The time for spring break is upon us. Some will travel and some will stay put. But nearly all of us will take a break from the near-endless engagement with our textbooks.  While this break from school may be much needed, a break from reading is not.  Here are a few reasons why:

Reading is a Stress Killer

According to researchers at the University of Sussex, reading reduces stress more than having a cup of coffee or tea, listening to music, or taking a walk, and that was just for 6 minutes of silent reading. Imagine being able to combat the unpleasantness of flying or the stress of dealing with family with a simple and effective tool: a book.

Reading Helps You Be More Empathetic

Students who read brief selections from either Harry Potter or the Twilight series were more likely to identify with vampires or werewolves on a group level. Basically, they saw themselves in one of those categories. When we read fiction, it takes us out of our own perspectives and makes us more aware of others. Empathy in the face of all of life’s little problems could go a long way.

Reading Keeps You Young

According to a study published on, “more frequent cognitive activity across the life span has an association with slower late-life cognitive decline that is independent of common neuropathologic conditions, consistent with the cognitive reserve hypothesis.” In other words, the more you use your brain, the less likely it is to fail you as you age. Reading is one of the activities in which one can partake to ward off such declines, so start the habit early!

So instead of tuning out a little, dig in to a book or two. It’ll pay off, both in he short term, but also for the rest of your life. What are some of your favorite reads?


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