The benefits of curling up with a good book are paw-sitively amazing. (Photo credit:

The benefits of curling up with a good book are paw-sitively amazing. (Photo credit:

The benefits of curling up with a good book can’t be denied

Rockin’ and Talkin’ with the Clinton Seniors’ Association

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawnmower is broken.

John Steinbeck

Summer is kicking in with a heat wave. We could do with a good, hard rain. Fields and gardens and fire season would benefit.

Is it my imagination, or are there more mosquitoes than usual? I hope your windows are screened!

It is definitely the time to slow down a little. Excessive sun and heat can be hard on many people, especially vulnerable seniors. Why don’t you find a cool spot in the house or a shady place outside free of mosquitoes (good luck!) and read a book? If you’re already a reader you know the deep pleasure a good story affords you. If books have never appealed to you, perhaps this is a good time to start.

There are all kinds of benefits to reading for pleasure, and mental health is high on the list. Reading stimulates your brain, keeping it active and engaged, and can actually slow the progress of Alzheimer’s and dementia. When you settle in with a good book, tension and stress seem to slip away as you enter the world of the characters and the situations in the novel.

Whether you read fiction or non-fiction, you can’t help but absorb a little knowledge. New bits of information are contained in everything you read. Invariably you’ll encounter new words, and over time they will become part of your vocabulary. Speaking with others with confidence using your good new words can be an enormous boost to your self-esteem. Reading is also vital if you’re trying to learn a new language.

When you read a novel you have to remember an assortment of characters and their role in the story, and be able to sort out ub-plots. If you’re reading a non-fiction book you want to remember the facts about the subject, or if reading a self-help book you’ll need to remember the tips you pick up as you go through the printed words. Every new memory you encounter forges new pathways in your brain, strengthens existing ones, and assists in your short-term memory recall.

Invariably you will develop strong analytical thinking skills, especially if you get hooked on mysteries and whodunits. Your focus and concentration skills are enhanced. Even your writing skills improve as a result of exposure to new words. You want to try them out!

But most of all, I think, reading is the one activity that brings about peace and tranquility. Relaxation promotes lower blood pressure, and at least for the time that you are reading you feel calm and that all’s right with the world. Avid readers are known to collect volumes written by favourite authors on a variety of interesting subjects, but if you’re not among that ilk, visit your local library. It can supply you with books on every conceivable topic, and what’s more, it’s free entertainment!

As COVID-19 vaccinations go up, it appears that case numbers are going down. It may not be too much longer before we are engaged in activities as before. I wonder if we will be resuming familiar activities this fall? Meanwhile, curl up with a good book. At least a few hours in your long boring day will pass in a pleasant way.

Happy birthday to Helene Cade on July 22.

A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.

Robert Frost

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter