By: JAMIE HOM
Edited by: ERINN BOON
Summer is the perfect time to catch up on your leisure reading. Every year I tell myself I am going to start the school year reading books that I want to read along with the enormously heavy and expensive school books that I am obligated to read, some of which look very interesting and some I know will put me straight to sleep.
However, I never seem to find the time to leisurely read and really immerse myself in a good book. By the time summer comes around, I have a long list of books left over. So, for me, it is time to pick up a book, relax and get lost.
Whether you buy your books, borrow them from the library or download them onto your Kindle, reading provides numerous benefits. Reading is not limited to books but includes articles in your favorite magazines and newspapers (print or not). Unlike watching TV or a movie, reading provides relaxation, enjoyment, and mental exercise. The brain benefits from a good workout like any other muscle in the body.
The health benefits that come along with reading start at an early age and build as we grow. Reading is important. It is about establishing a knowledge of language and broadening vocabulary. According to the U.S. Department of Education website, from a presentation presented by Melanie Kadlic and Mary Anne Lesiak on early reading, scientific-based research shows that if reading is established in our environments at an early age there is a better display of language, cognitive and social skills. It is all about creating an environment rich in print.
The article, The Importance of Deep Reading, by Maryanne Wolf and Mirit Barzillai from the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University notes that “reading propels comprehension and reasoning, analogical skills, critical analysis, reflection, and insight.”
I like reading books that provide glimpses into other cultures and places. Moreover, I am sometimes surprised to discover things I was not looking for. Also, with some books I read, my mind shifts to another world of imagination. The famous Harry Potter series is a perfect example that millions of people across the globe enjoy reading.
In addition, other advantages of reading include:
- improves concentration and focus
- improves memory
- gives you something to talk about with others
- reading is inexpensive entertainment (libraries are an amazing resource)
- you can learn at your own pace
- reduces stress
- can be life-changing
It is never too late to start reading. You can take books or devices almost anywhere, whether it is with your coffee at Starbucks, while you tan on the beach or on your commute home on the train. So the next time you head out your door, grab a book, magazine or your Kindle and let the reading begin to benefit your health.