Reading for Pleasure
Why is reading for pleasure important?
Research finds that reading for pleasure can result in increased empathy, improved relationships with others, reductions in the symptoms of depression and dementia, and improved wellbeing.
The relationship between reading for pleasure and wellbeing is particularly interesting, with evidence showing a correlation between reading for pleasure regularly and lower levels of stress and depression. Reading also seems to reduce the risk of dementia, with frequent readers having lower incidence of dementia in later life.
In addition to the health benefits, reading for pleasure has social benefits and can improve our sense of connectedness to the wider community. Reading increases our understanding of our own identity, improves empathy and gives us an insight into the world view of others.
Reading needs to be an everyday part of our lives
The benefits of reading are more likely to be felt when reading takes place through free choice. The outcomes of reading will occur more often and more strongly if reading is enjoyable in the first instance. This is why the 'for pleasure' element of reading for pleasure is so important.
Reading is not just something that children should do in school; it needs to be an everyday part of our lives, something we choose to do at all ages.
(text courtesy of www.readingagency.org.uk)