Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about the future of reading in our society. According to this article, reading is on the decline. Washington Post Article
Like the article states, we readers have many distractions pulling us away from our beloved books. There’s the internet, movies, and video games. Now, I’m not big on video games. In fact, the only time my boys want to challenge me to a game is when they need an ego boost because I suck at video games. However, I can attest to the fact there are more things demanding my attention so I don’t read as much as I’d like to.
Photo via VisualHunt
I’m sure you’ve heard many educators claim that reading teaches empathy, and with reading on the decline so is our ability to empathize with our peers. This is evident in the arguments I see on social media. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but it just seems like we have less tolerance for people who are different than us.
Photo credit: Bikes And Books via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA
Not only is reading linked with empathy but there are other benefits we need to pay attention to as well.
For example, reading is an incredible stress reliever. Did you know by picking up a book and reading for just six minutes you can reduce your stress level by sixty eight percent? I don’t know about you, but I’m teaching this to my kids. Exercise and reading are better ways of handling stress than drinking alcohol or taking drugs, wouldn’t you agree?
As a parent, we need to teach our littles how to cope with everyday stress and one of the cheapest ways is to pick up a book and read. It sure beats the alternatives and is less expensive than therapy.
There are still more benefits to reading for pleasure. Like running is exercise for the body, reading is exercise for the mind. It improves focus, improves memory, and analytical skills. To read more about this check out this post: The Benefits of Reading
I don’t know about you, but I feel we can’t let this decline continue. If we do we’ll be seeing our young people resorting to other stress relievers that aren’t as beneficial. We don’t want that to happen. You realize there’s an opioid epidemic happening don’t you? I don’t want one of my kids to end up as part of that statistic, do you?
So teach them healthy coping mechanisms like reading for pleasure and exercising. They’ll be happier and healthier because of it.
Photo via Visualhunt
Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share? Leave a comment. I love to hear from you!
60 thoughts on “Reading: It’s Cheaper than Therapy”
Oh I agree. Reading is a GREAT stress reliever, it’s my favourite way to relax. I was only reading the other day that empathy is in decline in young people. More time reading books than perusing someone’s Instagram account I feel.
Yes! I agree. Social media has some negative effects on our young people. I know our school district is really pushing reading and I have my boys read a half an hour every night during the week. My youngest likes to read, but my oldest doesn’t. He does it just because I make him. Sigh. I’m hoping he’ll get turned onto a series like my youngest did. 🙂
Ah yes, it’s like you almost need to get them obsessed with a book series & then they’ll be hooked. Fingers crossed for your eldest x
You’re right. That’s what happened with my youngest. Hopefully, my oldest will find one, too.
100% agree!!! Reading is a wonderful stress reliever!
Thanks, Ritu! 🙂
I 100% agree with you! I’ve always been an avid reader (although reading this post reminds me that I haven’t been reading nearly enough in the last few weeks), and I always used books as an escape. I remember specifically when I would get in trouble, or when something bad happened, I would turn to one of my favorite series to distract me from what was happening. I still do that today, actually, and it’s DEFINITELY cheaper than therapy! 🙂
I’m an avid reader, too and I read every chance I get. I always feel better when I dive into a book! Thanks for stopping by! We’ll have to talk books one of these days! 🙂
Definitely!! YA is my jam! 😉
Yay! We’ll definitely have a lot to talk about! 🙂
Reading for pleasure is my favourite activity. I love that schools in Ireland promote it more now too x
Our schools are promoting it more now, too. Glad to hear it’s a global effort!
I start my day, every day, by reading a chapter of my book whilst eating breakfast; I end each day, every day, by reading a chapter or two. I can’t seem to function without a read! When my babies were tiny, I used to read whilst breastfeeding too! Reading is therapeutic. 😊
That is such an awesome habit to get into! I’m going to start doing this, too. When I’m not writing!
I totally agree, although I have to admit that sometimes my mind is full of so much that I can’t focus on reading. I do need to tear myself away from the computer/social media a lot more and read!
Yes. I hear you! Social Media for all it’s advantages, can be a big distraction. I’m making an effort to read a little bit every day. I sometimes read for a half an hour a night with my boys. 🙂
Yep. I think with a good book and a therapy dog I could lapse into a coma of relaxation. :))
Me, too! I love dogs! I’ve heard that having a pet extends your life. 🙂
When my daughter was in school, they would bring them in during final exams… so, come to think of it, they actually *were* reading with dogs!
Definitely and I bet they were less stressed during the exams, too!
To go along with a decline in reading; social skills and writing (this probably parallels the decline in reading) skills are also on the decline amongst today’s children. And yes, I do believe that technology is probably the biggest contributing factor. Kids sit with their noses in the smartphones, TV screens and computer screens. They don’t have time for reading, exercising, or socializing. Phone calls have even declined as texting has taken over as the quick and easy way to communicate. But, we as parents also have to take responsibility for guiding our children down a healthier path, just as you wrote. Provide reading and exercising opportunities every. single. day. We will all be better off. Thanks for a great post!
You’re welcome, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
Something that I’m very impressed with is schools and public libraries purchasing e-readers for students to read- after working in a bookstore for 4 years, I truly believe that there are books for every topic of every age, and making them accessible through e-readers is fantastic. Some people love reading and will embrace it, and some won’t. It’s the same for cooking, and exercise, and handiwork, and countless other skills!
I’ll be honest though, I’m almost 30 and I was considered weird for reading all of the time even back in the nineties. I don’t think that kids are actually reading that much less, simply in different ways now! I was reading at the public library the other day, and a group of kids were playing a board game that had a play-along story to go with it- they may have been reading from a small booklet instead an actual book, but they all took turns reading the mystery out loud and were all thoroughly engrossed. I wish that authors like Ingraham would focus on the positives just for once, instead of being the literal book of doom 😦
Well said. And maybe you’re right, kids are just reading in different ways and I just haven’t seen it. 🙂
Reading, reading, and more reading. As a parent (and as a person!) that’s what I recommend. Read to your child when she’s a baby, read to her when she’s a kid, and read some more when she grows up. (Last year we all read War and Peace!)
How cool is that! Maybe I’ll do that with my boys. Pick a book and read right along with them. What a great idea. Now why didn’t I think of that? Hmmmmm….
It’s strange…it’s almost like “a love of reading” is somehow a genetic trait that you are either born with or not. I LOVE reading, and my husband hates it. One of my kids likes it and the other takes after her dad. It doesn’t seem environment-dependent either, since I read to both children in the womb, and out, had books everywhere, modeled reading, took them to the library, etc. Still can’t get my daughter to read.
I hear you, my oldest doesn’t like to read even though I read to him as he was growing up. It was our nightly ritual to read to them before bed. Some of my best memories are of us reading together. My youngest learned to read very early. In fact, we got him a Transformer book and it had a bunch of short stories in it. He’d read all those stories in one sitting to me and my husband. I was so proud of him. Sniff. I still am. As for your daughter, maybe she hasn’t found the right book yet. How old is she?
She’s 18 already! We’ve tried that, too…all different genres…
Well. You gave it your best shot. That’s all you can do. 🙂 You’re a good Mom. 🙂
I wish I read more, but it is harder to hold a book and crochet/knit at the same time 😆 I used to read a lot, so maybe I just need to set some time for it. Also, I definitely want my kids to read, but video games also has its merits. It depends on the game, but I loved playing final Fantasy IX because of the story and the characters. Variety is the spice of life!
Yes. You are so right. Variety is the spice of life. I don’t know much about that video game, but if it’s got a story that’s awesome and I’m sure you had to read a little bit about the characters, too. Maybe I’ll get that game for my boys. They might like it. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Oh, Final Fantasy IX was my favorite, but everybody got their favorite Final Fantasy. The most popular is FF VII (also a remake of that game is coming out) and for good reasons: excellent characters, crazy plot twist(s), and a general good story.
Awesome! I will look for it. Thanks for the info!
Also crocheting and knitting are great stress relievers, too! 🙂
Great post happy sunday Lisa… reading to my grandchild
Good for you!
Imagine the money people would save on therapy if they just picked up a book and read! Wonderful and timely post, my friend!
I know! It’d be a savings of thousands of dollars! 🙂
If reading is cheap therapy then I must be a well adjusted person. lol I read, on average 3 books a week. But then sometimes, I prefer the characters in the books over real people, so I guess I might need therapy for that! 😉
No. I don’t think you need therapy. Maybe some of the people you come across in real life do! 🙂
I like your perspective. 😁 Now if I could only find a sexy cowboy or a handsome highlander in real life.
P.S. Don’t tell my husband.
LOL! You’re secret’s safe with me!
I couldn’t agree more! My kids, now young adults, have all grown up with a love of reading and I used to read to and/or with them every night for years. Harry Potter, with all the voices, Roald Dahl, A Christmas Carol, Northern Lights, Alex Rider, Ballet Shoes…the list goes on! The school that I have been a governor in for the past 8 years has seen a huge shift as younger and younger children have phones and tablets, yet never open a book at home. This is a really great piece of writing …..will share it!
Awww…thanks Claire! I appreciate it! And I love the fact all your kids love reading! 🙂
So true Lisa……I remember in my childhood the best past time I had after those hard school hours was reading my fav Hardy boys and mystery novels and gradually my affection for reading grew, and I read so many fabulous books during those growing up years…..of course at home my father is an avid reader still in his age in the late 70s…..and now, I still spend some time at least daily on my Kindle………..:)…..reading should be inculcated in the present generation as well and carried on with due earnest.
I agree with you Anindya! Sounds like your Dad is a wise man! I used to read Nancy Drew and a few Hardy Boys when I was younger, too. I still love a good mystery! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it!
Good Morning! Just letting you know that I have tagged you for this. https://jeyranmain.com/2017/10/09/blogger-recognition-award-2/
Awww….thank you! That’s so sweet! 🙂
The excitement and constant flickering images of video games has caused a shift away from reading books. Young people now cannot sit still and concentrate on one static thing for any length of time. It’s sad. Images have to be moving. No wonder libraries are closing down.
Yeah. You’ve got a point. I hope we can turn this trend around.
It’s going to be difficult methinks…
Yes. I’m sure it is.
Excellent post! 🙂 Sharing…
Awww…thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Loved this one – of course! I’m with Stevie, btw – in addition to empathy, attention must be TRAINED – and reading is some of the best training around for being able to focus longer than the moment it takes to post a photo or pull the trigger on the latest bad guy on a gamer’s screen (which actually trains the opposite).
As for your son who’s not big on reading – don’t miss my upcoming post in my Sensory Sensitivity Series. He might be struggling in a manner he can’t articulate. I’ll post it to the Senior Salon once it is published — “Why you might have problems reading longer articles” Be SURE to click the link to watch the teen’s video I included – probably an eye opener for many parents.
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
“It takes a village to educate a world!”
Awesome! I will definitely check it out! Thanks for the heads up! 🙂
I cannot imagine a life without books. A great reminder of their healing qualities.
I’m glad I reminded you! 😉