Read the day away
Cracking open a good book on a warm summer day is one of life’s simplest and most rewarding pleasures. It’s also a healthy pastime, according to Robert S. Wilson, Professor of neuropsychology at Rush University Medical Center. He claims that activities like reading make the brain more efficient by changing its structure to continue functioning properly in spite of age-related neuropathies.1
That’s great news for book lovers, particularly on Book Lover’s Day! Chances are if you already love books you don’t need another excuse to dive into the pages, but we thought you still might appreciate some suggestions for how to mark this annual summer celebration of the written word held on August 9.
- Read in public. Find a cool, shady spot or a quiet corner in a café, museum or park and get comfortable. You never know who you might inspire, or what interesting conversations might ensue as a result of your public reading spree.
- Donate books. Spread the joy of reading by purging your own stash of books and donating them to your local library, homeless shelter, nursing home or favorite charity. You can also “set them free” with the help of Book Crossing (), a fun book-sharing initiative that encourages book lovers to leave books in public places for others to find. The idea is to label your book with a unique code provided by Book Crossing, include a short note in the book explaining that it’s looking for a new home, then simply place it somewhere in public to be found by another book lover. That person then, if he or she chooses, logs onto Book Crossings to report finding the book (using its unique code), reads it and releases it back into the wild.
- Read a brand new author. It’s exciting to find a new, fabulous author, so take the leap on Book Lover’s Day and read someone brand new. Ask friends for recommendations, or browse Goodreads for inspiration.
- Read a local author. Some bookstores have sections that feature local authors, so consider throwing some support their way and picking up a book that was born right in your very own town.
- Start writing your own book. It doesn’t have to be a Pulitzer Prize winning effort, but jotting down your life story for posterity is a great way to mark the day and will be cherished by your children and grandchildren one day. Visit Wiki How for great tips on writing your autobiography.
- Get social. Visit your local library to see if there are any Book Lover’s Day events happening on or around August 9. While you’re there, see if there are any author readings, workshops or book club events that you might want to attend.
- Choose your next read. Visit Whichbook, a fantastic website that enables millions of combinations of factors and then suggests which books most closely match your needs based on your current mood, preferences and literary desires.
- Listen up. TED, a non-profit organization devoted to spreading ideas, has compiled 6 TED Talks that examine all the facets that make books great. Get inspired to read by listening to these fascinating talks about books. You might also want to check out the TED Blog summer reading list!
Perhaps all you’ll want to do on August 9 is choose an old favorite from your shelf, pour a tall glass of iced tea and settle into your favorite lawn chair for an afternoon of blissful solitude. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy this annual celebration of books and the people who love them!
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