Charles Dickens’ novels were hugely popular even among the illiterate poor. They would pool their money to hire a reader, and then gather together to listen to the stories.
In the late 1700s and 1800s, there was widespread panic about the evils of book-reading, which was described as “an outrage on decency and common sense”. People were concerned that avid novel-readers were ‘addicted’ and were becoming anti-social.
Brazil will offer inmates in its crowded prison system a novel way to shorten their sentences – cutting four days for every book they read.
Reading fiction can help boost your empathy by practicing your ability to see the world through other people’s eyes, whether it be the author’s or a character’s.
People who read books for at least 30 minutes a day live longer than those who don’t read at all.
People who read books live an average of almost 2 years longer than those who do not read at all, a Yale research found.
Reading silently didn’t happen until the dark ages, when monks took a vow of silence. Before that, reading was done aloud, which is why the Romans had no punctuation and instead, chanted words to rhythms. Reading silently uses an entirely different part of the brain.
In the 18th century many prominent voices were concerned by an ‘epidemic’ affecting young people whereby they were spending too much time reading books. It was diagnosed as ‘a dangerous disease’ called ‘reading rage, reading fever, reading mania or reading lust.’
In 2002 (14 year old school drop out) William Kamkwamba built a solar powered water pump that, for the 1st time ever, supplied drinkable water to his village. Unable to afford school tuition, he taught himself to do this by reading library books.
In Iceland books are exchanged on Christmas Eve and you spend the rest of the night reading. Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country; & new books are typically published only during the Christmas season. This frenzy is called Jólabókaflóð, or “Christmas Book Flood.”