Reading is good for your mind and your health

I have been an avid reader my entire life. I love books. I love the smell of books, I love curling up with a good book on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I love the way books make me feel.

When I pick up a book it allows me to escape, lets me unwind, and for a few chapters I am transported into another world. I forget that I have bills to pay, laundry to do and dishes to clean.

If you like to lose yourself in a good book, you’ll be happy to know there are many health benefits to picking up a recent best seller.

According to a nationwide survey by the National Year of Reading, reading anything for pleasure can raise your spirits, offer an escape from everyday stresses, help you empathize with other people and give your brain a “workout.”

With the growth of the internet and news available through social media and websites, it seems less and less people are taking the time to read anything. They can watch the news and skip the paper. They can watch a You Tube video on how to cook a turkey dinner, rather than read the cookbook. They can listen to their favorite author’s newest book in their car as opposed to purchasing the real deal.  But when you don’t read these things, you aren’t stopping to digest the information, or pausing to reflect and comprehend it.

Reading allows our brains to develop, to continually learn. As a mother, I can see it. My two-year old son loves books. He has me read three to four books a night and insists on taking a handful of his favorites to bed with him. After only reading a book to him a few times, he has the story memorized, and will read it aloud, in his own words, but always remembers the names of the characters and the story. I love to see this development in him and see the benefits of reading. I hope that he will continue to love books as much as I do.

As we celebrate March as Reading Month, let’s remember my favorite quote from Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

I’m always looking for new books, what are some of your favorites?

Photo credit: starzyia

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