At the beginning of this year I made a list of 18 New Year’s resolutions. Some affect one part of my life, others impact the way I go about everything in its entirety. On this list was one very important resolution:
Read more. Specifically, read one book a month.
A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine making such a basic resolution. I read nearly four books every month. But as technology crept into my life—the rate at which I devoured (and even enjoyed)—books began its steady decline.
At this point I’m sure you’ve all heard about the negative effects of prolonged exposure to screens, what looking at them can do to our sleeping patterns, etc., etc. But what about the positive effects of reading?
Did you know reading for a mere six minutes reduces stress levels? That those who read are more likely to engage in adventure and cultural events? That reading can slow the progress (or even prevent) cognitive diseases? Health benefits aside, what about that slow movement of entering another world as you read?
Seeing something so clearly in your minds eye. Being so engrossed in a book that you CANNOT put it down, even at 2am. The satisfaction of closing that paperback after you’ve eaten up each and every page.
I forgot these feelings. I've tried to be accessible all the time. If not, feeling as if I’d missed something or being unproductive.
I won’t lie. My re-entry into the reading world was not easy, or necessarily fun.
At first I would check the clock often, or see how many pages were left. Reading felt so painstakingly slow that my constantly over-stimulated mind had near-anxiety attacks. But by slowly indulging in the written (and paperback) world once more, I’ve found myself more enamoured than before.
Reduce your stress levels, respect your time, and maybe just take a moment to enjoy.