It is often said that literature contains the best things that have been thought and said in the world. It is the mirror of life and it deals with everything related to our life. There are many benefits of reading literature. The study of literature improves our sensibility and provides us with a certain depth of perception. It consoles and braces us up in our hours of gloom, stimulates and ennobles our morality. It helps us widen our outlook and develop our personality. As a matter of fact, it has diverse benefits. It has academic benefits, cognitive benefits, social benefits and emotional benefits.
It is universally admitted that reading literature is delightful. It gives readers immense pleasure. Young students read different kinds of literary works basically for pleasure. Good literature helps them develop a reading habit and this habit has a positive impact on the academic studies also. By reading it students get exposed to the authentic use of language which ultimately contributes to the development of their writing skill also. Students can enrich their vocabulary by reading it also.
A literary text does not have one meaning only. It often has a surface meaning and an underlying connotative meaning. In order to understand a text fully a reader has to delve deeper into it. A text can be interpreted in different ways. This develops the thinking capacity of the students. Readers of literature enjoy a greater ability to think and reason about the world than other people.
Another benefit of reading literature is the social benefit. A reader lives in a particular society. He can be influenced by some negative aspects of the society. But in literature they come to know about many characters coming from different social classes, races and ethnic groups.
The next benefit of reading literature is the emotional benefit. Literature is the subject of liberal education and its chief object is to develop human personality. It is supposed to bring about a harmonious development of the human mind to create a balanced personality. Reading literature can expand readers’ emotional range. Good literature can help readers to get rid of bad emotions like anger, heartache and loss. It can also help readers develop positive emotions like love and sympathy for others. It gives readers an opportunity to grapple with and process strong emotions in a safe setting without feeling overwhelmed by those emotions.
So, it can be said that reading literature is not pleasure only. It has both an entertainment value and a utilitarian value.