Reading the key to long life


Myscha Theriault/MCT

A man rests with his dog while reading a book at the Naples Botanical Gardens in Naples, Fla.

Krista Rice, Staff Writer

When you hear the word ‘read’ what is your reaction?

Reading shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a hobby.

As a book lover, it upsets me when people say they “hate to read.” I believe that everyone can enjoy reading if they find the right book for them. Some people just don’t take the time to search for one.

In a recent editorial by Yuma Sun entitled “Options abound when it comes to reading books,” the editors wrote, “Not a fan of history? Check out some fiction options. Again, there’s something for everyone, from science fiction to westerns, romances to werewolf tales. In fact, one could probably even find a few werewolf romance tales in the fiction section!”

With the amount of time we have in a year, it saddens me that no one “has enough time” to find a book they enjoy. In the article ‘One in Four Americans Didn’t Read a Book Last Year’ author, Erin Blakemore wrote, “ Just over one in four Americans surveyed in a new poll said that they didn’t read a book within the last 12 months.”

I understand that people are busy with other things, but it is very important to read books, no matter what the topic.

In the long run, reading can help you stay intelligent and it will help your brain process for a longer time throughout your life.

If you are stressed out about something, reading can also be a great way to escape reality. The Yuma Sun editors wrote, “The activity improves memory and concentration while reducing stress levels.”

It might sound crazy to you but, reading can help you live a longer life. In the Washington Post article entitled “The best reason for reading? Book lovers live longer, Scientists say,” Amy Ellis Nutt wrote, “A recent study by Yale University researchers, published online in the journal social science & medicine, concluded that ‘book readers experienced a 20 percent reduction in risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow-up compared to non-book readers.’”

There are many people in the world that love to read but, there are a majority of people who don’t read at all. According to the article “One in Four Americans Didn’t Read a Book Last Year” age also affects the amount of books you read. The writer stated, “Younger adults were slightly more likely to read for pleasure-83 percent of 18-29 year olds compared with 78 percent ages 30-49, 81 percent ages 30-64 and 80 percent of people over 65 years of age.”

I guess I am confused as to why people don’t take at least a little bit of time to read. It doesn’t have to be your favorite thing to do, but it is a healthy way to keep your brain active. All reading does is help you, it can’t do anything but help you develop.

If you think about it, the first thing you learned to do as a young child (after talking, walking etc) is to read. This shows that reading is key to survival. I’m not saying that you have to read a book every single day in order to live, but if it’s one of the first things we learn to do, it must be important, right?

Mayfield High School teacher Rachel McBride said, “It’s important to read because I think it is what enables us to learn about the world and ourselves. It helps us build relationships, It helps teach us how to be human. Reading is crucial to learn other things.”

I encourage everyone to read at least one book every couple months to keep their mind fresh and open to new topics. I also believe that if you try your best to find books on the topic that interests you, you will end up finding a book you enjoy, reading should not be a chore. There is a book out there for everyone!