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10 Healthful Reasons To Be A Bookworm

Written by Courteney

Posted on March 11, 2016 at 9:16 pm


“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines who you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde

Reading Benefits Everyone

Routinely reading for pleasure can have many potential benefits. Some of our favorites include:

  1. Improved cognitive function – research suggests those who regularly workout their brains reading may greatly decrease their vulnerability to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  2. Increased Empathy some studies have shown an increased capacity for empathy in routine fiction readers. Engrossing ourselves in stories about interconnecting relationships and experiences may heighten our own ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others’.
  3. Decreased stress and anxiety – one British study conducted in 2009 induced anxiety in participants and then had them either read, listen to music or play video games afterward to see what activity simmered stress levels most. Reading took the lead, reducing stress by about 67%.
  4. Improved concentration and attention span – in this fast-paced, technologically dominated world our attention spans are shrinking rapidly as we are constantly dividing focus between multiple tasks such as “checking in” online, cooking supper and making a work call. Reading forces us to focus on only the book on our lap, as you can’t become enveloped in a book unless it has your undivided attention. This helps our brains get back to the focused state of minds long before the dawn of smartphones.
  5. Better slumber – According to the Mayo Clinic, people who read (from a physical book) before bed get up to 20% more sleep than those who routinely watch TV, use a phone or read an e-reader before sleeping.

The Benefits Of Childhood Reading

The average American child spends at least an hour and a half a day watching TV and movies, but many parents admit their children rarely read for pleasure, or read only infrequently and for short periods. Some of the many reasons to switch off the TV and read together as a family, or to try to inspire your little ones to read by choice include:

  1. Educational Benefits – According to Laura Venning, research manager for The Reading Agency, “Reading opens the door to your child’s early academic success, imparts a love of learning and leads to higher grades in every subject. Numerous studies have shown that strong oral language skills are the basis for literacy development. When children learn to read at an early age, they have greater general knowledge, expand their vocabulary and become more fluent readers.”
  2. Social Benefits – Early readers also show more social assertiveness, as excelling at reading often promotes a stronger self image and better confidence which is reflected in early social interactions.
  3. Increased Vocabulary – children who read are exposed to far more new words than they pick up watching TV or in conversation. A broad early vocabulary can help with higher marks in school and has been linked to higher intelligence later in life.
  4. Greater Capacity for Creativity – children who read for pleasure are exposed to a greater array of plots, characters and concepts which can help fuel their imaginations to create their own characters and storylines, or artwork.
  5. Psychological Benefits – According to Ms Venning, routine childhood reading helps promote discipline by reading through boring parts to get to the more rewarding parts of a book. Child readers often display greater maturity, knowledge level and problem solving skills. Reading also helps instill a sense of curiosity, teaching young minds to question things and think outside of the box.

Options

So there you have it, 10 of the many reasons not to put reading for pleasure on the back burner. If you can’t easily get to a library there are many sites where you can download free ebooks or audiobooks, or you can buy cheap books at local used bookstores or online. Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll stop by again soon!

 

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