 Picks of 7 Speed Reading that are good reads for every solo traveler.

A Journey of One’s Own by Thalia Zepatos

The book every independent woman traveller should consider. It is filled with advices regarding women’s fears of travelling on their own or having to deal with difficult travel companions.

Down to the Sea in Ships by Horatio Clare

Planning to travel the world via Sea Voyages? Horatio Clare’s masterpiece might help you get through it.

Nick Hunt’s Walking the Woods and the Water

If you are up for a hiking activity, this book will surely entertain you.

The Art of Solo Travel: A Girls’ Guide by Stephanie Lee

The best book for first-time solo traveller – it yields a lot of information with photos and helpful graphics.

On The Road by Jack Kerouac

Thinking of hitting the road all by yourself? Read Jack Kerouac’s On The Road to accompany you on your journey.

Meaghan Delahunt’s “To the Island”

An island getaway is a really good idea. Better bring this book if you are thinking of travelling alone.

Solo Travel: Tales and Tips for Great Trips by Lea Lane

Lea Lane’s book piece might provide you with tips and advices for great trips. Bring it along with you for solo travelling.


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The Effect of Diverse Reading On a Child’s Brain Development


One undoubted charm of book reading is the way it lets us lose ourselves in the story. Storybook heroes allow us to identify with them; they inspire us to fight our own battles and give us insights on how to cope with and survive in a world we hardly can make sense of at the age of 8 or 9 .

However, a more careful look at children’s literature reveals the ways it which it is often too narrow in scope. Not all children can identify with a white, middle-class boy. There are millions of children out there who belong to a different gender, or socioeconomic status, or cultural heritage and ethnicity. So what sorts of heroes do these children relate and connect to?

Why care about book diversity?

Diverse reading serves an important and two-fold purpose. It allows people of different cultural backgrounds to find a mirrored reality in the storyline, and it also allows those unfamiliar with these cultural trajectories to familiarize themselves with – and even empathize with – something completely  unrelated to their own reality. An 8 year old girl from Washington can enjoy reading about a family in Romania; a British boy can find parallels to his own life by reading about girls’ education in Ghana.

Reading books that revolve around realities and people that are not close to our own can contribute to a child’s brain development. A child needs both aspects of literature. Children need to read about their own culture, but also about those cultures they have never heard of. This allows for the development of empathy and respect towards anything that’s different or alien, and it nurtures a more tolerant attitude overall.

The need to belong, and appreciating what’s different

Apart from reading about worlds and realms that are strange, unfamiliar, and intriguing, diverse reading allows children and their parents to engage with literature that mirrors their existence and thus helps them understand themselves and their environment.

Not every child born in the US has parents that speak English and not every child can find similarities in their life and that of a suburban boy attending elite boarding schools in Switzerland.

A child needs the confirmation that their individual reality is not strange, marginal, or looked down upon and condemned. Young readers look for ways in which their personal reality is reflected in a book in order to makes sense of and accept the world around them.

Cultures, no matter how dramatically different they are from ours, each have to be heard from and appreciated. Diverse reading helps ensure that all voices are heard and that every child in the world can find in a book the mirror of their reality as well as a door to understanding and appreciating those different from their own.


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Detailed Evaluation of 7 Speed Reading™ by Various Reviewers


7 Speed Reading™ has been evaluated by numerous review sites and authorities, and the unanimous conclusion is that 7 Speed Reading™ is an effective speed reading improvement tool that can help people leverage new knowledge to boost their education.

Top Ten Reviews gives 7 Speed Reading™ an outstanding 9.95/10 score

With a near-perfect score, 7 Speed Reading™ has been declared the champion of reading speed improvement software. According to the editors at Top Ten Reviews, the program offers a comprehensive learning experience to users, allowing them to easily and quickly improve their speed and comprehension rates while reading nonfiction works.

The reviewers emphasize the software’s suitability for users of all ages. They also point out its across-the-board activities that target all aspects of speed reading through different methods: ebooks, tachistoscope exercises, customized practice with imported texts, and more.

It’s noteworthy that the Top Ten Reviews editors have given 7 Speed Reading™ a 100% usability score and acknowledge the unmatched quality of its progress tracking and reporting technology, something that helps users chart their learning curve and make their practice more personalized and specific – and by extension, more effective.

In a detailed separate review of 7 Speed Reading™ the editors conclude that given the multitude and quality of features and its user-friendliness, 7 Speed Reading™ is a worthwhile investment for anyone looking into speed reading improvement software. Top Ten Reviews have awarded two of their most prestigious awards, the Gold and Excellence awards, to 7 Speed Reading™ for 2014.

Typing Lounge picks 7 Speed Reading™ as a top choice among 5 speed reading improvement programs

Typing Lounge reviewers evaluated a series of reading improvement software packages and have announced that 7 Speed Reading™ is the best in its category. Along with the 5-star rating, 7 Speed Reading™ received an appraising review that emphasizes its industry-leading status.

The reviewers focused on the software’s 7 different learning strategies, its video tutorials, and its report tracking technology that allows the user to understand at any point during their practice how much progress they have made, and to adjust their practice accordingly for maximum results.

The reviewers also pointed out two aspects of the program they classified as less user-friendly: there is no trial offer for the software, and the reviewers found the interface to be rather resource-intensive. However, as a whole, they concluded that it’s the best reading speed improvement software out there.

Spreeder.com confident 7 Speed Reading™ will improve students’ reading skills

Spreeder is a collaborative project of 7 Speed Reading™ software, and the Spreeder review team looked at the program in light of its usefulness for students who wish to become more efficient readers at school and elsewhere.

With top-tier reading speed and comprehension, students can process a lot of knowledge in little time, effectively getting a head start on their classmates.

Because it offers a wide range of activities and exercises to the user, the program presents a thorough learning experience so that readers of all levels can substantially improve their reading speed and comprehension.

The built-in progress monitoring technology ensures the user is always aware of their learning curve and can make adjustments to their practice to optimize any potential gains.

The review emphasizes that with only a little time invested in practice, students will obtain the necessary motivation to become habitual readers thanks to their newly acquired and inspiring reading mastery.

7 Speed Reading™ is an essential tool for mastering the art of speed reading, according to these and other reviews. Different reviewers have emphasized the cutting-edge technologies the software is equipped with, its user-friendly interface, and its compelling, inclusive activities and games to facilitate learning. So why not give it a try?


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How You Can Learn 100% More By Freeing Up 20% Of Your Time


When Google first revealed that its staff is free to use 20% of their work hours on projects they are passionate about, many people in the business world rushed to dismiss this approach as elitist and impractical for small-size, lower-budget companies. But then, passion is a key factor when it comes to innovation and creativity. So is Google right after all?

That’s something that only the Google finance department can answer right now, but as more people adopt this approach, we’re finding that the main issue is actually something entirely different. Using 20% of your time in a creative and manner can help your personal growth, whether that’s done as part of your work schedule or outside your professional time.  Investing 20% of your week on side projects that interest you will probably seem like quite a lot of time that not many people can afford these days. In fact, setting aside the time for 8 hours of sleep a day, that 20% amounts to just over 22 hours a week – that’s the equivalent of a part-time job! But just imagine the possibilities of that time in terms of personal development. Chasing after your passions and dreams equals fulfillment.

20% Time and Personal Development

Although people have always found the time to pursue their passions, seeking new knowledge and mastering new skills, Google’s 20% time puts it all in perspective.

Using between 2 and 4 hours each day to exercise, read, socialize, and pursue your interests and goals is a respectable amount of time that can yield outstanding results  — if done diligently and strategically. So what can you do with 20% of your weekly time, then?

  • Redefine your life goals and create a goal-achieving plan.

  • Read, read and then read some more. Read everything there is to learn about what you’re passionate about, whether that’s the language of bees or how to build wearable technology.

  • Channel that built-up creativity into a brainstorming session. Use your imagination to think of innovative approaches and applications of existing knowledge and infrastructure.

  • Start building your dreams, and giving them form!

20% Time and Corporate Progress

Without a doubt, channeling the creativity, imagination, and innovative thinking of staff in building a stronger, forward-looking company is what CEOs want, yet only a handful corporations can achieve it. And even those who implement it need to put constraints on these side projects to ensure this model does yield quantifiable results that can reinforce a company’s progress.

While practical issues need to be considered like fatigue, financial resources, time constraints, and other limitations, it’s not impossible to use the 20% time to follow and realize your goals, no matter your business.

Humans are thirsty for knowledge. We strive for understanding and the ability to utilize what’s around us to make our lives purposeful and fulfilling. Instead of wasting your free time watching TV, use it constructively.

Learn a new language, hone a long-forgotten skill, teach someone else what you know. Our creativity and innovative thinking are boundless, and the more we use them the more we create, providing an ever-renewing resource for ourselves and others. So don’t be scared to dare! Good luck!


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Principal Paul Carroll of St. Clare’s College Showcased Their Tradition: Providing Life, Leadership and Learning Opportunities to Students

Principal Paul Carroll


Canberra girls’ school St. Clare’s College will be celebrating 50 years of quality education in 2015. Principal Paul Carroll joined the school’s roster of dedicated professionals in 2012, continuing their tradition of providing students with the life, leadership, and learning opportunities that will help them become confident and contributing members of their communities.

7SR: You encourage your teachers to continue their own professional development, giving their educational needs the same attention as the students’ needs. Do the students see this process, and learn to recognize the importance of lifelong learning?

Yes the students are very aware of the process. When a staff member is away on professional development a relief teacher is employed for their normal class so they are reminded immediately that the teacher is on professional development. Teaching programs and classroom activities are often adjusted as  a result of the PD. Our focus over the last eighteen months has been on “Visible Learning”, the research by John Hattie and part of the process is to involve students in requesting feedback on how learning is occurring in the classroom. This data has been invaluable in having the dialogue amongst the teaching staff on what quality teaching and learning looks like in the classroom. There are lists of students displayed in the College who are undergoing alternative programs, such as an Australian School Based Apprenticeships, as well as those previous students who have accepted University pathways or have undertaken post school opportunities. Some of these students return to school to speak to the current students about options beyond school.

7SR: Approximately 25% of the people living in Canberra were not born in Australia, and there are many immigrants from Vietnam and China. Are all of your new students fluent English speakers when they arrive on their first day of class?

There is a very small minority that arrive without being fluent English speakers. Depending on their circumstances they might attend an intensive language program at the Language School,  participate in specialised language classes provided by community organisations or benefit from the support given by the College.

7SR: While all students get a thorough education in core areas like mathematics, science, and English literacy, there is also a strong emphasis on what some educators regard as “soft” subjects like visual arts, music, and drama. What do students gain from these classes?

I do not agree with the label “soft” applied to the subjects in creative and practical arts. Educators are well aware of the need to cater for multiple intelligences.  All of the subjects across the curriculum complement each other and provide the opportunity for the students to experience many facets of learning that will develop their potential and enhance their gifts and talents.

7SR: Your school’s motto is “Seek Wisdom.” What does this motto mean to you personally?

“Seek Wisdom” is a timeless pursuit that encourages us to be open to the acquisition of an enlightened mind. As teachers we strive to bring knowledge and truth to the students and we present this through the life and teachings of Jesus and inspired by the example of St Clare. The students are encouraged and supported in making wise decisions as they grow to maturity and prepare to take their place in society.

7SR: You’ve got quite a few events planned for next year’s celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary. What are some of your ideas for making sure that the school enjoys the same success in the next 50 years?

The main focus will be to ensure the College remains relevant, vibrant and contemporary in providing the best possible education to the students that join the community. The College must maintain an authentic Catholic identity that is welcoming, open to all and witnessing to teachings of Jesus. There will be a continuing emphasis and commitment to ensuring quality teaching and learning experiences are made available for the students with a special emphasis on girls’ education. Extra-curricular activities will be supported to complement the students’ classroom learning and the governance of the College focusing on the aim to maintain and upgrade the facilities as funds become available.

Cross-posted on the Ultimate Vocabulary blog.


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