Reading is Fuel for the Brain
When it comes to your brain, reading acts like a super-fuel. It has been proven to boost your daily pleasure, delay dementia, and possibly help you live longer.
In 2016, researchers at the Yale School of Public Health dug into 12 years of HRS data about the reading habits and health. They reviewed more than 3,600 men and women over the age of 50 for this study. A hopeful pattern emerged:
People who read books—fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose—for as little as 30 minutes a day over several years, lived an average of two years longer than people who didn’t read anything at all.
The town’s library was only a block from my house when I was growing up. There wasn’t a day I didn’t stand at the check-out desk with my newest acquisition.
Reading about fairies and girl detectives allowed me to escape the abuse for a few hours each day. For this little kid, books became life-savers!
Little Free Library Comes to the Neighborhood
I heard about the Little Free Library movement on the internet. Immediately, I was anxious to create a library of my own. So, I joined them in the summer of 2017. We stocked the library with books for both adults and children.
Since I’m an author, I placed signed copies of my Elle Burton books and the new Cosmo book for the younger children in the library as soon as it was stained and installed.
It’s been a delight to watch as books disappear and are replaced by neighbors and walkers who take advantage of having a library by the lake.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than signing books and leaving them in other Little Free Libraries in the Eau Claire area. (You might find a signed copy of the Elle Burton book series in the one at Beaver Creek Reserve.)
Just the fact that you’re reading this proves you understand the importance of reading.
Recent research suggests children as young as six months who are read books several times a week show stronger literacy skills four years later.
They score higher on intelligence tests and land better jobs than nonreaders. (Check out the Reader’s Digest article: 8 Simple Ways You Can Instill a Love of Reading in Your Kids
A Love of Reading
“Instilling a love of reading is giving your child a gift—of dreams, imagination, escape, and connection.” Elizabeth Lane, Reader’s Digest.
Reading books provides links between the adult world and the magical kingdom our children inhabit.
Last year I read an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the Police Department and their efforts to connect with the kids in their community.
They formed a partnership with Little Free Library. Two of their police cruisers became bookmobiles in the hopes of teaching the love of reading.
The article appeared right after we had the ribbon cutting on our library.
What’s an author to do? Well, I signed a case of the “Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals” books and shipped them off to the Minneapolis Police Department to help in their efforts.
After all, Elle befriends a police officer in Menomonie named Wendy. (When I wrote the book, it never occurred to me to check with the Menomonie Police Department…they do have an officer named Wendy!)
It seems everyone is enjoying the benefits of the Little Free Libraries. If you’re interested in becoming a steward in your neighborhood, you can find more information at https://littlefreelibrary.org/ Little Free Library Stewards also have a page on Facebook where they share ideas and inspiration.
Registered Little Free Library Locations Continue to Expand
There’s just one book for 830 kids in some neighborhoods in the U.S. Every new Little Free Library location changes that statistic.
Little Free Libraries allow you to take a book or leave a book (or both) without a library card. The books are available to everyone, regardless of age, gender or socioeconomic background. Remember, reading is a critical link in childhood development. We need to provide more opportunities in our communities.
In an economy where 1 in 5 adults struggle with literacy, easy access to reading materials is a critical component to the change we so desperately need.
So, I’d like to invite you to join the movement. Become a steward in your neighborhood.
Today, there are approximately 17 Little Free Libraries in the Eau Claire area. Mine is on Upper Tainter Lake. Where will yours be located? (You can go here to find a library near you: https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/ )
The healing ability of books is the reason I started writing the Elle Burton series.
Pairing a young human guide with miniature guardian angels to protect our children was ‘literary gold.’ Also, I worked with award-winning child psychologist Catherine Gruener LCPC of Chicago. She prepared discussion questions for the first book in the series.
Using those questions, parents can talk with their teens using the book to inspire kids to kindness and to empower them to stand up to the social injustices that plague our neighborhoods. (You can find the discussion sheet here on my website under the Books Tab – Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals https://peggyshope4u.com)
This article first appeared in the Eau Claire Review – www.seniorreview.com
The First Chapter of The Christmas Prayer will post here on the blog on December 16th. A new chapter will appear each day up to and through Christmas.
This is my Christmas Gift to all of my followers and our neighbors in Menomonie.