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Posted by Aubrey Peters

STOP! In the name of love (for books)! STOP making excuses. STOP putting it off. STOP prioritizing other things. STOP forgetting your reasons to read. 

If you stopped reading at some point in your life, I'm here to give you the reasons to begin again. We love to spend time on things to improve ourselves but we forget that reading for fun can do just that! Here are our top three reasons to read for FUN! 

 

Helps with memory and mental flexibility

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Scientists at the University of California found that reading lowers levels of the main protein that causes Alzheimer's. Since the brain is cognitively stimulated by reading, beta-amyloid deposits are fewer than in people who don't read regularly. Reading also slows down mental decline by keeping important parts of the brain working. (Source

It also increases mental flexibility. The University of Liverpool’s Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society (CRILS) have found that literary reading could help increase mental flexibility. Mental Flexibility is the ability of a person to shift a course of thought or action according to the changing demands of a situation. It allows an individual to abandon a previous response set or pattern in order to generate an alternative that is better suited to the requirements of the situation at hand. (Source  

 

 

Reduces Stress 

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A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. This study shows that reading works even better than listening to music and it reduces stress much faster. Dr Lewis, Cognitive Neuropsychologist says: "Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation. This is particularly poignant in uncertain economic times when we are all craving a certain amount of escapism. It really doesn't matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author's imagination." (Source)

 

Improves Empathy  

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Emanuele Castano, a social psychologist, along with PhD candidate David Kidd conducted five studies in which they divided a varying number of participants (ranging from 86 to 356) and gave them different reading assignments: excerpts from genre (or popular) fiction, literary fiction, nonfiction or nothing. After they finished the excerpts, the participants took a test that measured their ability to infer and understand other people’s thoughts and emotions. The researchers found, to their surprise, a significant difference between the literary- and genre-fiction readers. (Source) 

The results suggest that reading fiction has a valuable socializing influence. The study data could inform debates over how much fiction should be included in educational curricula and whether reading programs should be implemented in prisons, where reading literary fiction might improve inmates’ social functioning and empathy. “Understanding others’ mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships that characterize human societies” (Source)

On this #ThankYouNoteDay, I want to say a special thank you to my mom for fostering my love of books and teaching me the magic of immersing oneself in a book, all while helping me with memory, stress and empathy. 😉

 

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Book Suggestions 

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Killing Commendatore

A Spark of Light

Every Breath

Well-Behaved Woman

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Each book we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team.

 

 

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If you would like to be a guest blogger, contact editorial@padmorepublishing.com

 

 

 

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