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Benefits of Slow Reading

#wellness | #slowreading | #bookchat

If you're reading this, it's likely you're looking to become a slow reader. Here at Partially Booked, it is deemed an art. It's not because we want you to become more academic or intellectual. Finding the time to read in modern society with distractions of electronics, the news or survival instincts like earning money takes priority. All of which we can't escape during our free time. This article is merely to persuade you to take time out for yourself. Being a slow reader or having a slow morning with time out to read has it's perks, find out for yourself...

Own It: I am a Slow Reader

Don't shy away from the fact that it takes you a long time to read a book. It's actually better to read slowly for several reasons that are important to your health. If you're an avid social media user, it can be demanding on your mental health to keep up with the pressures of reading as many books as possible. What you're failing to see are the goals people have set themselves whether it's monthly or yearly. We've constantly been fed with thousands of followers on a feed that have all read a book on that post so you feel like you're never keeping up.

If you're a busy reader reading this article to become a slow reader: It's important to choose the right time of day to read, so you're not too busy to forget to read. There is also the conscious effort to choose the right book to read that's enjoyable & the right reading level - even adults can choose the wrong type of text to read. Technology is a huge factor to our distraction but then sometimes priorities or general health can also have an impact.

Safe Spaces: Curating a #booknook

A 'Book Nook' qualifies as any space, preferably in your house, where you consider it to be the most comforting. It is an area curated by you where you can consider it a safe space to enjoy your book, coffee or whatever makes you happiest. It's a space that you can utilise with storage & books but design it with furniture to make you feel cosy. This creates an element of trust, comfort & relaxation to your reading experience allowing you to switch off. Some people prefer the outdoors or another location but if you're an introvert & prefer home then this is the ideal solution to you.

Image: @alabasterfox booknook post - Instagram

Having your zen space creates positive attitudes that are good for your mental health.

Decreases Stress Levels

It is no different from doing physical exercise when you're stressed.. In fact, it reduces stress levels by 68%, according to a 2009 study. Reading Fiction allows you to open your imagination, releasing stressors in your brain that lowers your heart rate..

Your Memory Will Improve

Slow Reading doesn't mean you're less intelligent. Reading works the muscles in the brain as it neurobiologically demands more processing on the brain than any other format, like pictures, to process. Our brain is forced to imagine or narrate through the words we have just read on a page. A positive piece of text is more likely to have a positive effect on your working memory which is done through a reader's focus.

If you were watching a film, do you remember half of what you see or find it hard to guess 'whodunnit'? That's because it takes your brain less energy to piece together what it has just seen. If you were reading a book, you will find yourself concentrating during dialogue to remember who's cue it is to talk alongside the plot, characteristics & motives of the characters.

Digital Detox

It's hard to do a digital detox in our modern times, especially when the majority of book deals are offered through E-Readers. Slow reading is better than NO reading. We sit at a computer all day, switching between our phones & E-Readers or the television for pleasure. Does our brain still respond effectively as it should if we were reading it on paper? It has been researched by marketers & scientists that a screen drains our mental resources making it harder to remember information we have been required to note. Not to mention, E-Reading makes 20% of the book market sales but has the potential to overthrow physical book sales completely. In 2022, research suggested the average person spent two & a half hours on social media. Some spent 19 minutes on YouTube or 14.2 minutes on Pinterest. In the US alone, there were 16.3 billion hours spent watching Netflix. In the UK, 31% of people do not read in their spare time. Imagine, all these hours could have been spent reading a book for even just 20 minutes a day. That average person could have reduced their screen time by reading before bed or detoxing themselves from social media to support their physical health.

Critical Thinking: Building a Relationship with Reading

When reading a book, we usually connect with the characters or themes but there are other ways we can interact with the book when slow reading. It allows us to understand what the author is trying to raise awareness of so we can then begin to make a judgement or evaluation of the author's views for ourselves. These make terrific conversation starters. You don't have to necessarily bring up the book & explain the plot to people; you can identify the topic & bring it up in general conversation. The answers from people may bring up a funny or debatable response.

Journalling, highlighting & tabbing are other effective ways of learning to be a slow reader. It is an active tool to improve your memory, uncovering main points or important phrases within the book you wish to remember. If you added journalling to this process, it will help you to articulate your thoughts. Joining a book club & discussing the book after would also be another effective way as it articulates your thoughts.

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