Did you know that Hollywood Queen Bette Davis was divorced by one of her husbands sighting that she read too many books? Women were also institutionalised for reading until as late as 1889!
Reading was said to give women “too many ideas” and stopped them from doing their “wifely duties”, to that I blow a big fat raspberry and stick up two middle fingers!
Many adults don’t read as they see it as something only associated with school, or being “nerdy” and introverted – all a complete generalisation!
Reading is remarkably good for you. During a study in 2013, researchers used an MRI machine to scan people’s brains over the course of 9 days while they read the novel “Pompeii” by Robert Harris. As tension built within the novel more and more areas of the brain lit up. Brain scans showed that throughout the reading period and for days afterward, brain connectivity increased, especially in the somatosensory cortex, the part of the brain that responds to physical sensations like movement and pain. This means that you may take on temporary traits of the protagonist as when you read you tend to put yourself in the position of the main character.
Reading fiction that encapsulates the lives of characters helps develop your empathy and understanding of the world and relationships, feeling what a character feels and helping you to pick on cues in real life. It can be an invaluable skill.
The most obvious benefits of reading is how it expands your vocabulary. You don’t have to read the dictionary, just by reading in general can expand your vocabulary. A study was done by Renaissance (Graph also comes from them) that just 15 minutes of reading a day increased students vocabulary.
There is a direct correlation between those who read regularly and their ability to communicate well, explain themselves and progress in certain jobs.
Regular reading also helps combat age-related cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia as shown in a study by Healthline.
The most surprising thing about reading is it can help reduce stress and anxiety – even those fast paced action books that have you on the edge of your seat. An article published in the Journal of College Teaching and Learning measured varies “relaxation techniques” from yoga to reading and found that 30 minutes a day of reading lowered blood pressure, heart rate, stress, depression and anxiety just as effectively as all the others.
At The Goddess Collective we have hand chosen books for the Book Club which is held monthly in Chester. The books are ones that are thought provoking and empowering to women. The list for 2020 can be found here.