As was once said by famous scientist and mathematician Carl Sagan, “A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.” The powerful positive effects reading has on our physical and emotional states cannot be understated. February is Library Lover’s Month and the perfect time to get lost in a good story. If you are looking for a few good reasons to crack open a book this month, read on!
Reading has been shown to keep your brain sharp. According to a study published in an online issue of the journal Neurology, “People who exercised their minds later in life had a 32 percent lower rate of mental decline compared to their peers with average mental activity.” Some studies have also shown that frequent readers have less chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Bibliotherapy can help ease anxiety and depression. Bibliotherapy involves reading specific books (based on the reader’s interests and personal situation) in order to combat feelings of depression, anxiety or low self-esteem. This idea is ancient, dating back to the Greeks and even the Egyptians, who believed that reading could be healing to both the mind and soul.
Reading can help you sleep. If you are in the habit of falling asleep with your television on, you may not be getting a good night’s rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Exposure to unnatural light cycles may have real consequences for our health including increased risk for depression.” Reading quietly next to a source of soft light is the perfect way to prepare for sweet dreams.
Unsure of what to read first? Here are a few suggestions to get you started!
Hometown Tales: Recollections of Kindness, Peace, and Joy by Phillip Gulley
Gulley’s book will remind you to enjoy the little things in life and inspire you to find the good in those around you. These heartwarming tales about living simply are perfect to snuggle up with any time of the day.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This international bestseller combines magic, mystery and self-discovery in a story that will keep you turning the pages long after the sun has set. If you are interested in the lure of faraway lands and the power of listening to your heart, this book’s for you!
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
Chock-full of nostalgia, heartfelt insight and hilarious moments, Bill Bryson relives his life as a young boy growing up in Des Moines, Iowa during the 1950s and 1960s. We double-dog-dare you to try to read this book without laughing aloud!
Your local library is a great source for not only books, but live speakers, entertainment, volunteer opportunities and much more! Grab some friends and make the library a regular outing. While you’re there, make sure to check out their large print section, as well as their wide array of audiobooks. Whether you read alone, aloud, or through your headphones, celebrate the written word this month and every month!