Of all the things you can give as a present, there is nothing as meaningful as a book.
Because a book is never just the words on the page. It is an invitation to go on a journey or an adventure, to live a different life, in a different mind for a while, to experience, imagine, learn, heal, and actually sometimes suffer … who hasn’t carried on reading a book that you know will leave you in tears?! The emotional release from a tearjerker, is like that of a horror, thriller, adventure, or comedy … the writer builds up the tension and then releases it and somehow, we, the readers, feel better.
Reading builds bonds, be it the formal bond building of a book club, or just spotting someone on the bus reading one of your favourites and sharing a smile, they help us to recognise our tribe and sometimes they are a great indicator that you might not like someone! They can be passed on, traded in, donated … once read, nothing is lost, and they still have as much to give to the next reader.
So here is a list of 10 reasons why books are the best gifts to give!
- Books are easy to wrap!
- Books don’t need batteries, or accessories, don’t need to be
- assembled or charged!
- Books don’t hurt when you step on them in the middle of the night – much as I love Lego, the thought of kneeling on a piece still brings tears to my eyes!
- Books never come in the wrong colour or size or need ironing when it comes out of the box!
- Books are better for the environment, especially secondhand books. They come without extra packaging or plastic ties, their consistent size means they are easier to ship and don’t waste space.
- You don’t grow out of a book … you might move on in terms of language or interest, but a book is still there, waiting for another reader, be it your friend, neighbour or in terms of childhood favourites, your own child in years to come.
- Books never go out of fashion or lose their appeal ... a good story is still a good story, long after the plastic pieces of loom bands and fidget spinners are consigned to the bin!
- Books help children relax. A study by Sussex University showed that reading reduces children’s stress by 68%.
- Books are one of the few things that we can do purely for pleasure that incidentally has a huge, positive effect on our brains. It improves focus, memory, empathy, and communication skills. Research shows that reading stimulates a complex network or circuits and signals in the brain and that once activated, they continue strengthening for days afterwards. Regular reading supports our cognitive network and slows its decline.
Books and reading to your children are benefits for life. Many studies have demonstrated that children who are read to or read from an early age have wider and more advanced vocabularies and score higher on IQ and Emotional Intelligence tests.