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The benefit of books

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Freshmen students visit the Cedar Rapids Public Library on September 22. Mrs. Tracie Marshall Photo.

Freshmen students visit the Cedar Rapids Public Library on September 22. Mrs. Tracie Marshall Photo.

Freshmen students visit the Cedar Rapids Public Library on September 22. Mrs. Tracie Marshall Photo.

Kathleen Kenney, A&E Writer

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While many pastimes may hurt or not positvely contribute to a person’s life, reading is one hobby that can bring about a multitude of benefits for those who partake in it.

A study conducted by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health found that consistently reading throughout one’s life may add a couple of years to their lifespan, especially if they are reading a novel rather than news or magazine articles. In addition, reading books makes one think critically and make connections between different parts of the story, which helps people to construct pathways between different regions of the brain. This can prevent mental decay. Likewise, increasing vocabulary, perhaps through reading, can help heal areas of the brain damaged by stroke, dementia, and decay. Additionally, reading books makes people more empathetic to those around them. There are also well known benefits of reading that come with learning new information and caring about characers.

“What I enjoy most about reading is how personal it is,” senior Alexa O’Shea said. “When you are reading that book, you become part of it. You know the characters, you develop a bond with them. I think it’s a magical thing when that happens, when a book makes you feel something real. It amazes me how quickly you can get attached to something or someone that only exists within the pages of a book.”

Xavier teacher Mrs. Emily Moses realizes the importance of reading and attempts to instill it within her level seven English I students. One way Mrs. Moses does this is by taking them to the Cedar Rapids Public Library on September 22. All students were given a tour of the library’s website and the building. They were encouraged to visit the library again as they were issued library cards.

“Students have a preconceived notion about what a library is,” Mrs. Moses said. “I think visiting the downtown library opens their eyes and helps redefine a library for them.”

Kathleen Kenney

A&E Writer

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The benefit of books