Reading Isn’t Just for National Holidays

Did you know there was a National Read a Book Day? As it so happens, the holiday was yesterday. And the long holiday weekend seems the perfect time to celebrate and enjoy!

I love that there’s national awareness of the need to unplug – me included – and read. But certainly, we don’t need to wait for a holiday to read. It’s something we can enjoy every day, with many benefits, per the following article by Lana Winter-Hebert, 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day, written for They include mental stimulation, reduction of stress, and improved vocabulary and writing skills – something, as an author, of which I take advantage!

We forget that reading, many moons ago, was considered a privilege, and to my way of thinking, it still is quite a privilege, and a blessing. Yet, we often take that ‘privilege’ for granted today. Here’s a snippet about reading in the colonial era: “Historians point out that reading and writing were different skills in the colonial era. School taught both, but in places without schools reading was mainly taught to boys and also a few privileged girls.” Read the full article here, at Wikipedia.

Too, in years past, books were scarce. Again, today, we take many things for granted, when books on every topic imaginable are more readily accessible than they’ve ever been before.

Some examples that come to mind about how scarce books used to be are from popular movies and books (is that a paradox?). In Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the women, once stranded on the mountain with the Pontipee brothers, beg for Milly to read them the story of the Sabine women from Plutarch’s Lives – one of the only books she owned. In Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary, one of my childhood favorites, Emily is a little girl who loves to read, and longs for a library in the small town of Pitchfork, Oregon, circa 1920, but books are few and far between. How I loved to read, over and over again, to find out if her dream would come true.

When my daughter was a baby, often, when I put her to bed, I read to her whatever I was reading at the time – and that included the newspaper, Agatha Christie, and Nora Roberts. It had the added side benefit of allowing me to catch up on my own reading! I – myself a voracious reader – have had the pleasure of raising one.

No need to wait for a holiday to take advantage of our ability to read, and the plethora of books available – read one today!

OVER TO YOU – how do you share your love of reading?

Rebecca E. Neely is an author, freelance writer, lover of spoon rings, diners, the Steelers & great reads.

Thanks for reading! Love to hear your thoughts.

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