The Benefits of Reading


I have always enjoyed reading since I was very little, my favourite author being Jacqueline Wilson throughout my childhood. I could sit for hours with a book in my hand, always being either Lily Alone or My Sister Jodie (also can we still talk about how devastating and unexpected that ending was, my 8 year old heart was broken) but since I have been diagnosed with my mental health disorders I have found myself taking it more seriously and not just "paper with words on" I have acknowledged the benefits from it on my mentality.

When reading the article published by In The Book which involves data illustrating how reading to your child has serious financial benefits. They talk about 8 advantages including how reading can rapidly development the child's communication and basic speech skills; cultural understands; higher academic performance and enhanced development of senses.
Did you know 85% of a child's brain evolves fastest up the age of 5 than any other period in their? These are statistics and facts provided by this wonderfully beneficial and informative publisher and taken from the World Almanac and Book of Facts (1998 , 95) for earning levels by education levels.

As I have gotten older I have leaned towards more books suitable for teens and a particular favourite of mine I have read, so many times I have lost count, is All The Bright Places. It is a heartbreaking and contemporary book but most important it incorporates serious themes such as mental health and suicide. Something I think is really considerate and wonderful of the author Jennifer Niven, is she put links to websites for those affected by these topics, the support shown from her is heartwarming. The book itself is so beautifully written, telling the story with alternating perspectives through Finch and Violet. Without spoiling too much all I am going to say is it is not your classic cliche girl meets boy story, it explores their journey of visiting strange places and the bond that you witness growing and eventually become romantically involved, it is simply a blooming and endearing book and I highly recommend it.

Another huge love of mine is the trilogy A Night In With, featuring three of my idols - Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. The talented author Lucy Holliday writes in a light humoured way and quintessential for a romantic comedy, complimenting the premise of the book. It's bursting with charm and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood that is featured gives these stories a different vibe from any other books I have read. They really are amazing books and ones to add to your reading list - I will also be attaching a document of my must reads to help you calm and take some relaxation time. Lastly, Megan Hess illustration books have become some of my favourites since last year when I got the Coco Chanel book. If my obsession with Chanel wasn't enough I get a book filled with beautiful artwork telling the story of Gabrielle herself.

Reading for me personally is the most calming thing and most important hobby of mine. Being captivated in a book has been shown to reduce your levels of stress. Research by Dr David Lewis showed that reading as little as 6 minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 60% by reducing your heart rate, easing muscle tension and altering your state of mind. That same study showed that reading was better at reducing stress than music, drinking a cup of tea, going for a walk and playing video games. Additionally, people who read fiction have been shown to improve your level of empathy, the ability for you to understand someone else's beliefs, feelings and thoughts. Participating in cognitive actives, such as reading was also shown to slow down memory loss when compared to those who didn't participate in mentally stimulating activities. There are my studies to support reading helping your mentality, including one showing that reading and then talking about what you have read could be beneficial to your mental health and well-being. Bibliotherapy has a profound effect on people suffering with depression, Liverpool Health Inequalities Research Institute examined a two weekly reading group program for people diagnosed with depression over a 12 month period and reported a significant improvement to mental health. Participants reported improved concentration, better emotional understanding, increased self-awareness, and the ability to discuss meaningful issues related to self and being.

Reading has always been known as a source of knowledge of happiness, of pleasure and even moral courage. It has increased in importance of being a need for a conscious effect to conquer the divisive forces. So if you haven't already try reading even for just 10 minutes today and do it for a prolonged amount of time and write down the difference from the start to end. If you dislike reading you can always try again and give it another chance, starting with finding the right book for you because there will be at least one book suitable for your needs. Because it really is one of the most enjoyable activities you can start today.

Reading Recommendations 
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven 
  • A Night in With - Audrey Hepburn/Marilyn Monroe/Grace Kelly by Lucy Holliday 
  • Me Before You by JoJo Moyes 
  • Illustration books by Megan Hess 
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon 
  • Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins  
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins  
  • Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel 
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman 
  • Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks  


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