The Joys of Books, Reading and Libraries

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Ever since I was a very young child (so long ago, but not in a galaxy far, far away, I can’t remember exactly when as it just seems like I was born reading) I have loved books and reading – reading words that seem to jump off a page helping you to use your imagination to visualise a story can’t be beaten! My mum was, and still is, a big reader and I have followed her footsteps. Growing up in a house full of books, seeing them be read and having books read to us set a very good example. Reading is an excellent pastime and whilst you can invest a lot of time into it (I often lose hours when engrossed in an exciting and engaging novel), it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to do it. Not only will you get a lot of enjoyment and entertainment from a vast array of different stories, but you will also learn new things along the way – that could be new facts and figures, how to do something or just new words and the use of language, there are lots of benefits from reading. Science is showing us that reading can also have some amazing health benefits – it can help with depression, cutting stress, and reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer’s later in life. So reading is good for keeping your brain healthy and active, reduces stress levels and is a good form of entertainment that you can enjoy almost anywhere.

The smell of a new book is something to be enjoyed, nearly as much as the story contained within, but books can be quite expensive, after all authors can invest years writing a book and should be rewarded for doing so. Whilst everybody can not afford to go out and buy the latest bestseller in hardback as soon as their favourite author releases a new book, there is another way to read your favourite authors – and for FREE, legally!

How can you read your favourite authors for free and discover new ones along the way? It’s very simple – join your local library (and they offer a lot more than just lending books). Joining a library is free and it doesn’t cost you anything to borrow a book. Now that libraries are starting to open up again, more of us will have to use them so that they don’t close for good.

As I said, I have always loved reading so maybe you think that I might be biased. Well, I have seen how reading can improve education, imagination and even speech in children – and for those that say they or their children don’t like to read, well you probably just haven’t found the right book yet. And that’s where libraries come in.

Libraries are the perfect way to find what kind of books you like to read and enjoy, all without costing you a penny (and authors still get paid a few pennies each time you borrow one of their books from a library). If you borrow a book (libraries do offer digital books as well) and don’t like it or can’t get into it, you just return it and find a different one. Libraries enable you to try out lots of different authors and genres so you can find something that is suited to you – you might find that you prefer reading non-fiction over fiction, true crime over thrillers or even reading about the mechanics of a tractor over the history of Henry VIII and his six wives. There is no need to be buying books that won’t be read, which can be off-putting for everybody, but borrowing books might just help you find something that you may have never tried reading before. Lots of libraries also run events like LEGO clubs for the kids, or computers to use, so you really can put your local library to very good use – they are not just packed with stuffy old books, and stern, strict librarians all dressed in grey.

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Using your local library with the kids is also a good way to spend some quality time with your family. Not just for going out on a trip to the library and the joy of searching through a plethora of books but finding books that you can read together at bedtime (children should read for at least 10 minute per day) and books that your children can read to you once their reading improves.

Bedtime reading for children from an early age is an excellent way to introduce them to books and the joys of reading (picture books are excellent for this). It not only helps them to settle at bedtime but can also help them develop language and communication skills and an all-round better aptitude for learning. By reading to them and later on with them they will develop skills they will use throughout their lives.

With the libraries now open, the first chance you get you should visit your local library (in the UK you can find your local library here), with your children if you have any, and get a library card, it doesn’t cost anything so you have nothing to lose but will be very beneficial for education as well finding some excellent stories to read. If libraries continue to be underused they will lose their funding and eventually close down, robbing future generations of children of the very basics of education and a wonderful pastime and hobby.

So pop down to your local library, become a member and BORROW, BORROW and BORROW some fantastic books to read and enjoy.

Why not let us know in the comments box below why you get joy out of books, reading and libraries (or even if you use your local library).

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