Posted by: Emily Williams on Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
Summer Reading is for everyone! You might remember participating in summer reading as a kid, but our program is for all ages-- even adults.
Studies have shown that reading can stimulate your mind, reduce stress, improve your memory and concentration, and strengthen your analytical thinking skills. Even better, it only takes 20 minutes of reading each day to enjoy these benefits. "Reading" doesn't mean you have to sit perfectly still in a chair with a 900-page book from another century. Your 20 minutes per day will net you the same benefits from reading no matter if you're "reading" in print, digital, or even audio formats.
Don't know where to start? Here's 20 ways to get your 20 minutes this summer!
Reading while exercising is a no-brainer! Health professionals recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise a day so you're killing two birds with one stone (or choose your own less-violent proverb). Mind and body. Perfect harmony. It's simple with downloadables from your library -- just trade out the gym TVs for a Zinio magazine, or switch from music to an Overdrive audiobook while jogging.
Undoubtedly the most rewarding way to get in your 20 is to read to children. Reading stories opens up new worlds of imagination for kids and improves their academic success, strengthens their attention span and aids in language and speech development. And it makes you feel pretty good about yourself as well. Even cavemen knew this and they didn't have books.
Don't have kids? It's perfectly fine to read out loud to your pets for 20 minutes a day. Sure, some of the academic benefits are lost on them, but you still receive the benefits of reading and you may strengthen the bond you have with your pets. Or they might look at you like you're a stupid human.
Housecleaning is definitely a chore, but getting in your 20 while achieving that lemony fresh smell is a breeze. Just download an audio version of The Help from the library's Overdrive service, pop in the earbuds and start scrubbing!
Wanting to start brewing your own beer? We've got books for that! Check them out so you can read and brew.
Or did you just start to brew your own beer? Why not get in some reading time while waiting on your boil or while the wort is cooling?
How about reading while watching a movie? Yes, you can! Watching a foreign movie from the library on DVD is a multilayered activity -- you are essentially reading for a couple of hours but you're also enjoying the movie and broadening your cultural horizons!
Cesar Millan says you should walk your dog at least 30-40 minutes per day. Why not listen to a downloadable Cesar Millan audiobook from the library's Overdrive service while your dog drags you through the neighborhood? Don't try to walk your cat. You can't walk a cat.
After listening to Cesar Millan's expert advice, surely your dog will behave while you read the latest issue of Dogs Life on your mobile deivce thru the library's Zinio digital magazine service in the veterinarian's waiting room.
Read a book at the bar and improve the intellectual quality of your next date. A paperback from the library's classics collection works every time!
People have been reading on the move since the Egyptians read papyruses in their chariots and today's planes, trains and automobiles are optimal reading venues. An engaging story is a sure cure for most forms of transport-related boredom and with so many options available from your library, getting there is a snap...as long as you're a passenger -- we don't advocate reading and piloting vehicles at the same time.
Put away your phone or computer and keep a book at your bedside. Read a bit before shoving off to the Land of Nod. Reading print books is a stress-reducer and affects your brain in ways that improves the quality of your sleep and, sleep scientists say, can lead to some fantastic dreams.
There's always the classic -- reading in the bathtub. Both reading and bathing reduce stress so why not go for the double whammy in the full monty? Both old-school print books and new-fangled ebooks will work, but be careful -- water damage knows no favorites!
Sporting events are great places to read. Baseball games from Little League all the way up to Dodger Stadium provide the perfect pace. If you just read between innings you'll bag 34 minutes -- throw in a rain delay and you can get in that Russian novel you've been putting off.
Speaking of sports, you can get loads of reading time in while watching games at home in your easychair as well. Die hard fans can grab their mobile device and read up on player bios and statistics. Just reading a book, eBook, print or digital magazine on commercial breaks and at halftime will easily get you your 20.
Most of us hate sitting in waiting rooms. But even though waiting rooms are full of reading material, why risk a hand-sanitzer moment when it's so easy to stash a book in your bag for your reading pleasure? And of course the library's digital downloads make it so easy to grab a magazine or mystery novel on your ereader or mobile device -- you may find yourself looking forward to the next dental appointment.
Reading can be a great way to explore our fair city. Grab some reading material from the library and try different venues for reading. Try one of the city's 153 public parks like Top O' Town Park. The Myriad Gardens. The Boathouse District. Or how about one of the benches on Skydance Bridge suspended over I-40? You'll be surprised how differently you experience these places while reading. Update us on your favorite spots via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!
Read in the same environment or setting as the story. Reading Stephen King in a graveyard makes it all the more scary. Transport your self back to the world of Oklahoma City favorite son Ralph Ellison by reading Invisible Man in Deep Deuce. Or make the clock stop by reading Walden at Martin Nature Park.
Take a few hours of vacation time so you can finish that thriller you started last night.
It's OK...sometimes we all need a little help deciding what to read next. Your friendly neighborhood librarian is always happy to help with suggestions but you might also find a theme helps. Read all the Pulitzer winners in fiction. Read all the James Bond books. Read books set in all 50 states. Bios of all the presidents. Novels with birds on the covers. The possibilities are endless.
Find yourself madly rushing around in the mornings? Set your alarm back 20 minutes and use the time to read the latest news or a piece of inspirational writing. Everything seems to fall into place when you start the day centered and focused from reading -- and if it doesn't then you'll be calm, cool and collected for whatever comes your way!
Set your goals now! Log your reading time, earn prizes, and help us build a smarter community and a better world.
I was born in the Boston area, but have lived in Oklahoma for almost 20 years. I attended Oklahoma State University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and then studied at the University of Oklahoma to get my Masters in Library and Information Studies. My husband and I adopted a retired racing greyhound who is actually super lazy. I paint pet portraits, read comic books, love hiking, and watch a lot of sci-fi television.