How is reading good for me?

As we say in the shop, books are broccoli for the brain. By this we mean that they are good for you. It’s a playful analogy meant to raise a smile but it’s also a topic I discuss regularly with customers. Why do we read? Is it only because it’s another way to be entertained, or can reading really be good for you?

On a personal note, I read predominantly for entertainment; I like a good yarn as much as the next book-fan (or knitter). My current favourite is Kathy Reichs, known for her ‘Bones’ series. I get a kick out of her ability to draw for her readers authentically the anthropology world. I like Dr Brennan’s ability to analyse human remains, to detect when she wants to, and endanger her life in every book. I’ve read them in a random manner and enjoyed every single one. I highly recommend them. They make me feel excited, tense, relieved and satisfied and above all, I look forward to bedtime so I can carry on the story. The style is familiar now; I know what will make the character angry, thrilled, upset or cause a huge ‘eye roll’. These well-crafted thriller mysteries are just the tonic after a stressful day. No matter what happens on my average week, chances are that Dr Brennan will be having a more stressful and exciting week than me. I, and millions of other readers, welcome this escapism. However, they don’t stay long with me as I race through them like Tempe’s brain through a problem. When they are finished, I’m reaching for the next one.

Having established a daily reading routine, I find it’s having a powerful influence on my wellbeing, health, physical and mental. The reduction in stress alone, by putting time aside to visit Charlotte or Montreal, is substantial.

It’s official. Books do me good. Overall, I’m happy to have my daily dose of broccoli for the brain.

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I have a tiny book shop in Shrewsbury. I love books. Naturally.

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