Scientists have already proven that reading is healthy because it positively alters a person’s state of mind.
Reading involves a complex network of circuits and signals in the brain. As a person’s reading ability matures, these networks become stronger and more sophisticated, brain activity and connectivity improves, especially in the somatosensory cortex (this responds to physical sensations such as movement and pain) thus reading builds self-esteem, improves communication skills, and brings happy associations.
Rush University Medical Center also found that reading helps prevent age-related cognitive decline. Older people who read and solve math problems every day maintain and improve their cognitive functioning (study from 2013.)
But did you know that reading reduces stress? Yes, 30 minutes of reading a day will lower a person’s blood pressure and heart rate, and decrease feelings of psychological distress.
Studies also teach us that reading an actual book (not one on a screen) will set a person up for a good night’s rest, will help ease symptoms of depression, and might even help a person live longer: when scientists studied a cohort of older adults over a period of twelve years they discovered that those who read books survived around two years longer than those who either didn’t read or who read magazines and used other media. The study found that people who read over three hours per week were 23 percent more likely to live longer than those who did not.
But here are twenty more reasons to gift books this Christmas:
- reading will transport them into their own fantasy worlds, not those manufactured by corporations and multinationals with their agendas
- reading is like experiencing dreams, it will allow them to recognize their inner selves
- books arouse curiosity in an unbridled way, so their thoughts will not be constrained by agendas, time-frames or matrices
- books will relax them while they stimulate the mind: games and shows tend to overstimulate
- there is a measured natural rhythm to reading: this will become meditative and smoothing
- as they read, they will become reasonable and thoughtful, so they will also feel invigorated
- reading feeds a hungry mind with the perfect portion of knowledge
- reading takes the focus away from the concerns of the outside world and allows a person to find peace within their own heart and mind
- reading does not stifle creativity, it stimulates it
- readers say they “lose track of time” when they read a book. Why? Because books are time machines. Wouldn’t you like to buy your friends a time machine for Christmas?
- they will be able to take their book anywhere to read it. The treats that come inside a book are preloaded and will never need updates, subscriptions, or other downloads
- books do not need recharging and will never “shut down” when they have an unreliable connection
- books work anywhere, anytime... even in a power outage, inside a hilltop tent, on a hospital trolley, or inside an airplane
- books are like mirrors. What your friends take from a book reflects whatever is already inside. This helps them understand themselves
- Books will become their friends: Have you ever heard anyone say that about a computer game or a television show?
- TV shows and computer games are from the mundane world. Why not treat them to a journey into the transmundane?
- reading is an authentic experience. It’s not “like” seeing a different world or “pretending” to be a character… it’s about being transported into another world and walking in someone else’s shoes. It is not “virtual reality” — it is substantive reality!
- books require patience: and patience is a virtue. Giving a book is like giving a person some time
- reading will expand a worldview, not limit it
- reading will teach language and expand vocabulary. We need language to interact with our world. While games and programs will limit language and buffer vocabulary, books promote better communication skills
Words: @neilmach 2020 ©
Any thoughts? tweet me @neilmach
Moondog and the Dark Arches by Neil Mach
Janney is a teenage librarian in a peculiar English feudal village. She possesses a remarkable ability: she can fly from her body and hook up with another person. In this state of detachment, she found herself trapped within another young woman who escaped from a pagan ritual, but then jumped off a bridge. Was this woman chased by a monster that had been sent by the evil priestess? Moondog, the preternatural detective, is called out to investigate these evils. Will he discover the truth? What invisible thing lives beneath the church? What is going on in the weird Vale of Amity?