Do you remember a time when you finished the last page of a book and immediately thought, “Now THAT was a great read?” If you can relate, you know the immense amount of fun and enjoyment reading brings to life!
Books are a source of adventure, a stress reliever, and best of all, a peek into a reality very different from our own. Here at Cypress Lawn, we recognize that talking about books has value all its own: prompting spirited conversation, giving us new insight and perspective (“I never thought of it that way before!”), and even serving as an impetus for new friendships.
For nearly four years, our Cypress Lawn book club has celebrated exactly that: bringing people together who may otherwise have never meet to discuss books with a general emphasis on Bay Area history and cemetery/funeral topics. To be sure, Cypress Lawn has a spectacular history itself as a final resting site for numerous authors, famous personalities, and unique characters who often serve as reading inspiration for our group. Education and the preservation of our history is why we began the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation – our book club has become a beloved community activity sponsored by the foundation.
Whether or not you consider yourself a “reader,” you’ll be surprised by the many compelling benefits of reading.
- Reading is a workout for the mind. Simply put, word power increases brain power. Science shows reading stimulates the part of the brain that helps with memory and attention. This leads to clearer thinking and reduces the chances of developing Alzheimer’s later in life. Remember: The brain is like a muscle and exercising that muscle through activities like reading makes it stronger.
- Reading helps us become more compassionate. When we read about other people, we imagine what it’s like to be in their shoes or wonder how we would handle their circumstances. Books present differing viewpoints that, in turn, can help us better understand and get along with other people.
- Reading provides a unique form of inner peace. For many in the Bay Area, our days have their fair share of chaos and stress. But when we read, all our attention is focused on the story. Without even being aware of it, worry and distractions melt away.
- Reading helps us sleep more soundly. After a long day, there’s no better way to wind down than curling up in bed with a good book. Reading calms the mind and body which lends itself to a deep and restful sleep – something every one of us needs.
- Reading lifts our spirits! Books bring a sense of joy like none other. A good story takes the weight off our shoulders, and reminds us of what’s truly important in life. Interestingly, researchers in the United Kingdom found that reading in a book club may even help us live longer, as it provides social connections, helps us engage with others, and offers a support system. To think: Picking up a book can lead to all this!
We want to offer you this challenge: How can you make reading more of a priority this year? A tip: Coming to our book club is a great way to start! We meet bi-monthly on Thursdays at 11:00 a.m., and no reservations are required. Our next book club meeting is March 15th and we’ll be discussing Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Interment In World War II by Richard Reeves. We hope to you see there! Come whether or not you’ve read the book we’re discussing! LIKE our Facebook page for updated information, and/or click here for details.