Reading is Good For you: Fall Book Recommendations
Did you know
that September (almost over already) is National Library Card Signup Month? I didn’t either until I started looking up book-related holidays. I was surprised to find out how many reading themed holidays we celebrate in the United States.
Here are a few book/reading related holidays.
September 6 is National Read a Book Day
October is National Book Month and National Reading Group Month
October 16 is Dictionary Day
November is National Novel Writing Month
November 1 is National Authors Day and National Family Literacy Day
December is Read a New Book Month
February is National Library Lovers Month
March 1 is Read Across America Day and the 2nd is World Book Day
April is National Poetry Month
May is National Get Caught Reading Month
The second week of May is Reading is Fun Week
July 30 is Paperback Book Day
August 9 is National Book Lovers Day
But people aren’t reading enough. And experts are sounding the alarm. We’re worried that the internet is killing reading, or e-readers are killing actual books with pages. We’re told that the ability to attend is in the decline due to a lack of long form reading and if you haven’t heard–the novel is dead.
And still we’re fascinated with reading books. And all reading entails.
After all, there’s a nice heft to a book, right. A small book you can tuck into your purse or pocket while a large book can cramp even the strongest hands. And who doesn’t love the smell of old books? According to McGill Office for Science and Safety, old books smell good due “to the organic materials in books (like cellulose from wood pulp) reacting with light, heat and water, and over time releasing volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Some older books will smell almond or vanilla-like. Other books will smell almost musty, earthy. No two old books will smell alike because they are all made of different chemical compounds that decay at different rates due to where they are stored, temperatures, and the touch of those who used the books.
It’s common knowledge that reading is good for you, but how and why?
Reading is like exercise for your brain, neurobiologically demanding. Ken Pugh, PhD, president and director of research of Haskins Laboratories explains that when you read, “parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions–such as vision, language, and associative learning–connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging.” In other words, your brain is forced to work in different ways and make new connections. You’re forced to concentrate and encouraged to think. It helps with your memory and your ability to concentrate and process information. And recent research indicates that reading seniors have improved cognitive function.
In addition, reading books, and fiction especially, actually improves your capacity for empathy. Stories transport us. They help us understand and empathize with folks we might not encounter in our daily lives. Research indicates that people who read literary fiction show a “heightened ability to understand the feelings and beliefs of others.” This is definitely a good thing right now in a society politically polarized.
And what about stress reduction? Well, reading books helps with that too–not only do folks who read before bed sleep better, they are better able to manage depression. If you don’t believe me, check out this interesting article on bibliotherapy which uses literature to combat depression, grief, and anxiety.
And yet, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that people 15-44 spend ten minutes or less a day reading. And the Washington Post reports that from 2004-2017 the average American’s reading time has decreased 6 minutes per day while the Pew Research Center shows that a whopping 27% of adults in the United States didn’t crack the pages of a book in 2018.
We should all be reading more.
There’s simply no arguing with the many benefits reading offers the old, young, and everyone in between.
For book nerds like me, the benefits of reading add to the inherent joy I feel when I sit down with a book and fall into a good story. There’s nothing better than knowing a good book waits after a long day’s work. And I’m not alone. Here at AM Transport, book lovers abound. It’s why we enjoy sharing book recommendations.
Here are a few titles to get you started reading more this fall.
Recommended by Erik Jensen: This is by far my favorite book of the year. I can’t recommend it more highly.
Recommended by Laine Slover: This book is about how failure could be the quickest way to success. It talks about how people become comfortable living their every day lives because they are afraid to fail. In the book, Ryan gives many examples of individuals who have turned their failures into successes. I would recommend it and have a copy I’m happy to let people borrow!
Recommended by Zac Egleston: Really interesting perspective on life through the lens McConaughey views life through.
Recommended by Justin Hatten: This book is about the fire that ravaged Paradise, California, in 2018.
Rob McClain recommends the short story, “Survivor Type” which is included in the book Skeleton Crew by Stephen King. Rob writes, It’s a story written in diary form that accounts the self-mutilation of disgraced surgeon Richard Pine who, while trying to smuggle heroin on a cruise ship, is marooned on a desert island.
Recommended by Derek Walker: I’ve recently been listening to this, and here’s what Tim has to say about why he wrote this book, “I sent a . . . set of 11 questions to some of the most successful, wildly varied, and well-known people on the planet with ‘Answer your favorite 3 to 5 questions . . . or more, if the spirit moves you.’ Nearly all of the people I reached out to are busy beyond belief, and I expected short, rushed responses from a few of them, if I got any at all. Instead, what I got back were some of the most thoughtful answers I’d ever received, whether on paper, in person, or otherwise. In the end, there were more than 100 respondents.
Recommended by Derek Walker: Similar to the format of Tribe of Mentors, this book includes some interesting anecdotes and life stories from Mike. It’s a pretty lighthearted read. I’d recommend the audiobook as Mike narrates it himself.
Recommended by Colby Shawver: I recently finished this book. It’s a deep dive into what our purpose here on life really is.
Recommended by Bridgett Jensen: With October just around the corner, I have to include a little witch fiction. This is historical fiction at its best, compulsively readable and filled with history of the American witch hunt and enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Recommended by David Abell: Here are three books I’ve finished recently!
Go ahead and read a book!
I hope we’ve convinced you to pick up a book. There are so many good ones out there to choose from. And with the days shortening, you’ll find that a good book is a great companion for those longer evenings.
And if you want more recommendations, you can check out our AMT’s Best Books page on Amazon.com. We’re sure you’ll find a book to love.