Dear readers, the winters are testing out patience in this part of the world.
I used to love winters however, motherhood has introduced me to another, not-so-pleasant side of this weather. The vicious circle of cold and cough seems to be a norm during the winter season. However, one of the calming habits amidst this chaos is writing these blogs/letters/pages a day and reading some wonderful posts too.
A special hello to all the readers from our #Blogchatter community for the coming 28 days we will be meeting regularly right here in this blogging space. Let me just begin by saying I have been trying to participate in plenty of these challenges for the last handful of years and yet manage to FAIL consistently. Yes, you read that right, failing. But I am not giving up and let’s hope will be able to complete this #WriteAPageaDay with flying colors.
After wrecking my brain for the hundredth time and coming up with no topic that coaxs me into writing something worthwhile, I have decided to start this challenge with “Gratitude”. Things, people, places, or emotions that I am thankful for. Maybe this will get my brain juices going and help me generate a habit of writing regularly.
Being grateful for things seems like a wonderful way to start the New Year or end the first month of the year. The first one on this list has to be books:
I am forever grateful for the first person who decided to write a book, how lifeless this world would have been without books.
Did you know that the world’s first known author is widely considered to be Enheduanna? A woman who lived in the 23rd century BCE in ancient Mesopotamia?
Enheduanna was a princess and a priestess as well as a writer and poet. She composed several works of literature, including two hymns to the Mesopotamian love goddess Inanna (Semitic Ishtar). She wrote the myth of Inanna and Ebih and a collection of 42 temple hymns.
While trying to find a place to fit in this world, I managed to find a mesmerizing transcendent world within these books. All I feel is gratitude towards all these books.
“I think books are like people, in the sense that they’ll turn up in your life when you most need them.” – Emma Thompson
Here is how I started reading and the changes it brought in my life:
The first book I read (excluding the comics) other than my course book was in my eleventh standard. Long story short, I wish I was introduced to the world of books at a younger age, the good old Ruskin Bond books or Sudha Murthy’s story books. In my mid-twenties, I started gravitating toward the world of books more when I was in a new city amidst strangers.
Increased attention span
In a world where everyone seems to be in a hurry to do something or reach somewhere, books become your anchor. In recent studies, it has been found that short forms of content on the internet are reducing our attention span.
“Screens present a unique minefield of distractibility, with their constant flow of notifications and information—and that’s by design, says Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine” (Source)
Books are a wonderful way to increase the attention span. Find your interest, the genre that interests you, and start slowly. If you are in the process of building a reading habit then start slow and create an environment where distractions are less. Keeping your phone on airplane mode for 15 minutes could be a good start.
Increased productivity levels and reduced stress levels
I am a very fidgety person and my mind keeps jumping from one task to another quite frequently. Reading books have helped me in sorting out my thoughts and be more focused. Being in the corporate world for more than a decade and a mother of two kids, to be on my toes is something that’s given. A small change has brought a whole lot of change to my day.
Picking up a book before going to bed is a habit that needs time to be developed. From scrolling the reels for an hour or two to picking up a book, the transition took almost a month, for me.
This has helped in increased level of productivity in my work too. Reading is an important health habit for your brain because it improves memory, concentration, and stress, among other big benefits.
A 2009 study at the University of Sussex showed that stress is reduced by up to 68% just by reading! So, when you feel stressed just grab a book be engrossed in the storylines, and allow your mind and body to relax. (Source)
- Vocabulary expansion, Improves Imagination and creative thinking
Reading allows readers to understand how words are used in different contexts, which enhances comprehension and retention. Not only that Regular reading improves language skills such as grammar, syntax, and sentence structure.
As readers encounter well-crafted sentences and paragraphs in books, they subconsciously absorb these language patterns, which can be reflected in their writing. To write better one has to read, the more we read the better we can write.
“It wasn’t until I started reading and found books they wouldn’t let us read in school that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else.” – John Waters
There aren’t enough words to explain how many changes these books have brought in my life and I am determined to give this gift of love for books to my kids too.
What kind of a reader are you?
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