This love affair began when I was a barefoot child living in the bush and books were my entertainment, aside from playing in the river with my brothers and sister – we didn’t have a TV. I only wish I had the choices now available to children and teens in terms of reading matter. Enid Blyton titles got a good battering but she has a lot to answer for in terms of good literature. But I still have a soft spot for The Magic Faraway Tree.
Instinct tells me that books are awesome. They’re good for you. But if statistics tell us that only 46% of Australians have decent literacy skills, then many people are missing out on their magic. This is why I feel compelled to spread the joy of reading to the masses and just about all the work I do is centred on it. Without good literacy skills, people have less job opportunities and this has a flow on affect on self-esteem and life quality.
A few weeks ago I read a small paragraph in the Herald Sun about the fact that reading for as little as 6 minutes can reduce stress by 68%. As you can imagine I pointed this out to my other half as justification for how much I read. But there are so many good reasons to read a book.
Ever heard the term ‘use it or lose it’? It applies to all parts of our body including the brain. Reading is good mental stimulation and is a known activity to slow or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. So while you’re using reading as a health benefit you can also increase your knowledge from both non-fiction and fiction books. Don’t think a novel has no knowledge to impart. Writers spend a lot of time researching their facts and put it in their stories.
Reading improves analytical skills, empathy, writing skills, and vocabulary, adding up to a more educated, intelligent human. We should never stop learning and reading allows us to keep doing it.
Best of all, reading is fun! A reader can be transported to a totally different world or be educated about a topic that interests them. This is why I believe that the physical form is going to be around for many, many years.