May is “Get Caught Reading Month,” which, according to the program’s website, “is a nationwide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read.”
The importance of reading for children is often stressed, but there are many benefits of reading as a person ages as well.
Studies show the numerous benefits of reading to consider as you get older.
Stress reduction: You can leave the world behind by getting engrossed in a good story. It can help you relax and alleviate tensions.
Stimulating your mind: This can help protect you from Alzheimer’s and other memory loss. Such mental stimulation can even help you sleep better and keep sharp.
Expanding general knowledge, awareness, and vocabulary
Helping your memory: Remembering all the details of characters, plots, etc. gives your brain valuable exercise.
Enhancing analytical thinking and decision-making skills
Improved sleep: Both the mental stimulation it gives and the lulling effect of reading as a bedtime ‘ritual’ contribute to the well-known fact that reading can help you sleep. Who hasn’t experienced the fact that reading can make one feel sleepy?
For more specifics, you are welcome to visit the following resources, from which this list was drawn:
Here at St. Anne’s, we are happy to offer a “Reading Hour”* twice a week, where Sr. Christina, or a volunteer, reads aloud to residents who gather for the occasion.
Over the several years that this activity has been taking place, we have enjoyed a good number of books. The residents especially seem to enjoy stories that share what life was like for our pioneering predecessors.
*Actually, about 45 minutes due to attentions spans and time constraints