Tag Archive | Reading

3 Fall-Suitable Days Out With The Kids

As fall begins to take its grip, planning days out with your kids can become more complicated due to the need to avoid the ever-worsening weather. In an effort to assist you in this task, below, we’ve put together three ideas that can allow you to indulge in family fun that’s fall-friendly.

#1 – Science museums

Science museums may sound a little dull, but in truth modern museums are anything but – they focus on interactive exhibitions that your kids are sure to love. The major benefit of this choice is that these exhibitions are designed to educate by stealth, so your kids will have a great day out and learn something new all in one.

#2 – Woodland drives

Driving through woodland is a wonderful fall outing for two specific reasons: you and your kids are able to delight in the changing colour of the leaves, and if the weather turns in your favour, you can park up and explore nature on foot.

#3 – Library collections

Most of us associate libraries with books, but many have expanded their remit and now offer museum-style exhibitions; visiting these can be the perfect way to while away a rainy day with the kids. It’s worth exploring the options available at libraries near you, or perhaps a day trip to one of the more obscure library collections detailed would be the perfect choice for kids with niche interests.

An infographic about libraries' obscure collections by the University of Southern California

Infographic design by University of Southern California

 

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What Makes Reading Such A Great Escape From Stress and Worry

Reading is one of those activities that comes with many benefits, including a range of mental health benefits. There’s nothing quite like sitting back on your bed, on the sofa, in a coffee shop – or wherever you are – with a book in your hand and your favourite drink. It’s so tranquil spending time relaxing with a good book, there is quite literally nothing like it.

There’s no doubt about it, reading is a great escape from stress and worry, but what it is that makes reading such a fantastic way to escape your problems, and what other benefits does this hobby come with? For everything that you should know, read on.

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Keeps your mind active

Research has shown that people who read tend to have more active minds than people that don’t read, and people who have these brains are more than two times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease in later life or struggle with mental health problems. Studies have shown that by staying mentally alert, you can significantly improve your mental health and wellness in both the long and short-term.

Transports you away from stress

Studies have shown that snuggling up with a good book can transport you away from your worries and concerns, helping to relax your mind and relieve feelings of stress. A study undertaken by the University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes can reduce your feelings of stress by up to 68%. Of course, a substantial article, such as the one by Daniel Handlerfor instance, can also have the same effect.

You become more empathetic

By spending time reading about a large number of different people from various walks of life and circumstances than you can help you to better understand that everyone is different and realize that you are able to relate to different people in different situations to your own. By reading your mental state changes and you naturally become more empathetic, able to show more empathy to people in different situations to your own.

Strengthens your focus

Did you know that reading encourages your mind to train itself to focus better? This is because when you read, you have to retain the information that you have read, in order to continue the rest of the book. Reading requires your full focus – something that is lacking in today’s society with many people constantly multi-tasking. Simply by reading for 15 minutes per day, you can significantly improve your mental focus and ability to concentrate.

Reading helps you sleep

Then there’s the fact that reading helps you to sleep. Studies have shown that people who read regularly tend to be far better sleepers than people who don’t read. Stress can often make it difficult to fall asleep, which could indicate why reading can help to boost sleep levels as it can reduce stress levels significantly in a fairly short space of time.

Reading is an amazing hobby to have, it offers you an incredible escape from your day to day life, allowing you to reduce your feelings of stress and worry and escape into another world.

This is a collaborative post.

The Time To Write…

All about books, Library, Reading

It doesn’t take much to please me. I’m a cheap thrill kinda girl. One of the simple things I enjoy in life is to sit in a quiet corner of a library and indulge in a book or just to write to my heart’s content but lately, such indulgence has whittled down to such a minutiae degree due to life and its responsibilities getting in the way.

Nonetheless, I have to create the space to satisfy these cravings of mine and I must find the time to write even if I have to steal it from somewhere ‘cos I observed that any week I failed to visit the library at least once, a part of me knows abject discontent. It took me a while to recognize and understand this – during one of my self-help sessions.

For me, this simple act of finding time to write or to immerse myself in a book is a form of therapy on a different level and over the years, wherever I’ve lived, one of the first thing that I do without fail is to locate the bookstore, the nearest library and then the grocery stores.

So, as I sit in this library surrounded by books, the only sound I can hear is the squeaky wheels of the trolley as a librarian shelves the books, I feel a lift in my spirit and can almost feel the trickle of dopamine sending happiness signals into every part of me. My heart knows such contentment. I sip my chai latte and grasp the momentary pleasure with both hands of gratitude.

I’m currently reading Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks.

Make Health An Effortless Part Of Your Lifestyle

Blueberries, Apples, Melon, Carrots, Vegetables, Fresh, Food, CookingImage via PXhere

Everyone wants to be healthy and happy, but many people go about it the wrong way. Instead of focusing on making health into a natural and effortless part of their every-day lifestyle, they try to use sheer willpower to force themselves through different, painful practices that they’ll sooner or later be tempted to quit.

But people are driven more by habit than by incredible efforts of will. Here’s a look at how to introduce some good, healthy habits into your life starting today.

Get physically active every day

Setting yourself the goal of spending an hour in the gym every day may work for a while, but there’ll be the inevitable day when you find yourself too busy, too tired, or just too distracted to follow through.

Instead of setting yourself a specific exercise goal, set yourself the goal of being physically active every day. This can mean anything from taking a short walk to jogging on the spot to going to the gym for 3 hours or running a marathon — though if you’re running a lot, you might want to click here for some good anti-blister supplies.

The key is that it’s an easy habit to stick with every day, even when you don’t feel like it. Being physically active in one way will also make you feel motivated to be more physically active in general.

Prepare all your food from scratch

People argue a lot about different diet styles, and which one might be the best. One thing that all experts and scientists agree on, though, is that processed food is by and large terribly unhealthy, filled with potentially harmful additives, and at the heart of many modern health problems.

An excellent health-habit is to cut out all processed foods — anything you buy “ready-made” — and to prepare all your own food from scratch. That way you’ll know whether or not there’s a teaspoon of sugar in your dish, instead of being tricked into eating large amounts of toxic high-fructose corn syrup.

Eat foods that leave you feeling energetic

Energy is one of the most important things for good overall health, because the more energetic we feel, the more active we’re likely to be, physically and mentally, and the happier as well.

If you find that you’re always falling asleep right after each meal, this not only means that you probably struggle to be productive and positive each day, but it also means that your food is too heavy on your body and is taking a lot of energy to digest.

Save the heavy meals for special occasions, and try to eat foods that leave you feeling energetic on a daily basis, instead of ones that seem to drain your energy.

Read something uplifting every day

The mind is just as important as the body when it comes to health, and like the body, the mind is affected by the kind of “fuel” we give it.

While the body is fuelled by food and drink, the mind is fuelled by the things you read, say, watch, and hear.

If you want to promote healthy, positive and happy thoughts, it’s essential that you give your mind something positive to reflect on every day. A great place to start is by reading something uplifting every day. This could be an upbeat fable or a real-life story of someone succeeding against the odds.

4 Genres You Have Never Heard Of, But Promise To Be Entertaining

Books, Reading, Narnia, Writing, Popular Culture

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The world has gone so absolutely bonkers and reality TV-ish that just picking up the newspaper today and reading the latest story about President Trump is akin to picking up a political-thriller, which makes the world of reading novels worryingly redundant.

Okay, maybe that last statement was a stretch too far, but you kind of get the drift. It is what led Matthew Quirk to construct his wonderfully sculpted article.

Luckily, there has been the emergence of some new genres over recent years that could re-establish novels as the go-to medium when it comes to people wanting to escape. We have to warn you, though, some of these genres are totally bonkers, while others are proof that the human race will never be short of creative ideas.

Butterflies, Blue, Fantasy

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1. First Off, Bizarro

If you have never heard of Bizarro Fiction, then the only way we can really describe it is, well, being totally weird for the sake of being totally weird. The aim of the game is basically to entertain the reader, but how the author gets to that stage is completely up to them and could see their literature delve into all things funny, gross, graphic, absurd or just madcap.

You may think this is totally niche and will never make it, but David Wong has totally proven that theory wrong. He even had one of his books made into a film. Crazy.

2. Next on the list, Literary Role Playing Games

That is right, Literary Role Playing Games are a thing. It is kind of hard to wrap your head around at first because books in the LitRPG Reads genre tend to describe a protagonist’s adventure with the context of a computer game, meaning there are added mechanics like
experience points, stats and the chance to level up.

However, as mental as this sounds, the chance to read about different quests and see achievements is a great way to read about the adventure from a whole new standpoint.

3. What About ‘Mannerpunk’?

Now you may be thinking that is just another genre that plays on all things punk – why wouldn’t you – but it is actually a genre that is based on the fantasy of manners.

Hear us out, but is basically the other side of the coin that is Steampunk. You see, Steampunk tends to focus on things like the weapons, tech and aesthetics of a particular age, whereas Mannerpunk prefers to focus on the etiquette, manners and social politeness of the era instead.

Of course, there is the punk element to it, in which its most famous title is probably Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a real twist on the Jane Austen classic.

4. Last But Not Least, Microblogging Novels

With the rise of certain social media sites, namely Twitter and Facebook, the world of communication kind of got flipped and squashed and squeezed and altered.

A number of words we use when it comes to online communication became limited and that meant the ideas had to be made concise.

Well, this concept and approach has seen some authors create entire worlds, stories, plots and characters within the confines of these status boxes, known as Microblogging Novels. Say what you want, readers get the chance to read entire chapters the moment they are finished, which is cool.

This is a guest post

 

Transform Your Kids Into Pagemasters

You might be thinking about trying to get your kids more interested in reading. There are plenty of kids who just aren’t interested in reading at an early age and have to be encouraged at a far later stage usually, in teenage years. Of course, we teach our kids the basics but once they have grasped this many only read when they are forced to, rather than in their spare time. That said there are many benefits of encouraging your kids to read in their spare time.

First, research shows that reading boosts a child’s vocabulary as well as their general level of intellect. Reading may also lead to improvements in memory and general cognitive performance. Through reading, some children may also be encouraged to write in their spare time, finding a passion for creative writing that could serve them well over the next few years. You might think that it’s too late to get your kids interested in reading, but it’s never too late. Some people find a love for reading well into adult life and become people who can’t go through a week without picking up a good book. But how do you get your kids interested in reading?

Passive Reading

Person, woman, pink, headphones

Pic Credit

You might struggle to get your kids to pick up a book or download one, but how about listening to a book? There are some fantastic audio books out there that kids will love. For instance, you can pick up the Harry Potter books read by famous British comedian Stephen Fry. The man reads with such expression and adds his own unique magical wonder to this truly fantastic book series. You might think that passive reading isn’t as beneficial for children as picking up a book. It’s true that some of the words will wash over them, but others will stay in their mind. They might even hear a word that they don’t understand and look it up later.

Find A Book They Love

Reading Woman, Reading

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The problem that most people find when trying to get their kids to read is that they push the classics into their hand. The Call Of The Wild is a brilliant book, and some kids are going to find the novel from a dog’s perspective enthralling. Others, however, will be completely bored. They might be more interested in a novel series such as Alex Rider. This book series is based on the adventures of a teenage spy and is just one in a sea of similar books in the genre. However, the brilliance of this particular trilogy is that it’s written by a prestigious murder mystery writer who has worked on classic shows like Foyle’s War and Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. As such, the books have such pulse pounding tension that kids find them hard to put down. The books also have a fairly loyal adult following.

Introduce Them To The Digital World Of Books

Reading, Digital Reading, Kindle

Source of Pic

If you really want to get your kids into reading, you might want to think about buying them a Kindle. This will allow them to read and download as many books as they want without buying each individual hard copy. This gives kids a lot of freedom to let them read what they want, how they want. You probably already have a Kindle yourself. If you do, you’ll know one of the major benefits is that there are a lot of free books available by great authors that are slightly less well known. If you’re wondering where to get free Kindle e-books, there are lots of different options, with some even recognized and recommended by popular published authors. This allows kids to go off the beaten path a little more and find writing that they have probably never heard of before. Don’t worry, kids won’t be able to read whatever they want on their Kindle. There are parental controls to ensure you are still in control of their reading.

Family Reading

Family, Reading Time, BondingFlickr Picture

Finally, if you have younger children, you may want to try family reading times. Family reading works a lot like reading in school. The children get to pick the book to read, and you all take turns reading it out loud as a family. It’s a great way to share reading together, and kids often love hearing the expression that their parents put into it when it’s their turn to take a chapter.

I hope you use these tips to get your kids a little more involved in reading, outside the typical books that they will usually find in school. It can bring fantastic benefits.

Chewing The Fat…

poetry, books, reading

On days misery eats at me

I listen to classical music,

eating dark chocolate and

chewing the fat on pages

of Pulitzer winning literature,

just in case anyone ever died from misery

and I end up being one of such ‘anyone’

at least I shall be found

keeled over genius stuff and

looking halfway intelligent

©

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha