The Medicine of Reading

Wow, looks like WordPress updated their posting tools and webpage as I’m writing this. Nifty!

I love reading. I really do. I also love a lot of other things that like to consume my time. Video games, movies, hanging out with my close friend. I always know that a quick or long read will be waiting for me whenever i need it. Doesn’t matter where I am or how I feel when I grab that book – the text will remain the same and draw me in.

I usually feel a sort of accomplishment after a good reading session. I ALWAYS feel one after finishing a long book I’ve been working on for weeks (See: Lord of the Rings). It made me get to thinking, how exactly does reading seem to grant these sort of pleasurable emotions. Sure, we’re reading a hopefully engaging story. Though at its simplest a book stands to be nothing more than text on a page!

I came across this article on the Wall Street Journal. Go give it a read. It pulls from a lot of various studies since the late 90’s that show the social, academic, and mental abilities of frequent reading. I won’t go into the specifics of the article, cause that’s boring and you can read that on your own, right? We’ve just established that its a good thing, after all!

So why do we find it so difficult to just sit down and make time to read these days? I admit, I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. Those other things I mentioned earlier…tend to give them way more attention than the books. Sometimes the flashes and colors of other forms of entertainment just draw me in. I don’t get the same feelings though that I do while reading. Whenever I feel like I’m in a bad place, I find much more success after reading in improving my emotions. In a happy place? Well reading seems to just heighten those things as well! I really need to work on my habits. I know what works best for me, I just have a hard time getting to do it.

So how often do you read and do you wish you did it more often? Do you feel reward type emotions afterwards? Let me know!

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