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5 top reasons to read a book – World Book Day 2nd March

A pile of brightly coloured books viewed from the side,

One of my favourite times of day is when I sit down with a book and spend some quiet time reading. For me, it doesn’t seem to matter if it is a fun fictional read or some more serious self-development, I always seem to close the book feeling more optimistic or with a greater insight into something new.

Reading books has been shown to be both good for your brain and mood. So on World Book Day, 2nd of March, here are my 5 top scientific reasons to keep reading.

1. Reading is good for the brain. improving verbal learning

2. Reading reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression

3. Reading is good for creativity and imagination

4. Reading helps people feel more connected to each other and their community.

5. Reading books could help you live longer. A cohort research study showed that those who read books had a 20% lower chance of dying early and lived longer than those who did not read or read only magazines or newspapers.

So just as physical exercise is good for the body (and brain), the cognitive exercise of regular reading helps keep that brain working out and fuels the glorious world of imagination which is so important for us as humans to be able create and plan for the future.

So we know now that reading is good for you, but does it matter what you are reading from: a book or a device. The current state of the scientific research suggests that reading from a paper book has more benefits. For those, like me, who enjoy some bedtime book reading, a book is also better for sleep, as it would not have the stimulating light that shines from devices, be they e-readers, tablets, phones or laptops. And who doesn’t love the smell of the pages of a book.

So what good book is going to boost your brain today? If you are looking for a book for you or a loved one, head over to the Read Avidly section on healthy gifts for some good, healthy reads.