In World War II, poster cried out for us all to BUY BONDS! Today, we need posters to encourage us to BUY BOOKS! Today, through advances in printing technology there are more books being published, yet less and less people under the age of 35 are reading.
The Fulbright Foundation did a study that revealed school children from 3rd through 12th grade spend around six to seven hours a day passively visualizing. That means they are staring in front of a computer, a TV, video games, blackboards, overhead projectors, etc absorbing information through their eyes. Yet, they only spend an average of 25 minutes a day reading, and 95% of that is for homework.They do not read for pleasure.
What's the difference? Reading stimulates the mind's eye, not just the eyes. It activates a different area of the brain. When we see a movie or TV show, we see what the director wants us to see. When we read, our brains tap into memories and experiences. A babbling brook may look totally different to you than it does for me. Yes, words can describe scenes so we can visualize them, but that requires brain activity in order to do so. Even after reading about the same scene, we will both see it in our minds in a unique way. If you have ever read a book then seen the movie, you probably noticed how diverse the director's ideas of the characters or settings were in comparison to your own.
Sleep experts say, if you are experiencing insomnia, turn off the computer and TV an hour before retiring. Instead, read a book. It will lower your blood pressure, calm your nerves and relax you. Children who read often for pleasure are not as hyperactive, according to several studies. They are more creative, have a higher vocabulary and sharper communication skills.
So, pick up a book. Make pledge to read 10 books over the next 12 months. It can be biography, history, a political thriller, fantasy, SciFi, romance, mystery, whatever interests you. Most books average 300 pages, so that works out to reading less than 10 pages a day. But, if you are like me, when you find a good one, it will be hard to put it down!
Why read? It will keep your brain active, may lower your blood pressure and help you sleep. It may reduce the effects of dementia as well as relieve stress and depression.
So please, BUY BOOKS! Or at least visit the public library near you often. Encourage your children and grandchildren to read for pleasure as well. Set the example. There is nothing like a good book to take you places and help you experience and learn new things. None of us are ever too old for that!