One of my tasks/ goals for 2016 was to read more – I Spy Book Challenge 2016
I’m a fan of audio books. I regularly listen on my mp3 – walking the dog, doing housework, soaking in the bath and in bed before sleep. Listening to books is going great – it’s reading books that is not quite going to plan.
I have a small bookcase seriously over flowing with fiction books. There are some books I am looking forward to reading. But I just don’t seem to be making time in my life to read books. Admittedly, when I have free time to read, there is now a tendency to go to my WordPress Reader to explore other people’s blogs and support my fellow bloggers. In the modern world there is a a lot of options for escapism and distraction – the massive world of the internet, box sets, films galore and of course blogs, blogs and more blogs. I want to find space in my life for books.
In an attempt to remind myself of the value of reading fiction, I am exploring the benefits of reading fiction.
There is more to reading fiction than it being a distraction. It actively engages the imagination. The words on the printed page stimulate creativity and can enable you to enter an altered state of consciousness.
A survey of 1,500 adult readers in the UK found that 76% of them said reading improves their life and helps to make them feel good. Other findings of the survey are that those who read books regularly are on average, more satisfied with life, happier, and more likely to feel that the things they do in life are worthwhile.
Reading is not only good for the imagination; it also provides positive physical benefits.
A 2009 study by the University of Sussex showed that reading for 6 minutes can reduce stress levels by up to 68%. Fiction allows your mind to wander and relax. Reading has been shown to ease the tensions in muscles and the heart. According to this study, reading is more effective than other forms of relaxation. Listening to music reduced the levels by 61%, having a cup of tea or coffee lowered them by 54%, taking a walk by 42% and playing video games brought them down by 21%.
Regular readers also sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers.
Do not read non-fiction prior to bed, which encourages projection into the future and preoccupation and planning. Read fiction that engages the imagination and demands a present state attention.
Other reasons to pick up a fiction book –
- It will give my crazy brain a free holiday.
- I can become a time traveler
- I can explore the world, even other worlds, without needing my passport
- It will aid my concentration and focus
- I can be still
- I can rest and relax
For more information – Reading can help reduce stress
I’m hoping this writing this post will encourage me to read fiction more. Maybe it will encourage you to pick up a book and read some fiction, even if just for 6 minutes!
Do you read fiction? What are the benefits for you? What are you reading at the moment? If you do not read fiction, why not?