Dr. Seuss once wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” In 1994, March was designated as National Reading Month (also known as National March Into Literacy Month) to honor Dr. Seuss’s birthday and to celebrate the wonderful act of reading a book.
At the Coatesville Area Public Library, located at 501 East Lincoln Highway in Coatesville, anyone who lives, works, owns property, or attends school in Chester County is eligible for a free library card. Other resources, like the Little Free Library initiative, are helping to increase access to books and inspire readers in communities across the country.
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, “Roughly a quarter of American adults (23%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form.” Everyday Health reports that, “While you may have been taught the importance of reading at a young age, the fact is more Americans are reading fewer books overall, raising questions about the possible health impacts.”
Reading is good for your health!
For children, reading helps with language development, vocabulary building, comprehension, academic performance, and social skills. It can also help to increase empathy and improve personal relationships into adulthood. But the benefits extend well beyond this. Here are a few of the many ways reading books can be good for your health:
- Reading can protect cognitive function as we age. “With age comes a decline in memory and brain function, but regular reading may help slow the process, keeping minds sharper longer, according to research published in Neurology.” (Real Simple)
- Reading can reduce stress and improve your mental well-being. “Engaging in stress-relieving activities, like reading books, is an easy way to help keep cortisol levels down… Research backs this up, including a study that found 30 minutes of reading had the same ability to decrease stress as 30 minutes of yoga.” (Today)
- Reading can lead to a better night’s sleep. “Doctors at the Mayo Clinic suggest reading as part of a regular sleep routine. For best results, you may want to choose a print book rather than reading on a screen, since the light emitted by your device could keep you awake and lead to other unwanted health outcomes.” (Healthline)
- Reading can help you live longer. “While regular exercise and a healthy diet are just some of the ways you can extend your lifespan, the cognitive effects of reading books may even help you live longer. According to a related study, book readers had a 23-month longer lifespan average compared with non-book readers.” (Everyday Health)
Through grantmaking, providing scholarships, building partnerships, and being a catalyst to spark new initiatives where they are needed the most, The Alliance for Health Equity is striving to advance a more equitable, resilient, and healthy community for all residents of the Greater Coatesville area. Visit our website to learn more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And have a happy and healthy March Into Literacy Month!
The Alliance for Health Equity (formerly Brandywine Health Foundation) is a philanthropic organization striving to advance a more equitable, resilient and healthy community for all residents of the Greater Coatesville area. We pursue our mission by providing grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students that address health and economic disparities and social justice. We also build partnership programs and give voice to those often left out of community solution building to improve the overall health of their communities. 100% of contributions go directly to those in need.