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The Arts and Science of Book Reading

beach-reads_2957765bSummer time – longer days, students are off from school and adults taking vacation – with less structured schedules, book reading is one popular activity many chose to do. It’s a great time to read, perhaps in a café, on a deck, or under a tree in a park.

But there’s more to reading than just the pleasure of curling up with a good book. Scientific research tells us why reading is good for us – beyond just the knowledge or entertainment it provides. Reading gives our brains a different kind of workout that listening to music, watching TV, even exercising. And because of this, it’s been shown to have the following benefits:

Reading reduces stress. Study shows that within 6 minutes of being absorbed in a book, the heart rates of research participants slowed and their muscles relaxed.

Helps you sleep. Unlike a television show or electronic devices that can actually keep you awake, the routine of reading a book in bed is a great way to prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Makes your brain sharper. Readers experience slower memory decline. According to some research, adults who engaged in activities such as puzzles and reading may be less likely to have Alzheimer’s Disease.

Other reasons to read include: boosting our vocabulary, makes us feel more connected to others and opens our mind to a bigger world.

Everyone has a book personality.

Mysteries – This means you love connecting the dots, figuring out the clues and mysteries in life, and not being afraid of surprises (good and bad).

Romances – Your life is as bit hectic, perhaps stressful, and you need to escape to a place where good triumphs over bad. You don’t mind a good cry although you expect a happy ending.

Biographies – You enjoy connecting history with a real person and remembering the past. You are exceptionally curious about other people, especially those in the spotlight because of fame or achievement.

Non-Fiction – You enjoy a good story on TV and the movies, but you turn to books in order to delve deeper into specific  topics that interest you, such as theatre, music, sports, business, etc.

Self-help – You’re committed to self-knowledge, learning new ways of thinking and being. You also like to reach out to others and understand how you can be a better friend to them

How-to – You are naturally creative and you love planning a project. You enjoy going through the steps of how to make something, or repair something, make it work better, or grow better.

What to read?

Read what interests you but don’t be afraid to try something different. For example, biographies can inspire us to reach our own goals. But, in the end, it’s the reading that is important.