Take a daily break with a good book

Mollie Moore is the opinion editor for the College Heights Herald during the spring 2016 semester.

Mollie Moore

It’s no secret that I’m an advocate for the benefits of reading for pleasure. Not only does the activity stimulate your brain, but it can also be a fulfilling use of the time you’ve designated for relaxation — and yes, taking time to relax is a necessity.

Getting caught up in a novel is just as satisfying as getting sucked into a TV series on Netflix, which doesn’t seem to do much but numb your brain and turn you into a vegetable who won’t get out of bed more than twice in a day.

I know by the time you’ve read all your textbooks, essays and other assigned readings for your classes, you are probably a little tired of reading, but you should really give it a shot. If you get in the habit of picking up a book that you don’t want to put down when you get a little bit of free time, you’ll be coming back for more every day. You just have to get started, and what better time to get started than today?

Today is Beverly Cleary’s birthday, which is celebrated through Drop Everything and Read day every year. If that doesn’t inspire you to go pick up a new book, or if starting a novel seems too daunting, April is also National Poetry Month. Grab an anthology of your favorite poet’s work whether that poet is Shel Silverstein or Shakespeare.

Reading is worth getting in the habit of doing. According to the study, “Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain” by researchers at Emory University, reading novels increases the brain’s activity and function. Keeping your brain stimulated and increasing connectivity will help when it comes to memorizing information for a test or processing your textbook. Reading for pleasure will help you destress, but it will also help you get to your school work.

If you think you can’t afford to go buy a bunch of new books, fear not. Helm Library and Cravens Graduate Center and Library has roughly a dozen collective floors of books to fill your time. And don’t forget the Warren County Public Library; it’s within walking distance of campus. Libraries are free, fun and quiet, so you can do your homework and take reading breaks all in one place.

You probably need to take a break for yourself anyway, so do it with a book. I promise it will make you feel better and smarter.