Reading for entertainment has been a bright spot for many during self-isolation and COVID-19 shutdowns. But in 2019, 24 percent of adults said they had not read a book in the past year, according to an article on CNBC.
A recent study by Science Magazine showed that reading improves both mental and physical health. A popular way to find books and interact with people — even online — is through book clubs, and Reese Witherspoon’s club has become a popular pick.
Niesha Radovanic, a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast University, said she has been reading books more during quarantine than ever before.
“Reading has been a form of therapy for me,” Radovonic said. “With the uncertainties we are in right now, it is nice to have a little distraction to take our mind off things.”
Lately, Radovonic said she has been loving Reese Witherspoon’s book club picks.
Witherspoon created “Reese’s Book Club” with her company Hello Sunshine and the club has grown to have more than 1.6 million followers on Instagram.
“Every month, Reese picks one book she loves with a woman at the center of the story and shares it with her book club,” according to Hello Sunshine.
Colleges have responded to reports of higher stress levels among students having to move to online classes due to the pandemic. A 2009 study of stress levels of students in demanding health science programs found that 30 minutes of reading a day lowered blood pressure, heart rate and feelings of psychological distress, as reported on Healthline.com.
Other reading benefits cited were improved brain connectivity and increased vocabulary and comprehension, according to Healthline.
For those looking for a place to dive into reading, book recommendations from every genre are available at hello-sunshine.com/book-club and bookshop.org, an online stort that supports locally owned bookstores.