The Benefits of Reading


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You can admit it: reading doesn’t always seem like the easiest thing to do at night. Maybe your time-wasting weakness involves playing the latest farm simulation game on your phone. Maybe you have a TV show you like to binge watch or you’re a movie buff. Whatever it is, I find I often push my books to the side.

In case some extra motivation could help, however, I recently discovered this Real Simple article on the benefits of reading – from an actual book, not a Kindle or e-book – which are even greater than I knew.

It can boost your brain power. Similar to the way going for a jog exercises your cardiovascular system, reading can improve memory function and may help slow the aging process, keeping minds sharper longer, according to research published in Neurology.

Reading can make you more empathetic. According to a study in Science, a good book has been proven to make it easier for people to relate to others. And, what’s more, the effect is more significant on those who read literary fiction as opposed to those who read nonfiction. “Understanding others’ mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships that characterize human societies,” researchers David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano wrote.

Lastly, reading a book before bed can help you sleep. Bedtime rituals tell your body that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep, according to the Mayo Clinic. Reading a real book helps you relax more than zoning out in front of a screen before bed. Screens like e-readers and tablets have been proven to actually keep you awake longer and even hurt your sleep.

If you need an enlightening and inspiring book, I always recommend Simon Sinek’s Start With Why to friends. Let me know what books you recommend or are currently reading!

Recommended Resolutions

Happy New Year to you and yours! I hope everyone enjoyed watching their local clock strike midnight next with people they love. And, maybe most importantly, I hope you all managed to stay warm!

If, like me, you use this period to reflect on the year behind and strategize for the year ahead, you might be interested in this list of 21 good New Year’s resolutions. I pulled out a few of my favorites:

  1. Learn a party trick. Or, if you prefer, a joke. Here’s a freebie: “What do you call a bear with no teeth? A gummy bear!
  2. Go to the theatre. Fret not, if Hamilton tickets are out of the question. Check out a community playhouse!
  3. Walk to work. Even if this means just parking farther away from the door or getting off the bus one stop earlier, a light walk in the morning can help clear your head and prepare you for the day.
  4. Read a book. I highly recommend the book by Simon Sinek, “Start With Why.” You may have seen his TED Talk on the subject, which I also suggest watching.
  5. Plant some bulbs. Just set it and forget it! Burying a few bulbs will give you a delightful, colorful surprise once the weather warms back up.