Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Return of the Bookworm

Image result for bookwormAfter last week's Fox News overload, my brain needed a bit of a vacation. And for me, few things say "relaxing brain time" more than curling up with a good book. But I'm sorry to admit that I've gotten out of the habit of prioritizing reading time. Because it feels like a guilty pleasure, I'll leave it until after the chores and obligations are done. And often then, I don't even get to it, because I am perhaps only slightly more immune to Netflix than the average person. And, of course, I like to leave time for my own writing, too, since that is one of my raisons d'etre.

This week, I tapped my inner child on the shoulder and said, "Hey, remind me how we always used to have our nose in a book." She ignored me--she was reading, after all--but just knowing she is alive and well was enough to inspire me. And I'm so glad it did, because I really, really enjoyed my reading time. I pulled out my purely-for-fun library book in the evenings, and on Saturday and Sunday morning--in bed, naturally, because that is the best place ever to read. (During the day. At night, it makes me too sleepy.)

But now that I am an allegedly grown-up woman, it's much harder for me to put my guilt feelings about not being "productive" aside and just read. I had to keep reminding myself that reading has as many, if not more, benefits as, say, doing laundry. Take, for example, this Emory University study from a few years back (as reported in Psychology Today):

In the study, titled “Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain," researchers found that "becoming engrossed in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function. Interestingly, reading fiction was found to improve the reader's ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes and flex the imagination in a way that is similar to the visualization of a muscle memory in sports."
Add in some of the other benefits of reading--including mental stimulation, improved vocabulary, lower stress, improved mood, increased empathy and emotional intelligence--and laundry doesn't really stand a chance. (Except that clean underwear thing is pretty important.)

This week is a Take It, and I hope I've inspired you to put down your phone and pick up a book just for the fun of it.

 Image result for reading meme


  1. Guilty pleasure. Yeah, that's what it is and you are right, it shouldn't be.

    1. I don't know why so many fun things get classified in this way! Maybe we're all trying to be too practical :-)