Read More, Stress Less – Make #Timetoread in 2015

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I may be biased, but I can think of no better way to relax than getting lost in a great book (I am a librarian, after all). However, in a world full of distractions, social media notifications, and text message pings, the traditional way of reading may be suffering – and so is one’s ability to comprehend and enjoy text.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, silent reading parties are springing up around the world in an attempt to return to uninterrupted reading. Readers such as those in Wellington, New Zealand turned to the idea after realizing how fractured their reading habits had become due to technological distractions. Research of screen reading patterns reveals that skimming and skipping through text (as one often does when reading an online source) results in lower rates of comprehension. When we bring these habits to the page, we are losing out on many of the benefits and pleasures of reading.

Research also shows that an action as simple as turning off a cell phone and reading for just a half hour can help readers reduce stress, enhance concentration and comprehension skills, and build empathy. This article spoke to me as I considered the New Year and the practice of making New Year’s resolutions. Does cutting stress and making time to relax resonate with you and your own goals for 2015? It certainly does for me.

The Library invites you to take a step to reduce stress and escape the distractions by sitting down with a book on Saturday, January 24 for National Readathon Day. Readers around the country will be slowing down between the hours of noon and 4pm and enjoying quiet time with a book. Tell us what you’re reading on Facebook or Twitter (when you’re done reading, of course) with the hashtag #timetoread for a chance to win a gift certificate to Easton’s Books. What better way to relax, connect with a community of readers, AND add some books to your to-read pile?

National Readathon Day is the first in a series of events for adults to participate in during the Winter Adult Reading Months (W.A.R.M.). Throughout January, February, and March, participants (age 19 and over) are invited to take on reading challenges, review books, and attend talks on comic books, political cartooning, and more. Participants are eligible for prizes including a Kindle Fire, gift certificates to Easton’s Books and Chuckanut Manor, and book gift baskets. All W.A.R.M. events are offered at no charge thanks to support from the Friends of the Burlington Library. Don’t let the dreary winter months get you down – warm up with books and more at the Burlington Public Library.

Wishing you a year of happiness and great books!

– Jenny

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