“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“Something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” J.K. Rowling
On my car radio yesterday I heard that the gift people treasure most on Valentine’s day is a handwritten note. I love it! Even today, when we text and email oceans of words, the ones that matter are handwritten ones — there’s something about reading a handwritten note
that touches and inspires us — just like reading itself. Just consider the benefits that our readers will reap when they cast their eyes over and dip their hearts into our stories:*
They’ll be emboldened to achieve their goals: Just reading about a character who fights through obstacles and goes on to achieve his or her goals can inspire us to keep going when we hit rough patches in our own lives, according to Ohio State researchers. Just
think of feisty Jane Eyre or embattled Odysseus and all the quest stories you’ve ever read and stages that characters go through — it’s the same in life!
They’ll stay mentally alert and nimble: Reading keeps our brains supple and vibrant. Losing yourself in a good book and fully inhabiting the imaginary world it creates has been proven to actually keep your brain younger! That’s right — younger! One study found that people at risk for Alzheimer’s who read on a regular basis are far two and a half times less likely to develop the disease.
They’ll form better, stronger relationships: Studies show that people who love reading fiction aren’t just enhancing their capacity for enjoyment, they’re also gaining greater empathy for others. People who get into the heads of characters in novels become more adept at understanding what others are thinking in their real, everyday interactions and better at reading and reacting to other people’s emotional cues. Isn’t that amazing? Reading enriches friendships in so many ways — no wonder book clubs are so popular!
They’ll increase their intelligence: Readers of all ages who enjoy delving into the worlds that words create are constantly exercising their imaging capacities and igniting their curiosity about people, places, and things. They are also building their vocabularies and honing wordsmithing skills. Kids who read learn 50% more words than TV watchers!
OK, we’re on a mission: Our readers need us to keep their brains sharp and their hearts full. So let’s all write on!
- This summary of benefits (embroidered upon by me) comes to us via Woman’s World.