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Benefits of Reading


Benefits of Reading
A Lost Art
The simple act of reading is a skill that is without a doubt being less and less utilized in the world today. Today’s population would much rather watch the news on TV than to read a newspaper, watch a movie than read book, or watch a video on the internet than to read a recipe or instruction manual. This is disappointing because there are so many benefits to reading that people miss out on due to these changes in behavior. It is common knowledge that people who read regularly increase their knowledge on a variety of subjects while simultaneously providing a person with an opportunity to broaden their outlook on cultures that they may not have experienced before.
Reading also increases a person’s ability to empathize with people that are different from themselves. It can improve a person’s mood, help reduce stress, and increase concentration. The amount of concentration that is required to read teaches readers to use the same skill in other aspects of their lives, as well. They are often more able to give their full attention to other parts of their day to day lives. It improves writing skills, communication skills and decision-making skills. Reading a book forces a person to use their imagination, using a part of the brain that might not get used very often due to all of the visual stimulations in the world today.
Similarly to the muscles of the body, the brain benefits physically when it gets a good workout. Stimulation is the key factor when exercising the brain.  The stimulation provided by reading can actually increase the power of brain tissue and can even help prevent Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that regular reading can delay or prevent memory loss altogether.  It does this by stimulating brain cells to connect with each other and physically grow.
If you are not a regular reader, perhaps you should consider becoming one. The health benefits of reading are too great to ignore. If you’re not sure what books you might like to read, the Decatur Parks and Recreation department might have the answer for you. The Reading Divas of Decatur Book Club meets once a month at the T.C. Almon Recreation Center. Not only do they provide a regular reading list but they also provide a reader with an opportunity to discuss what they’ve read with other readers.
Suzanne Langdon
Assistant Center Supervisor
T.C. Almon Recreation Center

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