Why books are cool

Doctors to prescribe novels in a new scheme

The Guardian, 12 April, 2016

Yep, it’s true. Reading books (novels in particular) has a number of benefits:

  • Reading gets us ‘in a zone of openness’. There’s a tacit agreement between a book and a reader that the pages are a safe space for the reader to bring their real self. They have a choice to put the book down.
  • Novels offer us a blueprint for life. Characters encounter storyworlds and people, obstacles, themes and plot twists, that mirror reality and allow us to visualize ourselves in that situation and to come up with creative solutions and responses to a character’s story.
  • Stories are bonding experiences. We often share books we’ve read with others, and we discuss characters’ trials and tribulations in a way that allows us to tackle life’s Big Themes in a safe and non-confrontational way. We learn about Life.
  • The more we read, the more emotionally literate we becomeand the better we become at decoding and spotting stories that inspire us and move us to action.

@jjmarsh1 and @libby_ol go head-to-head on the Big Questions. Is social media necessary? Are writers’ groups redundant? Are semi-colons on the way out?