Friday, 11 July 2014 17:30 | By Deanna Bonaparte

Why A Good Book Is Better Than 2048

Why A Good Book Is Better Than 2048

By Deanna Bonaparte

Technological advancements have literally placed access to vast amounts of information at our fingertips. In the area of mobile technology, increasingly function-packed phones and tablets are slowly eroding away at any need for laptops or desktop computers. This puts a huge market within the reach of mobile developers - blockbuster game Angry Birds has racked up almost two billion downloads since its first release on iOS in December 2009.

In recent months, you might also have noticed a handful of commuters frantically sliding through digital number tiles, in attempts to figure out a strategy around the game 2048. Like Angry Birds, the game mechanics are deceptively simple, but a frustrating combination of skill and dexterity is required to master and beat the game.

These games also possess extremely high replay value and take only a second to launch, making for quick sources of entertainment. For those seeking a quick time-filler in between hours on a busy day, it is easy to forget the simple pleasures of activities that are not bound to technology - such as reading a good book - in the pursuit of quick gratification.

However, what we need amidst the frenetic activity of working life is precisely to slow down. Here are some reasons why you should rediscover the classics and exchange your electronic device for a novel.

Mental Stimulation
A good book allows us to keep our brains engaged and forces us to remember what can be complex webs of characters and sub-plots, effectively keeping our minds agile and training us to properly organise information. In addition, reading stimulates our thinking and analytical skills in ways that a mobile game cannot.

This is opposed to 2048, which manages to mask its mind-numbing repetitiveness behind a tantalisingly simple, yet elusive objective. A good book also makes for engaging lunch time conversation, as you discuss the myriad themes and implications of the book with your colleagues or friends.

Reduces Stress
When you spend around eight hours every day staring at a computer screen at work, the last thing you want to do during your down-time is to lose yourself in yet another digital display.

By spending your travel time immersed in a good book, you can break free from the daily rat race and enter fictional worlds of suspense, curiosity and thickening plots. In fact, research conducted at Mindlab International at the University of Sussex in 2009 revealed that reading was the most effective way to overcome stress, trumping favourites such as listening to music, drinking a cup of tea or coffee or even taking a walk.

Expands Your Vocabulary and Mind
It goes without saying that the more you read, the more words you will be exposed to. A rich vocabulary will help you become a more articulate and well-spoken individual, which is a great asset to have in any profession.

Books also expose you to a variety of perspectives and issues. Reading expands your mind and the ability to see things from multiple perspectives will help you in any situation. It's no coincidence that the book is the age-old symbol of learning and the learned - reading is a great way to accrue knowledge!

Improve Your Sleep Patterns
For those who spend the minutes before bed with their phones, the artificial light from your device can actually fool your body into staying wide awake. This translates into taking longer to fall asleep, sleeping less, and consequently feeling more tired the next day. A good book makes a better bedside buddy, as long as you don't stay up all night chasing the next plot twist in a gripping page-turner.

Regardless of whether you favour classic literature, romance novels or self-help books, crack open a book on your next commute and be surprised at how much more you can gain from it than a game such as 2048.

Would you swap your gadget for a novel? Share with us in the comment box below!

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