Reading: Exercise for the brain

While I’m having fun wrapping books for holiday gift giving, I’m thinking to myself, what a perfect time of year for reading. The days are short, the weather says, “stay inside” and, if you’re lucky, you have some time off to relax and recharge. That’s where reading can help!

Whether you’re reading to improve yourself, gain a new skill or simply to escape in a good fantasy, there’s a book for that! From a young age, I gravitated to mysteries, validated by my dusty collection of old Nancy Drew novels from the 70s. Fast forward to today and I’ve expanded to other works of fiction.

Today, however, I’m wrapping children’s books. It’s so important to read to children at an early age. It helps develop their communication skills and builds their vocabulary and comprehension. And with little ones, snuggling together to read a fun book creates a warm feeling of love and togetherness.

Make some time in your busy day to read. Here are a few of the benefits I find.

  • Losing yourself in a book helps you relax. It’s a little escape to somewhere else. Even if it’s just for an hour that hour can take you away from the day-to-day stresses. You’ll no longer be worried about your in-laws coming for the weekend, what to cook for dinner or whatever is on your mind at the moment. It’ll be just you and the story you’re absorbed in.
  • Reading helps conjure new ideas. It makes your brain think and keeps it active. I know some of my ideas come from things I’ve read. I read about things that intrigue me and I’m inspired to try. They don’t always work out, like my wild flower garden, but it’s fun trying. Maybe you’ll be inspired by a character in your book to try something new?
  • Reading builds your vocabulary. Do you ever come across a word you struggle to pronounce? You likely know what it means, but you’re unsure how it’s spelled. Then you see it written in context and it all makes sense. You’re not going to forget that word.
  • A little reading before bed helps you sleep. I have to confess, it doesn’t take a long time before I fall asleep reading. On those days when I’m too wound up to sleep, relaxing with a book before closing my eyes helps get me there.

Whatever you choose to read — a book, a magazine, a newspaper, travel brochures — you’re doing something good for yourself. This year, when you make those new year’s resolutions, add reading to your list and exercise your brain!

Currently reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

Published by hdiane2

Quietly practicing something that brings me enjoyment.

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