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AlisonBrill Posted by Alison T. Brill, MPH, Community Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

There’s something special about holding a real, paper and ink book in my hands. I love the feel and smell of the pages, and the fact that there's no blinding glare from a computer or phone screen. It’s just the book and me. From novels, memoirs, and fiction, to adventure, science fiction, and biographies, reading improves your quality of life, and here’s how. 

  • Woman Reading on CouchGetting lost in a book takes your mind off your troubles. Books, especially fiction, can be an escape from life’s challenges.
  • Reading improves memory, vocabulary, and analytical thinking skills.
  • Books can be very funny. Tell me you couldn’t use more laughter in your life!
  • It seems obvious, but reading does, in fact, make you smarter, which increases self-esteem and confidence.
  • Reading is an active mental process, as opposed to watching TV. It engages you and challenges you to think, feel, and be creative.
  • Reading reduces stress and lowers anxiety. As a quiet activity that forces you to sit down and focus on one task, reading helps to develop self-discipline.

* Challenge yourself to read without doing other activities and distractions, like eating, physical activity, having the TV or music on, or texting.

  • Reading helps us experience and appreciate a wide range of emotions and expands our empathy towards others.
  • Reading helps us see the world through different perspectives by getting a glimpse into new cultures and places around the world.
  • Reading offers a way to go anywhere at anytime, especially if you’re not able to get out and about.
  • Reading improves conversations and social connections. As an avid reader, you’ll always have something to talk about!
  • Writing is beautiful, and reading offers a way to enjoy and appreciate this creative art form.

Dad Kids ReadingIf you have trouble finding time to read, try reading:

  • On your daily commute.
  • In the evening, instead of watching TV or using the computer.
  • With your kids.
  • With young people as a volunteer.

Make reading a priority and you’ll find it easier to find time. Check out your local library for a free pass to a limitless world of books and adventures!


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