Improved memory and concentration, reduced stress and a developed vocabulary are all said to be benefits of reading regularly. When was the last time you read a book?
Well today, Wednesday 6 September, otherwise known as ‘Read a Book Day’ is the perfect opportunity to grab a book and take some time to read. You don’t have to read a whole book in one day; today is meant to serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to read. So whether that means picking up your favourite book, a book you enjoyed when you were younger, reading a section of a book to someone – maybe children or an elderly relative – or perhaps donating a book to a school library, today is a celebration of reading.
When I think of books I still think of traditional printed books, which in recent years have suffered in competition with e-books. However, more recently there’s good news for book lovers. Printed books are making a resurgence, with UK book sales rising 5% in 2016 compared with 2015.
And the print book revival doesn’t stop there. Research carried out by market research company, Mintel, expects sales of books and e-books to reach £2.02 billion in 2017. While many thought the evolution of e-books would see the demise of printed books, in fact they are fuelling sales in the overall market and driving demand for book sales.
So what has affected the resurgence of the printed book? The return in popularity and the increase in UK sales in 2016 was driven by the sale of children’s fiction books, as well as fitness and self-help books reflecting the wider trend for ‘mindfulness’. Studies have also shown that, in such a digitally connected and on-demand world, people are placing more value on time away from screens and are now looking to enjoy ‘digital-free time’. Reading a book is a great way to escape and help you switch off.
There are a number of other benefits of reading too. The University of Michigan’s Health & Retirement study (HRS) found that people who read books for as little as 30 minutes a day over several years were living an average of two years longer than people who didn’t read at all. And while any type of reading will help support brain function and improve communication skills, reading books, rather than skimming news articles or headlines, forces the brain to think critically and make connections to each chapter and then to the outside world.
So whether you’re a fan of romance, science fiction, non-fiction, mystery, horror or action and adventure, grab a book and make some time to read today. #ReadABookDay
Here are favourite or current reads of Team AD to inspire you:
Alexa: We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Caroline: The Twelve by Justin Cronin
Ellie: Room by Emma Donoghue
Dan: The last Lion by William Manchester
Helen: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Imogen: Me before you by Jojo Moyes
Jonathan: Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell
Michael: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
Shireen: Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Tom: The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz by Denis Avey
Emily: Nathan’s run by John Gilstrap