Friday, March 2, 2018

Why We Should Make Time for Reading

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I remember when Borders went out of business years ago. It was one of my favorite stores ever, and I had many happy memories there. There was (and still is) something so relaxing about being able to go to a place that sells shiny new books and magazines, where you can go alone or with a friend and get a coffee and a pastry and walk around or sit and chill with all that wonderful art surrounding you. So losing it was definitely a bummer.

Luckily for me, I lived in a big city, so we at least still had Barnes & Noble. I preferred Borders, but B&N would do as an okay replacement, even if it was located at our busy mall.

Fast-forward to now, and it looks as if B&N is barely holding on. I'm getting more and more coupons in the mail from B&N, which is exactly what happened with Borders before they went kaput. I have also been following the news and have read about the mass lay-offs and the tacky way they have been done, and also how their most recent quarter was disappointing. Supposedly they're working on some ways to stay afloat, but who knows if they'll be able to last much longer.

The problem may be the price of their books. It seems almost everyone is purchasing cheaper books via Amazon these days. I have been guilty of shopping at B&N, only to get ideas for things to read and then buying them on Amazon later. I don't do that anymore because I am trying to support the store, as it seems their days are numbered, but I'm just one out of millions of people who probably buy primarily from Amazon.

Another reason the store might not be doing well: people don't seem to be reading as much anymore.

In an age of constant data overload where we compulsively spend all our free time reading articles and social media posts on our computers and phones, it's not surprising that people don't have time for books anymore. Also throw in Netflix, which releases a binge-worthy new show every five minutes, and everyone's free time runs out with no room for reading novels or short story collections.

But there are many reasons why we should resist the urge to spend all our spare time binge-watching shows or mindlessly scrolling the web, and why we should read a book instead. According to an article on, there are nine ways that reading fiction can actually make you a happier and more person - and who doesn't want to be happier in an age where stress is king? I'll list the ways below, but if you want more details on the studies that produced the results, you can read the article --> here <--

Okay, here they are:

1) Reading creates empathy and understanding in readers.

2) Reading is a great way to combat stress.

3) People who read regularly actually sleep better.

4) Readers see improved interpersonal relationships.

5) Older readers remain sharper mentally.

6) Reading creates open-mindedness.

7) Reading (specifically fiction) increases vocabulary.

8) Readers are more creative people.

9) Reading gives you pleasure.

I hope that bookstores don't completely go away because I love the physical experience of being in a bookstore; however, as technology advances, and we see more and more e-books, we may have to say goodbye to most of our old-fashioned bookstores. Does that mean e-books are evil? Actually, no, I don't think so at all.

I don't think there's anything wrong with reading e-books on electronic devices. In fact, if more readers could be open to the benefits of digital books, it might even help out the planet! E-books are super convenient (you don't even have to leave your couch to buy one), many are cheaper than physical books, and they aren't as destructive on the environment as paper books. As technology has advanced, the screens are easy on the eyes and battery life is a lot longer than it used to be. And one more thing: it saves space! You can carry an entire library on one tablet!

But whether you're a paper book reader, an e-book reader, or both, we should be mindful about making time for books in any format. If the studies are correct, (and I believe they are from personal experience as a daily reader), we will all be better off for it.

Do you still make time to read? Do you find it gives you any of the benefits mentioned above? As always, feel free to leave a comment!


Speaking of reading, have you browsed my books at And thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. I find I only read (my Kindle) on trains and when travelling abroad. I have had eye problems last year and found reading actual books difficult, although medical procedures have now improved this somewhat. I had to increase the font size on my Kindle! I don't buy paper novels any more - they all go on the Kindle but I still buy paper art and history books and have bought quite a few lovely books from the Folio Society recently. I always used to go into Borders if I was in the US. In Canada, I went to Chapters/Indigo stores (very similar to Borders). I used to love the one in the Toronto Eaton Centre which had a nice cafe, They still seem to hang on.

    In the UK our equivalent, Waterstones, nearly went under in 2011, with our other chains, Dillons and Ottakers having already gone. Waterstones was saved by Russian investment and bringing in a man who ran only six independent shops to save it. He did one key thing to save it - he stopped the chain ordering books centrally. All bookshops, including Barnes & Noble, order books centrally for all stires. They therefore end up with one in four books in stores not selling and having to be packed up and sent back to the publishers at cost to the stores. Publishes pay the bookstore to take hundreds of copies of a book they didn't want and then the store had to spend time and money sending them back. Waterstones decided to let each local store do there own ordering, based on their local customers. No more unwanted books and a much higher turnover. Where I live we still have some high street independent stores and a new one opened in a town a couple of miles away just before Christmas. Realising that people in different localities want different books seems to be working here.

    Agent Triple P

    1. That is another benefit of using the e-readers: you can increase the font size. I have a friend who likes them primarily for that reason. No magnifying glass or bifocals requied!

      And that makes sense with the central ordering. I can see how bookstores could lose a lot of money that way. If publishers pay the bookstores to take the books, maybe they should pay them the cost of shipping them back if they don't sell. I wonder if one of the new plans for B&N is to try to do ordering based on what locals want.

      Another idea that might work, if the technology gets up to speed, is if a printer is invented that can actually print on demand, in house, as soon as the person orders the book. Instead of having physical books on shelves, there can be a sort of digital display with holograms. (I'm thinking futuristic here, but I'm betting the technology already exists to do these things!)

    2. I actually saw a print on demand machine in a bookshop once but I can't remember where! The printing is the easy bit the binding is the complex bit!

      Triple P