Well, here is a health alert we can all understand. Researchers at the University of Sussex have determined that the very best way to relieve stress, both physical and mental, is to read a book. Got your attention?
As reported in The Telegraph, the researchers found that stress levels and heart rate showed a 68% reduction in measurable stress after reading from a book. After achieving a high stress level through exercise and mental tests, just six minutes of reading slowed the heart rate and decreased other measures of physical stress in the muscles. Reading reduced stress to levels even lower than the baseline before the high stress was reached...
...The power of words on the page is incredible. The experience of reading requires mental attention and the investment of imagination. Creativity characterizes the reading mind, because reading brings a constant flow of ideas, thoughts, impressions, suggestions, and mental images.
No other experience brings the same ability to transport the imagination and to transfer ideas. Those who would lead, must read. Those who would learn, must learn to be avid and skilled readers.
Now we have even more reason to read books -- and to advocate libraries, reading, and the literary experience. Who knew that reading was good for your health? Of course, reading is even more closely linked to mental development, intellectual growth, and, as reading Christians know, spiritual growth as well.
Finally, medical justification for my obsession.