Every Monday Matters: Read a book
By Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) 1 in 4 Americans don't read a single book per year, while the average person reads 7.
More than half of today's adults are literary readers, meaning they read novels, mysteries, contemporary and classic fiction, short stories, plays, or poetry.
Leisure reading has increased 10 percent over the last 6 years for all ethnicities.
58 percent of women read for leisure compared to 50 percent of men.
43 percent of all literary readers perform volunteer and charity work compared to 17 percent of non-literary readers. The more books people read the more active and involved they are in their communities through volunteerism, philanthropy, and politics.
Book buying constitutes less than 6 percent of total recreational spending while spending on music, videos, computers, and software constitutes roughly 25 percent.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
2. Join a book club or start one with your friends or co-workers.
3. Give books to people as gifts.
Reading is like exercising — mental and physical benefits flourish with regular practice. Reading improves language skills, vocabulary and spelling skills; it introduces new ideas, perspectives and information; it staves off the effects of aging by keeping your mind active; it provides a vehicle for mental escape and creativity; and it relaxes, entertains, and inspires your soul. Take time out to read today.
A year ago, Nancy and a group of six women decided to start a book club. These were all mother's who would see one another at school events, practices, and birthday parties, but there only common bond was their children ... or so they thought.
"One day at our kids' soccer practice, I told two of my friends about a great book that I was reading and that simple comment started this whole thing," shared Nancy. "One of them had already read it and the other was just getting started. I was half way done. It sparked a 30-minute conversation about the book, which, in turn, led to even more."
Through their conversation, the three realized that they all loved to read but kind of "ran out of time" to do it as much as they would like.
"Being a mom gets pretty busy and it is so easy to drop everything you used to love doing," said Nancy. "Don't get me wrong, it is a labor of love and a privilege to be a mother, but I definitely have my moments when I miss the free time to do the things I love. Reading was one of those things."
A few days after their discussion at soccer practice, Nancy came up with the idea of starting a book club for her friends and any other moms that wanted to join.
"I just figured that if it was something we all did together, we could hold each other accountable to really doing it," said Nancy. "Plus I thought it would be fun and a great bonding thing for us."
It appears that Nancy tapped into something greater than she thought. The group started with six women. Some of the women loved reading, while others didn't at all, but there was something about doing it together and the sense of camaraderie that made it something they all wanted to do.
"We are having the best time with it," admitted Nancy. "We meet every Tuesday night for two hours. First we talk about the book we are reading and then we share everything under the sun. You know how we women aren't afraid to talk."
And now, in just one year, what was a book club of six, is now 15 women. Fifteen new best friends. Fifteen women who have found away to create something new ... something they love. Reading and friends matter.
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© 2009, The Modesto Bee Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services