Love to Read? Celebrate Book Lovers Day

August 9 is National Book Lovers Day. You probably didn’t know there was a day. I didn’t until recently. The origins of the day seem to be lost in the mists of time, but the message is always timely:

In observance of National Book Lovers Day on August 9, we put away our smartphones and peruse a good book.

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I agree we should spend less time engaging in social media that sometimes seems more like a battleground than a social (if only virtual) gathering place. Hooray for putting aside the electronic devices for a short while rather than scrolling mindlessly or play solitaire one game after another.

But for me, and I’m sure for many other people, the electronic device is my book. Print books are wonderful, but with poor vision and arthritic joints, it’s hard for to hold the books and see the text. EBooks and audiobooks are equally valuable and as much books as print books.

Earlier this year, we celebrated Get Caught Reading Month and encouraged those who love to read to “get caught” reading. Young people often admire adults in their lives: mentors and role models, teachers and parents, friends and neighbors. When they see these people reading, the young people are more apt to become avid readers.

There are many benefits to reading. You can read about the physical and mental health benefits on the Healthline website. The most amazing to me is that it may help prevent age-related cognitive decline. We don’t expect older people to have the cognitive abilities of younger persons. But cognitive decline may not be something that has to happen. Or maybe it doesn’t have to become as severe as it does for many people. Research is beginning to show that senior citizens who keep their brains active are far less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. My father and husband suffered with Alzheimer’s. These two men were among the smartest I know. Yet neither of them cared for reading and did little of it. I don’t know if their health situations would have turned out differently had they read more. However, for myself, I am reading every day and also working several online puzzles in an attempt to keep my brain active and possibly ward off the dreaded Alzheimer’s or at least slow it down.

Booklovers Day is another good excuse to spend some time reading today – and perhaps inspire others – children, certainly, but also many adults need to discover themselves that reading isn’t a bore. Reading opens up the world to us. Perhaps we don’t have the resources to travel around the world, but we can find books that virtually take us to places we may never see in our real lives.

We can be carried away to worlds that don’t exist and fall in love again with the characters in a romance. We can learn history, new skills, hobbies, and so much more. If you aren’t already a booklover, I hope you’ll try reading regularly for a while and see if you don’t join the club.

 Image: sky.cublue/

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