The Benefits of Reading a Good Book
Always have a book on the go? Pat yourself on the back, because you’re already contributing to better emotional and mental health—from increasing memory and empathy to improving your sleep. But if reading isn’t usually on the agenda, it may be time to pick up a great book and clear your schedule to reap these 13 surprising benefits.
Reading books may just increase your life span. In a 2016 study published in Social Science & Medicine, book readers had a 20 percent lower risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow up than other readers that stuck with magazines or newspapers.
Doctors, therapists and social workers have long used fiction and self-help books as a therapeutic tool to reduce symptoms of physical or mental illness and personal distress. This tactic is known as bibliotherapy and has been used to treat everything from panic disorders and insomnia to weight gain and stress due to hospitalization.
Read if you’re feeling empty or uninspired: The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters by Emily Esfahani Smith, $34, indigo.ca