Last night, Sunday, April 23, 2023, between 7pm and 8pm, marked World Book Night. This annual event encouraged readers of all ages to turn off their smartphones, turn the lights down low, and bury their heads in a book. Sadly, the official World Book Day website claims one in three adults in England don’t regularly read for please (that’s around 31 percent of all adults). For youngsters, that increases to one in two (around 46 percent). Wob, the country’s leading second-hand bookseller, has a few ways to coax reluctant readers back into the hobby, and how it can actually improve lives.
Rebecca Alford, one of Wob’s experts, “lives and breathes” books. As a bookseller, she has rehomed almost 16 million books in the last year and recently found that over a quarter of the UK (33 percent) settle into bed with a book each night.
And it’s no coincidence, either. There are some major benefits to this, Rebecca claims, on top of being enraptured in mystical, faraway lands or brushing up on history and events.
First and foremost? It’s relaxing. Actually, clinically relaxing. Rebecca noted that just “six minutes” of reading in silence was enough to “slow the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles” – but 30 minutes was the sweet spot for Wob’s surveyed customers.
Rebecca recommended finding shorter reads for before-bed getaways, adding: “I love The Story: 100 Great Short Stories Written by Women by Victoria Hislop and Happy Poems by Roger McGough.” She added that novels are – of course! – encouraged as well, but to choose your six minutes of reading wisely; “go for an easy read”.
Sleeping aside, Rebecca noted that reading before bed is also a way of reducing stress levels (apparently by up to 68 percent). By utilising the correct books at times of need, readers can ditch their worries just before bed and catch up on that much-needed snooze.
For this specific outcome, she recommended Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World.
This, Rebecca added, is just a taste of what Wob offer, with countless books at more than 70 percent off recommended retail price.
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