🐾 A Bookworm would tell you to take time every day to read a book.🐾
It will probably come as no surprise to many of you that I love to read. I mean really love to read. I always have.
When I was younger, I would joyfully do whatever reading was needed for school and would usually read well ahead. I was more interested in sitting on the front steps of my childhood home reading than I was in playing games with my neighborhood friends. And then the weekend would come. Each Saturday, my grandparents would take my sister and I for a ride in their gigantic white Plymouth with the black roof. It was an all-day event with the goal of getting an ice cream or a cheeseburger before arriving back home long past sunset. I loved those rides. I would read an entire book during each excursion. The fresh air from the car window, the couch-like seats, and the ability to get lost in someone’s creation would send my heart into a flutter. I felt like Gulliver, embarking on a wonderful new weekly adventure.
I read because I loved to read.
l knew that I loved the smell of the book. l knew that I loved the way it felt in my hands. l knew that I loved the sound the binding made when I opened it and then as I turned each page. l knew that I loved that the books brought me to new and exciting destinations. What I did not know, at least at the time, was that by reading I was becoming a happier, more well-rounded person, improving my chances of success.
Reading is an essential building block of learning and in turn, life. So much so that it has been shown to decrease depression and increase life expectancy.
Stressed out? Unable to sleep? Reading just before bed from an actual physical book, not from the technological bombardment and blue light of a tablet or a phone, has been shown to help prepare us for sleep and reduce our stress levels. It lowers our heart rate, our blood pressure, and our stress hormone (cortisol) and activates the part of our brain that controls pleasure and reward. The result: lower stress and more restful sleep.
And when we are not sleeping? Frequent reading, particularly of books, helps us to keep our minds engaged, improves our ability to think critically, and slows cognitive decline as we age. Our brain is so amazing that it can retain what we read, even if we think we can't recall it. For example, if you read a story where a character caught themselves as they were stepping off of a curb, and they avoided getting hit by a bus, your brain learns that as an avoidance tactic and will use it to keep you safe.
Not happy with your writing skills? Reading more can help with that too. It widens our vocabulary, strengthens our comprehension skills, improves our ability to focus, and levels up our concentration capabilities.
By reading, we develop a better understanding of ourselves and of others, enhance our ability to empathize and develop new perspectives. We constantly become exposed to new ideas and new ways of thinking thereby giving us a better understanding of the world and broadening our horizons.
By setting a goal to read every day, for at least 30 minutes, you will have a low-cost form of entertainment to look forward to that will also provide you with a sense of accomplishment.
Try following the advice of our bibliophilic friends, disconnect from technology, pick up a book, and read as often as you can. You will lead a happier, more successful, and more productive life just by doing something for relaxation