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science has great news for people who actually read books

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Reading in a slow, focused, undistracted way is good for your brain.

Slow-reading advocates recommend at least 30 to 45 minutes of daily reading away from the distractions of modern technology. By doing so, the brain can reengage with linear reading. The benefits of making slow readinga regular habit are numerous, reducing stress and improving your ability to concentrate. 

Regular reading also increases empathy, especially when reading a print book. One study discovered that individuals who read an upsetting short story on an iPad were less empathetic and experienced less transportation and immersion than those who read on paper. 

Reading an old-fashioned novel is also linked to improving sleep. When many of us spend our days in front of screens, it can be hard to signal to our body that it's time to sleep. By reading a paper book about an hour before bed, your brain enters a new zone, distinct from that enacted by reading on an e-reader. 

Three-quarters of Americans 18 and older report reading at least one book in the past year, a number which has fallen, and e-books currently make up between 15 to 20% of all book sales. In this increasingly Twitter- and TV-centric world, it's the regular readers, the ones who take a break from technology to pick up a paper book, who have a serious advantage on the rest of us. 

This has been on my mind a lot lately.

In this post from yesterday...

...Christina mentions that reading is the first thing she does when she gets up in the morning.

I like that as a morning ritual.

? No comment ?

haha!  how funny.  my kids pulled me away before i saved that last comment.  case in point:  having two little kids in the house who are equipped with mom-is-awake-and-not-paying-attention-to-me radars makes reading (and pandawhaling) difficult at any time!

i was saying that i had never even considered reading in the morning.  i just like to imagine the silence, though.  it would be grand!

Kids make us appreciate quiet more.

Is your morning routine a rush or more calm and steady?

more along the lines of calm and steady, but it is always chugging and very noisy!

my 5-year-old talks incessantly at a very loud volume.  so there's that constant noise, like when austin powers was coming out of being frozen and suffered from voice immodulation.  but this never ends.

One day you'll miss him. But not his incessant loud chatter. :)

who knows?  maybe i'll even miss that.  ;)

You'll miss the chatter but not the loudness or the incessance. 

Is incessance a word?

if it isn't, it ought to be!

Famed Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz gave a speech many years ago, and he said, "The two things that will most determine your life are the books you read and the people you know." I've never forgotten that. Since then I've always tried to read quality books and get to know some quality people.

Not only are books good for the mind and heart, but they open doors to new possibilities. Deep and meaningful reading is more and more of a lost practice, I think.You just can't do meaningful reading in 140 character increments!

Rich, the morning read stash was the best life hack ever.

Emily, you will miss everything because memory is selective and brightening.  :)


Memory IS selective. We tend to remember the good.

Rich, I like that Lou Holtz quote.

I guess what we read matters less than that we read?

Lou Holtz quote two things

I hope you will forgive me for quoting myself, but this on the morning read with kids sums it up (they have to be old enough to read)

"My daughter was recently diagnosed with dyslexia, which explained her growing aversion to reading. I knew reading to her would help instill a love of reading, but I was failing at it. I wake up about two hours before she does. When you get up at 5 am, you get really sleepy at night, and I could hardly read her a couple pages before I nodded off. So I started reading her a chapter each morning as well. And it worked.

After I read to her,  I’d start breakfast a’cooking and then we’d “parallel read” sitting next to each other.  For her, it’s usually a school book; me, some nonfiction for a project.  This takes about 20 minutes all together. 10-15 for a chapter read out loud, and 10 minutes reading silently together. She is doing much better in school now."

Of course it's cool to quote yourself. What a great story, Christina.

You have me believing in the morning read!

Great story, Christina! 

And Geege, I am so glad you liked the morning reading hack. I want to thank James Clear for that one. 

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