The week of April 14 is National Library Week—a wonderful time to talk about the many benefits of reading. Reading can increase your well-being in a variety of ways, and it can also be a free or low-cost activity. Read on to learn how reading can benefit you!
1. Low-cost entertainment. If you want to read books for free, you can do so by visiting your local library, getting a library card, and checking out books. There’s no cost to you—just make sure you bring your books back to the library before the due date to avoid late fees. Don’t live near a library? Go online to find websites that sell discounted books, or borrow a book from (or trade books with) a friend.
2. Learn something new. Are you curious about trying yoga, cooking new meals, or learning to paint? Your local library will likely have books about these hobbies and interests, and many more. Reading a book about a new interest is a great way to get started!
3. Develop your analytical skills. When you read a story, you may find yourself trying to solve a mystery, figure out a plot twist, or better understand a metaphor.
4. Journey to other worlds. Reading is an adventure! Books take you to other places and situations you may not be able to experience in real life.
5. Connect with others. Looking to make some new friends? Consider joining a book club. Check into whether your local library offers one, or join a free website like meetup.com to find a book club in your area.
6. Increase empathy. Books can help you see other people’s perspectives and open you to feelings you haven’t felt before, both of which can make you more empathetic.
7. Reduce stress. Jumping into a good story can make you forget about factors in your own life that may be stressing you out. Consider carrying a book with you to work so you can do a little reading on your lunch break.
8. Enhance your workout. If you get bored just running on the treadmill, a book may be able to help you keep your interest—bring one with you next time you hit the gym. Be sure to put the book on the holder—don’t hold it while you run.
9. Boost your brainpower. Studies show that regularly participating in brain-stimulating activities, like reading, may help your mind keep functioning smoothly as you age.
10. Catch better zzzzz’s. To promote better sleep, sleep experts often recommend doing relaxing, de-stressing activities before going to bed. If you’re reading in bed or just before bedtime, be sure to read under a dim light—bright light actually signals the brain that it’s time to wake up!
For more free and low-cost tips to increase your health and well-being, check out The Healthcare Survival Guide!