Tuesday, September 15, 2020

5 Reasons to Read Fantasy

Art by Catherine Chauloux

In times of isolation and hunkering down at home, reading is on the increase. Some genres are actually skyrocketing as people find diverse ways to entertain themselves and their family while staying put. 

Catherine Chauloux

Although the circumstances are unfortunate, the results are beneficial. Reading has its perks beyond the obvious one of entertainment.

Benefit #1  - Mental Stimulation 

Researchers using MRI scans to measure the effect of reading a novel on the brain made some exciting discoveries. As subjects read, more and more areas of the brain lit up with activity. The scans showed that brain connectivity is increased by reading, especially in the part of the brain that responds to physical sensations like movement and pain.

Benefit #2 - Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

Reading immersive fiction is shown to have a relaxing effect on the body, lowering blood pressure and protecting to cardiovascular system. Even when the story dives and plunges, rushing us to the edge of our seat, the beneficial effects are there.

Benefit #3 - Bye Bye Stress

Research at the University of Sussex shows that reading is a great way to re-energize. Their work provides evidence of how effective just six minutes of reading can be to reduce stress levels by more than two thirds. (And you know you're going to read for more than six minutes!) "Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation,” said David Lewis, MD, who lead the study.

Benefit #4 - Love and Connection

According to social and media psychologists, the companionship experienced with fictional characters can be very real. The phenomenon is called parasocial interactions, one-sided relationships with celebrities or fictional characters. Don't laugh! The research is showing that these relationships, even though one-sided, can offer the mental and emotional benefits of camaraderie, community and sense of belonging, essential states for our health and well being

Peintre Contemporal - Catherine Chauloux

Benefit #5  - Boosts Self-Confidence

While the heroes in our stories strive to do better, accomplish goals, fight off villains, harsh environments, injury and disease, we are doing so too, right along side them. Reading about their triumphs over adversity, how they win love and saving the day makes us feel like we can, too, and that helps us feel a little better about ourselves.

Characters also show us that our “flaws” can be made into gifts, if we perceive them in a new way.
If that's not enough to convenience you, here are three books you may not have read yet that could spark your interest. (I have a reviewer friend who scouts the best page turners and sends them to me! You can follow her on Twitter here.)

Let me know what you are reading right now. Love to hear from you,

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
This is My America by Kim Johnson     Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson

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Author Kim Falcconer

Kim Falconer's New YA Fantasy Series is out January 5, 2020 - Crown of Bones. (Writing asr A.K. Wilder) 

Also, check her urban fantasy  - The Blood in the Beginning - an Ava Sykes Novel and the SFF Quantum Enchantment Series

You can find Kim on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Or pop over and throw the bones on the AKWilder.com site.

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