More Than Meets the Eye

More Than Meets the Eye

Words || JCS

‘A person who won’t read has no advantage over a person who can’t read.’  – Mark Twain.

Wear the old coat and buy the new book’ – Austin Phelps.

As an angsty teen I found comfort in books such as The Bell Jar, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and even the entire back catalogue of Michel Houellebecq books, which are invariably about old men who are disappointed with modern Western existence (and is admittedly, an acquired taste). The anger and loneliness these writers portray echoed my adolescent angst. Then my younger years were gone, and I found myself in my early twenties wondering if I was legitimately anxious and depressed or just riding out the tail-end of adolescence.

Thankfully it passed, and I soon found myself reading different authors, feeling more excited and energised by what I read than being cloaked by the miasma of sadness in some of my earlier reading.

Whatever it is you as a reader seek in a novel, there are some proven benefits that are reading’s little secrets. Here’s some of the best.

1. Reading is great stress relief

Modern Western civilisation is sick with stress. Technology demands that we live faster, more furious lives than ever, often at the expense of our mindfulness.

2. Readers Live Many Lives

Here’s a nifty quote from dragon lord George R. R. Martin: ‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . the man who never reads only lives once.’

3. Reading is Meditation

A while ago, acclaimed author Ceridwen Dovey wrote an encouraging article in the New Yorker  confirming what we have long-suspected: reading turns you into a bookworm monk, promoting inner calm and focus, much of what people seek from meditation.

4. Empathy

This point may seem banal but research has proven that reading is a splendid enhancer of empathy and therefore, compassion. Entering into the minds of others, seeing different perspectives, learning about cultures and other places in the world or periods of time or gender perceptions, all contribute to a greater understanding of our fellow homo sapiens. Blessed.

5. Reading can make you feel less depressed

One UK study concluded that readers are 21 per cent less likely to feel depressed. So, rejoice, happy book lovers! The future is bright and sunny.

Whether you read to open your mind, meet new friends, sleep better at night, or simply because you can’t imagine life without books, the process of reading obviously has immense benefits to personal happiness and wellbeing, not to mention world peace.

Happy reading!

Related Articles

Reading: the secret to living a longer life

News | Book Life

4 March 2020

Reading: the secret to living a longer life

    Children and Reading: Great Tips

    News | Book Life

    29 January 2020

    Children and Reading: Great Tips

    A New Year’s Resolution For Parents

    News | Book Life

    15 December 2019

    A New Year’s Resolution For Parents

    Australians Love Reading: Reflecting on our Reading Habits

    News

    20 June 2019

    Australians Love Reading: Reflecting on our Reading Habits

      Keeping Children's Minds Strong

      Kids & Ya

      24 March 2019

      Keeping Children's Minds Strong

      Unread Books Make You Smarter

      News

      8 March 2019

      Unread Books Make You Smarter

        No Such Thing as Bad Taste in Books

        News

        15 February 2019

        No Such Thing as Bad Taste in Books

          Kids, Reading, Holidays

          Kids & Ya

          19 December 2018

          Kids, Reading, Holidays

          The greatest gift we can give our children: Introducing Mary Ryan

          Kids & Ya

          1 August 2018

          The greatest gift we can give our children: Introducing Mary Ryan

          10 Bookish New Year's Resolutions

          News

          30 December 2016

          10 Bookish New Year's Resolutions

            Publisher details

            The Bell Jar
            Author
            Sylvia Plath
            Publisher
            Faber & Faber
            Genres
            Debut, Fiction
            Released
            14 January, 1963
            ISBN
            9780571268863

            Synopsis

            When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther's life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into depression and eventually a suicide attempt, as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take women's aspirations seriously.The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath's only novel, was originally published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The novel is partially based on Plath's own life and has become a modern classic.

            Publisher details

            One Hundred Years of Solitude
            Author
            Gabriel Garcia Marquez
            Publisher
            Penguin
            Genre
            Fiction
            Released
            01 January, 1967

            Synopsis

            'Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.'Pipes and kettledrums herald the arrival of gypsies on their annual visit to Macondo, the newly founded village where José Arcadio Buendía and his strong-willed wife, Ursula, have started their new life.  As the mysterious Melquíades excites Aureliano Buendía and his father with new investions and tales of adventure, neither can know the significance of the indecipherable manuscript that the old gypsy passes into their hands.Through plagues of insomnia, civil war, hauntings and vendettas, the many tribulations of the Buendía household push memories of the manuscript aside.  Few remember its existence and only one will discover the hidden message that it holds . . .#28 in ABC My Favourite Book  

            COMMENTS

            Leave a Reply

            Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

            1. Barbara Ayling says:

              I have been an avid reader since I was a child …My Mother was often heard to say ” You have always got your head stuck in a book !”..I joined the junior Library and I really think I read almost all the books that were there …I always asked for books for presents ..As I grew I started buying as well as belonging to the library ..found my solace in books when I could ….when I moved to my one bed apartment I had to get rid of one of my three bookcases, and the local book exchange did very well with some of mycollection …now that I have two bookcases ..I have…books behind books and piles of books as well ..better get reading I guess ..