Reading Between the Lines

May 4, 2017

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Reading Between the Lines
Photo Courtesy: Akaylah Glidden 

The Importance of Reading at all Ages and How it Contributes to Health.

As a child I remember my parents reading me children's books. Eventually, I'd heard the books and seen the illustrations so many times I could recite them by memory. I may not have been a child reading prodigy, but at this time, I was developing relationships with those who took the time to share stories with me, exercising my memory, and learning how to connect with experiences other than our own.

Elementary and middle school--when I could read fluently--I remember being excited to learn what was in the news without relying on others to tell me. Reading gave me independence and freedom to explore whatever topics interested me most.

In high school, reading consisted of many classics: Homer's The Odyssey, Harper Lee's How to Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen were only a few. Weeks of poetry analysis and assigned textbook readings were also a frequent affair, and all while being busy visiting and applying to colleges and making what seemed like big decisions. I learned time-management, the importance of literature in all forms, and how to be open-minded.

College is a whole different book (see what I did there?). In college and into adulthood there are so many things to worry about. Managing finances, juggling hours of work with a hefty social life, and dealing with whatever obstacles are thrown our way. There are many weeks when “there just isn't enough time,” although everything somehow still gets done...usually. In my own experience making time to mentally regroup, even when it feels there is no time, has been key. Reading is one of these outlets.

That doesn’t mean skimming an article for class, but actually reading something YOU enjoy. An article posted by Reader's Digest highlights 10 of the many benefits reading can have on our mental- as well as other dimensions of wellness. This can be picking up a magazine of interest, a light novel, a journal article that might inspire your next research experiment, or even a newspaper to catch up on some local news.

Next time you’re stressing about a big project, take some time to pause, grab your preferred form of text (UNH Diamond Library has some great reads!), and enjoy it in your favorite environment.

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