Quick Summary

  • Reading may not be urgent but it is important.
  • Habitual readers experience tremendous psychological and physical health benefits from reading.
  • Often, the important things in life don't seem urgent. That does not make them any less important.

Everything Else Seems So Urgent

It seems, especially during the holidays, that everything in our daily world chimes, pings, dings, or rings at us—urgently demanding our attention right then, right now, or else!

However, books make no such demands on us. They sit quietly, patiently waiting for our attention. And when we do pick them up, even if it’s only for a few moments, it’s magic. Books only give. They entertain and delight, inform and teach, help us to learn and grow, bring wonder and awe, invoke emotions that penetrate the soul.

Reading Benefits the Mind and Body

Reading books, especially those that tell stories, bring amazing qualities to mind, body, and spirit:

1. Reading increases your understanding and empathy of other people (source).

2. Reading keeps your mind young and free (source).

3. Reading significantly reduces your stress (source).

4. Reading may even help you live longer (source).

Simple Habits Have a Compound Effect

Amazingly enough, it doesn’t take much for those benefits to show up. One study showed that just 6 minutes of silently reading a book reduced reader’s stress levels by 68%.

Another study showed that as little as a half hour a day can add almost two more years to your life (source).

Important Things Don't Always Come with Electronic Alerts

Books won’t ever noisily cry out for our attention, demand that we read right then, or else!

No, they’ll sit patiently, waiting for us to sit down and let the magic happen.

The essential things in life don’t have electronic alerts to tell us that they are important. They just are.

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