t’s your passport to foreign lands. It’s a doorway to imagination. It’s a teacher of languages, and a caster of spells. It’s an escape, an accomplice, a confidant. It’s a friend.
A good book is all of these things, and more.
“Each book is a treasure, waiting to be uncovered,” says myofascial release practitioner Lisa Franklin. “What secrets does it reveal, what new piece of information does it hold, where will it take me?”
Lisa’s been an avid reader since the age of four. “I’ve read a wide variety of things, one summer I spent reading the bible and the entire World Book Encyclopedia (that dates me, doesn’t it?). I’ve read matchbooks, pamphlets, booklets, comic books, War and Peace, the Greek tragedies, romance novels, self-help, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, lots of insurance course books and so much more!”
For Lisa, reading isn’t just an intellectual exercise--it’s a complete sensory experience. “I love the smell of books, the feel of the paper, the weight in my hands, the endless possibilities they represent.”
In addition to the sheer enjoyment, there are many other benefits to reading, Lisa explains. “Did you know reading regularly improves focus and attention? It aids in relaxation, creates stronger analytical skills, helps with writing skills, improves memory retention, expands vocabulary and provides so much enjoyment. Children who are read to at a young age are generally better students when they get to school because you’ve already set them on the path.”
Massage therapist and athletic trainer Stacy Ford enjoys reading for relaxation, but stresses that for people to reap the benefits of reading, they need to do it on their terms, finding a genre and method that works best for them so that it’s about enjoyment, not pressure.
“I am one of those people who doesn’t comprehend well when reading,” she says. “I do better with the learning styles of kinesthetic (hands-on) or visual (seeing something being done) or auditory (being told how things happen.) Which makes sense that I am an athletic trainer and massage therapist. I learn by touch and manipulating the body to reduce pain and assist in healing. For me to enjoy reading, the subject has to be either an engaging or fascinating topic, or a fictional story I can follow easily.”
Audiobooks complement traditional books for Reiki and reflexology practitioner and teacher Tracy McGovern, who always has one in her queue to transform boring or stressful activities into chances to get lost in a story. According to Tracy, audiobooks are “an unbelievably enjoyable and complete cure to zenless driving” and can even “bring joy to dirty dishes, unfolded laundry and messy spaces.”
A friend who brings knowledge, stress relief, improved vocabulary, comfort, entertainment, AND joy to dirty dishes? Yes, please!
This week we invite you to join us in saying yes to reading, however it works for you! Stay tuned for tips, fun facts, and inspiration--and don’t forget to share your own stories, ideas, and tips with us by tagging us at #chronicwellness and #cwquakertown.