An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on January 14, 2016.
Do you have a goal to read more books? If you don’t, maybe you should! Besides being downright fun, science shows that reading for pleasure can actually be good for your mental and physical health.
According to a study by Dr. Josie Billington at the University of Liverpool, people who read regularly for pleasure report lower levels of stress and depression than non-readers. Pleasure readers also report higher levels of self-esteem and greater ability to cope with difficult situations. Researchers believe this may result from readers gaining expanded models and repertoires of experience when they read that allow them to look with new perspective and understanding on their own lives. According to an expansive study carried out by the UK’s National Literary Trust, reading for pleasure has also been shown to reduce feelings of loneliness in adults and increase ability to prioritize and make decisions.
It’s officially Autumn here in Florida, which means continuing to sweat in 90+ degree weather while you decorate for Halloween and drink (iced) Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. Fall brings with it lots of fun activities, like pumpkin carving, baking, fall festivals, hay rides, and actively keeping yourself from listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving (or is that just me?). The start of Fall is also the start of the football season and the holiday season – what’s not to love?
However, the whirlwind of the holidays and cooler weather can also bring stress as people begin budgeting for the holidays and planning parties and family time. My favorite way to enjoy Fall and combat stress at the same time? Reading! While there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea on an Autumn night, reading also has a lot of health benefits that you can enjoy throughout the Fall season: research conducted in 2009 at the University of Sussex showed that reading may actually be the most effective way to overcome stress and wind down, beating out favorites such as listening to music, enjoying a cup of tea, and even taking a walk. It only took six minutes of reading for participants to see significant improvement in both muscle tension and heart rate! According to research, people who read regularly for pleasure report lower levels of stress and depression, higher levels of self-esteem, and greater ability to cope with difficult situations than non-readers. Reading for pleasure has also been shown to reduce feelings of loneliness in adults and increase ability to prioritize and make decisions. Reap these benefits of reading with our Fall Reading List picks below!
Summer is in full swing, and it is HOT outside here in Florida (heat index of 105 degrees, anyone?). It’s officially the time of year when the only survivable locations are poolside or inside with the air conditioning on high! One of our favorite ways to beat the heat is to settle in with a good book and an ice-cold drink. I’ve rounded up some favorite chilly, winter-y reads to distract you from the summer heat and keep you cool all season long.
Need a book to keep you cool this summer? Read on!
I love to travel during the summer- to go to places I’ve never been and to collect new and exciting experiences! Unfortunately, with my schedule I can’t always up and head to another country or continent for a couple of weeks. As much as I love taking short day trips to local sites, it doesn’t quite scratch the travel itch. Enter: books involving traveling and exotic locales. Reading is the perfect summertime activity because nothing can take you on a mental vacation quite like a good book. As the days get longer and the weather gets hotter, it’s the perfect time of year to relax and curl up in a sunny spot with a good book. To populate your summer reading list, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite summer reads to help you relax and take a mental vacation.
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim
I absolutely love this book and I read it every year around the beginning of summertime. Set in the 1920’s, this book follows four unacquainted English women who are dissatisfied with their everyday lives, and who decide to rent an Italian castle for the month of April, away from their husbands, families, and anyone who knows them. Lottie Wilkins has been married only a few years, but she and her husband are rubbing each other the wrong way. Rose Arbuthnot is a highly religious lady who does extensive charity work, but is married to an author of racy popular novels who neglects her. Lady Caroline Dester is a beautiful socialite who is tired of the burden of London society and is beginning to regard her life as shallow and empty, after a man she loved died in WWI. Mrs. Fisher is a pompous, snobbish, highly proper lady who prefers to live in her memories of times past rather than embracing the present. Each experiences their own personal metamorphosis while on the trip, and along the way we get to enjoy lots of descriptions of the Italian seaside.
It’s HSL Book Club Day! This spring we’ve been reading Drive: The Surprising Truth Abut What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink. Drive explains how traditional motivators used in business (think carrots and sticks) don’t always work to get people to do what they need to do, and how some people are just not wired to be motivated by such extrinsic rewards. Today we’re sharing some other good reads to keep your motivation engine humming.