Friday, June 24, 2011

Books and your Brain

I've been reluctant to take a side in the e-books wars. I don't own an e-reader myself, but I can see the purpose of one. Wouldn't it be nice to leave for a vacation without my suitcase's weight allowance being half taken up by the books in my bag?

However, there's been something about books being read on a screen that niggles at me. Here's a piece that expresses my incoherent feelings beautifully.

I love reading for some of the same reasons I love cooking, and playing hockey. Cooking gets me to slow down and concentrate on the step by step process. You can't rush baking a cake. It takes as long as it takes. When I play hockey, I'm wholly present. I'm not multi-tasking or thinking about the list of things I've got to do.

When I read, I am wholly involved in my book. I'm not distracted ( I hope) by what's going on around me. That concentration and ability to submerge myself in print is something I value, and I want to keep that quality. I've been reading studies recently that say that doing internet work or watching TV right before you go to bed hinders your brain's ability to relax and allow you to sleep. I'm certainly guilty of doing both of those things. Maybe I need to return to my old habit of reading just before bed. My only problem there will be gathering the willpower to put my book down!

So, read a book. It's good for your brain.

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