Monday, October 14, 2013

7 Reasons to open a book

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them." 
~Joseph Brodsky

As writers we hope everyone would pick up a book (especially our own), crack open its pages and find delight in its well chosen words.
                                               BUT . . .
In a Pew Internet report it states 19% of those eighteen years and older questioned didn't read, up from 8% from a 1978 Gallup poll. Those who read 1-5 books increased from 29% to 32% and those who read 6-10 and 11-50 changed little though the numbers in 2011 were a bit lower than 1978. It also stated "Our question was somewhat different from Gallup’s in that we asked respondents whether they had read any books in the past 12 months in print, via audiobook, or an e-book. We also asked 16- and 17-year-olds. Some 78% of those 16 and older had read at least one book in any format in the previous 12 months, compared with 88% in the 1978 Gallup survey of adults. 

In our December survey, looking at the general population, 72% of Americans age 16 and older read at least one book in the past year in print; 16% read at least one e-book; 11% listened to at least one audiobook. The figures for adults 18 and older in that survey were the same, except it was 17% who had read an e-book.

So what are some of these people missing out on but others are gaining?

Brain-stimulating activities, such as reading, at any age may preserve memory
In a Science Daily article it states in a study  published in an 
online issue of Neurology that "research found that people who participated in mentally stimulating activities both early and late in life had a slower rate of decline in memory compared to those who did not participate in such activities across their lifetime."

Reading can make you smarter

Non-fiction books offer an abundance of information without having to take courses. duh : }

Better verbal abilities

Though reading doesn't guarantee you'll be a communicator, readers tend to have a more varied vocabulary enabling them to express their feelings and ideas better.

It improves your imagination

When reading a description of a location or event, your mind creates an image in your head thus reinforcing its creative side.

Reduces stress

In a The Telegraph article it stated research  at the University of Sussex showed "subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles, he found. In fact it got subjects to stress levels lower than before they started."

And here's two reasons for writers.

It inspires

Besides creating an image, as stated above, it can spur other thoughts and ideas.


By reading you learn how to craft your story. By dissecting the work you can find out how the author created a scene that moved you in some way, how to move your characters through a plot and how word choices make a difference.

You probably read because of one or most of these reasons.   But just in case I missed  something, share why you read.  Thanks.

 "Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, and interesting." 

Aldous Huxley

P.S.  If you're considering participating in NaNoWriMo, check out Kristen Lamb's blog,
Fueling the Muse for NaNoWriMo gives great tips on structure by using movies as examples.