School may have already started, but it’s still August, people – summer’s NOT over yet! That means you’ve still got time to enjoy one of our favorite things about the season: summer reading. And we’re not talking Lord of the Flies or All Quiet on the Western Front, or any of the other not exactly riveting summer-required reading our teenagers have been dragging through at the last minute.
Why bother with a book when you can watch great Netflix or just surf the web? Because books are a great way to escape, relax, imagine new worlds, meet fascinating characters, AND improve your brain health. Turns out that the old adage, “reading is good for you,” wasn’t just baiting kids into finishing their summer assignments. A 2014 study conducted at Emory University found that “reading stories—especially those with strong narrative arcs—reconfigures brain networks for at least a few days. It shows how stories can stay with us,” says Professor Gregory Burns, the study’s lead author. “This may have profound implications for children and the role of reading in shaping their brains.”
If you need a good page turner, we’ve got some recommendations. You might start by reading the new issue of House Calls, hot off the press and full of insightful articles (“How to Beat the Heat” for one). And for meatier reads, check out these suggestions from Roper St. Francis book worms, as printed in House Calls.