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Equipped for reading success

By Karla Prudhomme
Freelance Writer

Research shows that regular reading reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, increases vocabulary and comprehension, improves brain connectivity, alleviates depression, aids in a sound sleep, increases your imagination and creativity, prevents cognitive decline, and a plethora of additional benefits. “Reading can take you anywhere in the world or out of this world, even when you have to stay exactly where you’re at,” stated Linda Icenhour, Director of the Johnson County Library. Though many read for pleasure, there are incalculable physical and mental advantages.
Recent research indicates that reading can literally change your mind, as reading increases brain connectivity.
Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic recommend that parents start reading with their children in their first year of life and continue through elementary school. Research has shown that early reading improves school performance and raises a child’s self-esteem. Reading can enhance critical thinking skills and expand your vocabulary, and the advantage of reading lasts throughout one’s lifetime, as reading improves cognitive functions and helps prevent or slow cognitive decline.
Frederick Douglas said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free,” as reading can take you anywhere and allow you to experience anything. Johnson County is fortunate to have two libraries- the Johnson County Public Library, located at 219 N. Church Street, and the new Shady Valley Library, located in the old Shady Valley Elementary Rock School, on Hwy 133. Shady Valley Library Director Sherry Hufman stated that “the inventory has increased two-fold since opening six months ago, with much of the new inventory being children’s books.” She went on to say that they also have a large inventory of large print and audiobooks for the visually impaired.
With so many benefits to reading, now may be the perfect time to pack up the family, visit the local library, and find the ideal book for each family member.