college Healthy Lifestyle

The Most Outstanding Students’ Secret Weapon? Books.

What is one of the biggest contributors to a college student's success? reading. how does reading impact a student's mental health and well-being? How can literature sharpen an individual's mind and gear them towards success?

5 min read

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I tested and approved of. All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that are no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thanks.

Why do successful people read books?

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Take a look at Bruce Lee, arguably the greatest Marital Artist of the century. Whose success and mastery of his craft has won him countless awards, titles, and Hall of Fames.

Bruce owned about 2,500 books. Philosophy, American self help, and Martial Arts were his top three biggest genres.

Now that you know Bruce’s number 1 secret weapon….

How can books help you in college?

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In a study entitled, Beyond Books: The Extended Academic Benefits of Library Use for First-Year College Students researchers investigated whether “first-year college students’ use of academic libraries” affected four academic outcomes: academic engagement, engagement in scholarly activities, academic skills development, and grade point average.

Here are 3 of their conclusions:

  • Students who used academic sources, journals, and references (collection loans, e-books, and inter-library loans, and web-based services, database, journal, and library website logins) had the most positive and
    significant relationships with academic outcomes
  • Enrollment in library courses was positively associated with grade point averages.
  • This study supports the ongoing importance of students’ use of academic libraries and the critical roles that libraries play in students’ academic development, engagement, skills, and achievement.

Biggest Benefits of storytelling

1. Mental Health

Books for stress relief?

Researchers including one from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, studied stress levels of students in demanding health science programs and concluded that “30 minutes” of reading “lowered blood pressureheart rate, and feelings of psychological distress just as effectively as yoga and humor did.”

Sources: Healthline and Research Gate

Books for depression and anxiety?

Anyone who has minor symptoms of Major depression can use Bibliotherapy (book therapy) to improve symptoms. Source: Good Therapy

Bibliotherapy can have positive effects on children and adolescents with anxiety and depression. Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine | National Institutes of Health

A study conducted by the Research Agency concluded that reading “increased self-esteem and reduced anxiety and stress” Source: Independent

2. Be a better human

Reading stories can increase empathy, character, and understanding

According to the South African College of Applied Psychology, storytelling can improve feelings of “connectedness and fellowship.”

Gobbling down fiction can help us understand and empathize with the viewpoints of other people.

If we are able, through literature, to put ourselves in each others’ shoes, how drastically would the world change for the better!

So, if books connect us and not divide us, how would issues such as racism and discrimination change if we all picked up a book and learned about each others’ cultures and perspectives?

Wrestling with poetry may even foster creativeness.

According to Professor Philip Davis, Director of the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society at the University of Liverpool, through reading poetry people can better “adapt thoughts and behaviors” to novel circumstances. Source: South African College of Applied Psychology

People are also better led to look for different ways to fix problems rather than using a standard solution. Source: South African College of Applied Psychology

Confidence to express yourself

Reading great books allows you to see into the minds of master writers.

You unveil the greatest of writing. You see their methodology, how they describe things, and a peek into their inner world.

Great literary masterpieces are models to imitate for expressing your own writing.

Practical tips on reading

Schedule a designated reading time.

Reading is more of a lifestyle. I tend to read in the morning, afternoon, and in those small moments in between.

You can read in the morning, before bedtime, and during breaks.

But, make sure you read daily.

Why you should read daily?

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The famous reading 20 mins a day study

It’s been drilled in our minds as students that reading 20 mins per day can significantly increase “vocabulary for fluency and comprehension”. Source: Phoenix Academy

Students who scored 90% better than their peers on reading tests, read for more than 20 minutes a day – exposing them to 1.8 million words a year. Source: Phoenix Academy

(I don’t know about you but I still have to take the 8 hour MCAT in the future!)

When and where is the best place to read?

EVERYWHERE. Keep your book everywhere with you.

Read on the train. Read on the bus. Read on your bed.

As I said before, reading is a lifestyle.

Book recommendation + I want to read..

3 books I love:

I want to read:

More resources:

see Britannica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”

Art of Manliness’ 100 Books Every Man Should Read I’ve seen this list and want to read all these titles including 1984, Plato, Roosevelt, Wealth of Nations, and Brave New World

BooksAMillion bookstore click here

Let’s talk books.

Anyone else prefer paper books?

Comment down below!

I like to read paper books as my first choice. Reading on my phone has proven to be distracting.

I like to get away from it and write thoughts, questions, and underline words all over a physical used book.

My favorite is historical fiction including WWII novels like the Book Thief.

Check out other great content on books:

Cool blogs to check out:

While researching I’ve stumbled upon some great people:

Paul Sohn, an inspiring and innovative leader for empowering 20 year olds to live up to their potential as leaders. He offers a lot of free resources (Which I really recommend) like an Award-Winning Leadership Quote Book and Popular Quote Book, “He Said, She Said and You…? He recommends and reads a lot of books too!

Check out his website here:

The Art of Manliness: Even though this blog is targeted towards men, they have great content such as a peek into the libraries of great figures like Bruce Lee. They also have a nice vintage look and have a lot of great content on books.

check out:

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