Humanity as we know it has been around for hundreds of thousands of years. Books meant for public consumption have been around for less than a thousand, and yet, the ability to write, express and share our ideas on a widespread scale has altered our society and our history beyond measure. Books have transformed humanity, and they can transform your life too in these five ways: 

1. They Can Give You a Sense of Belonging
Human emotions and experience is nuanced, which is why it is impossible to be alone in how you feel. You can, however, feel alone. Reading can give everyone a sense of belonging due to the sheer amount of representation. From published works to self-published works to even content that is shared freely on the Internet – no matter who you are, you can find a book out there that gives you the sense of belonging you need to be confident in yourself
2. They Can Give You an Outlet for Your Emotions 
Books can help guide you through your emotions. They can help represent your emotions on page. They can do so much for you when you are processing anything, from sadness to anger, from love to hate. Being able to empathize with characters can help you as you process through your own emotions, allowing you to move on, let go, or understand how you (or others) are feeling. 

3. They Can Inform You About the World 
Books transfer knowledge, and they do so in a myriad of different ways. They can either tell you a truth about the human condition or about the true facts about the world we live in. Books allow us to commit to a life of learning without expensive university fees. 

4. They Can Help You Improve Your Life 
Self-help books are extremely popular because they offer the advice and the assurance that you can improve. Some self-help books, of course, are better than others, like The Secret. This book, written by Rhonda Byrne and first in a series, popularized the self-manifestation movement that has captivated the world (and even Hollywood) for its unique approach in the self-help genre.  

5. They Improve Your Cognitive Abilities 
The act of reading alone provides so many benefits on a cognitive scale. Not only can it help you expand your vocabulary, but reading is also proven to help you improve how you communicate and relate your thoughts to others. The act of reading also requires a great deal of focus, which can help you slow down and de-stress after work, and set your mind more effectively at the tasks you need done. 

In the past forty years alone, world literacy rates have increased almost 20%, and now an estimated 80% of the world is literate. The rise of the Internet and self-publishing opportunities also means that a wide variety of voices never heard before are finally getting their time to shine. Some might argue we are entering a post-text future, but writing is here to stay. It is the single best way to share ideas, thoughts, and stories, and can be done by anyone with a means to write their thoughts down. Read more of these thoughts, and you can transform your life for the better.