Last week we celebrated World Book Day and as a team of lovers of all things book related, it is a day that that is recognised by Living Life to the Full not just one day of the year, but every day. Reading, not only is a gateway to learning, from following simple instructions to learning about topics of interest but can be a source of great pleasure and healing for many people in different ways.
Reading has long been considered a vital skill in education, and as a valuable past time. With the advancement of technology, the act of reading, could be seen as something which, like handwriting is fast becoming outdated, as skills like touch typing and smart apps which transcribe for you become a faster and more efficient way of ‘writing.’
Reading has taken on some different forms in modern day living. The way we consume text has changed dramatically. Previously, we were used to reading long texts, from physical books and papers, leafing through hundreds of pages and chapters at a time. The advancement of technology and social media has changed the style in which we read entirely.
Much of reading from a young age is now more ‘skim reading’ over shorter materials, iPads keep young children busy on long journeys, adults skim quickly through newsfeeds and emails, books are often read online or on kindles rather than in physical form. What’s more, children and young people are doing a lot of their independent learning through platforms such as TikTok.
While there are many advantages to the advancement of technology in reading and accessing texts and information quickly and easily, the manner in which text is now consumed, means many people of all ages, struggle with a kind of cognitive impatience, which makes understanding larger texts and the ability to read critically, a lot harder. Also, because information is so readily available at our fingertips, it can be hard to escape the constant bombardment of information, which can have the opposite effect to reading for relaxation.
However, in the modern world, we like to access information quickly, and for those who struggle with traditional reading skills, the ability to have any information at your fingertips, possibly even read to you from a podcast for example, can only be a good thing. In terms of accessing your own help for your well-being, technology has massively transformed our ability to do this. With an abundance of self help materials online, and through various apps there is a move away from the thought ‘doctor knows best,’ towards helping you (or others,) to help yourselves.
Regardless of age, from babies to older adults however you like to read, the benefits to your well-being are huge. Besides learning and improving, reading is a relaxing act, and can take you away to another world, where we perceive beauty and use our imaginations, shut off from our busy schedules, and like meditation, only focus on what is on ‘the page,’ which can bring you to a much needed place of peace and tranquility.
As well as good mental stimulation, people who read regularly, tend to have a broader range of vocabulary, increased knowledge, better memory from remembering characters and complex plots, improved focus and concentration, and can have better analytical thinking skills. How often have you read a book and have figured out the ending before you get there?
In terms of your mental health, reading can give you a nice escape from reality for a while, or help you relax after a busy day, and reading can also help you cope during difficult times; when you suffer a bereavement, or have relationship problems, or are struggling through broader issues like lockdown restrictions and the personal impact of Coronavirus.
‘Bibliotherapy’ is a term which has long been used for using books to help people to feel better. Drs regularly prescribe books through a book prescription.
Living Life to the Full is dedicated to writing and distributing books and materials to help others; ‘helping you to help yourself’.
Whether you are generally feeling low and need to get things back on track, or are suffering from relationship issues, are a new mother struggling with lack of sleep and low mood, or are facing any other problems in your life, we have something to help you.
As well as accessing our physical books from our shop, we offer many of our books as ebooks, and we have audio files and other resources in our resources area of our website. We also make available a range of linked worksheets free to download and use at www.llttf.com/resources/
Perhaps you find getting into reading hard, or find you have poor concentration and would like to try but keep putting it off. It is a good idea to try planning some time to read, you can do this by using our planner sheet to decide when you’re going to try reading/audio book. Use our Easy 4 Step Plan to break it down into manageable chunks. You can also try our activity planner to add it into your day/week plans and soon enough you will find you get into the habit of reading more.
At a time when digital disruption is transforming and enhancing the style in which we read, the essence of learning and healing through reading is as integral as ever. Reading to be physically and mentally stronger is really important, especially now during a worldwide pandemic, reading connects us to people, in a world when we have been forced apart by restrictions and social distancing. Find out more about our books and online resources visit www.llttf.com
The Living Life to the Full Team.