The only thing better than selecting a book on Saturday afternoon is grabbing one on Saturday morning and spending the entire weekend reading. It is not indulgent. My decision to spend quality time with my nose buried between actual paper pages is supported by lots of research.
Studies show a regular reading habit improves brain connectivity, increases your vocabulary and comprehension, empowers you to empathize with other people, aids in sleep readiness, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, fights depression symptoms, prevents cognitive decline, and contributes to a longer life.
Who am I to argue? Especially since my favorite benefit from reading is it supposedly makes you a better writer. The specific genre doesn’t change the positive benefits. But the prevailing consensus is reading a physical book in the same genre you want to write is better than reading from a device. These are not the sole reason I love reading physical books. There is a tactile component, the smell, and I can write in the margins, highlight text, and (horror) dog-ear pages. I try to limit my “book mutilations” to copies I own, but sometimes I forget myself.
It is something I have done for as long as I can remember, and it turns out it is a “thing.” Marginalia or Scholia are the marks or comments left in the margins of books. The earliest scholia date to the 5th or 4th century BC. In college, I scoured the used textbook section where I searched for annotated texts for my current semester’s courses. Some of those “defaced” texts were pure gold.
There is another aspect of reading I enjoy. I love speaking with fellow readers, discovering we have read the same book and discussing it at length. Those conversations form bonds, develop connections, and reveal personality traits, beliefs, and thought processes like few other types of communications can. Is it any surprise some of my best friends are avid readers?
Do you have a reading habit?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer