Today is World Book Day!
As a bookworm myself I wanted to celebrate the day by writing about the brilliance of books and try to encourage others to read more. So, here we are.
Now I know that with a title like The Importance of Reading you expect that I would be preaching about literacy and vocabulary but nope. Don’t get me wrong, they are vital but every time we talk about books and their value these are always discussed when there are so many other reasons why folk should read more.
Also, I am not trying to shame anyone. I have met a few folks who put down others for not reading or not reading what they like. These people are jerks, if anyone tries to mock your taste in books, hit them over the head with the nearest one.
I’m joking but don’t take any of that nonsense, read what you enjoy and don’t worry about what other people think. I’ve had people tease me for reading light novels and a even once for preferring fantasy to “regular fiction”. Ignore the bitter bookworms, they suck.
All that matters is that you are reading. Whether you only read for about 15 minutes a day or finish a hardcover in one sitting, it doesn’t matter. Also, e-books are real books. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I myself prefer a paperback but I guess I’m just a bit old school.
Until kindles are able to waft the smell of old books out a speaker or something, I’ll stick to my physical books.
Back on topic. Books have been a great tool for me to help with my mental health. Not just from reading the odd self-help book, though that doesn’t hurt, but because reading is a calming activity that allows you to escape your worries for a while. By stepping away and reading a chapter or two I can relax a bit, brighten my day even by a shade which might not sound like much, but even the little moments help.
Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation. This is particularly poignant in uncertain economic times when we are all craving a certain amount of escapism.
Dr Lewis, Cognitive Neuropsychologist
According to several studies they can help with sleeping too. By reading before bed, many people are able to drift off easier. On top of that, reading can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Reading can also be a social activity. They can provide conversation starters and inspire discussion on certain subjects. Not just via book clubs but by attending other events and even popping into your local library. Libraries these days are shifting into community centres, at least they are in my country.
Speaking of libraries, reading is free for the most part. Sure you can buy books but libraries provide pages and pages of free learning and entertainment. Again in my area, the libraries here even provide free e-book services as well as free audiobooks and music.
So this World Book Day, consider picking one up from your local library or re-reading an old favourite. Enjoy a good story page by page, it might do you some good in turn.