Read More, Read Better
“Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books: to find words for what we already know.”
– Alberto Manguel
WHY IS IT GOOD?
There is so much good stuff about reading good books (and not just random stuff) it’s surprising we don’t do it all the time. Here are some of its benefits:
It’s a brain workout: reading improves connectivity and brain function, focus and concentration and prevents memory decline. We use vivid imagery as well as memory to follow a plot, or main idea.
Improves creativity, imagination, language, cognition, inspiration and knowledge.
Physical benefits: it reduces your heart rate, eases muscle tension and it helps you sleep (unless you’re reading from a screen).
It's a pleasurable experience that reduces stress: a 2009 study by the University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress levels by up to 68%.
It cultivates empathy: for a while you live someone else’s life, you walk on their shoes.
Reading leads to rehearsing what we encounter in the world: hopefully helping us behave in a wiser way.
Choosing the good stuff is key: reading your favourite novels as opposed to something random, can have “a bigger and longer-lasting effect on the biology of your brain”.
If you are finding it difficult to create a reading habit, these tips may help:
Read during your commute, unless you’re driving.
Switch off the TV or put the phone down to spend that time with your favourite novel.
If you read to your children before bedtime, don’t just read it aloud, get into the story, allow yourself to be a kid again, be a pirate, a dragon, an underpants loving alien...
Plan for bigger chunks of reading during your free time (weekends, holidays, etc.)
Read during your break time at work
Ideas for kids here!