As part of Rotherham Loves Reading, a campaign is being launched to encourage residents across the borough to boost their mental health and wellbeing by taking 10 minutes per day to read something of their choice.
Whether you are young or old, an avid reader, new to reading or trying to get back into the habit, everyone can feel the benefits of reading if they regularly take the time for themselves.
Reading books, magazines, blogs, or listening to audiobooks and podcasts can help you to relax and unwind, escape from the pressures of life, and improve your memory, concentration and focus.
Rotherham Council’s Public Health team are working alongside Rotherham Libraries and Rotherham Loves Reading to promote better reading habits for residents and promote what services are available for free across the borough.
With 15 local libraries across the borough and online library resources available from desktop computers, laptops and mobile phones, there are plenty of ways for residents to find a book to sink their teeth into.
A survey by Quick Reads found there are around 16 million lapsed readers in the UK – those who had not read since leaving school or stopped due to illness or a major life event, such as having a child. 42% of these lapsed readers said they had stopped reading due to the lack of time.
With this in mind, the campaign will promote ‘top tips’ to help residents get back into reading, such as reading to their children or older relatives.
Part of the campaign will also focus on providing residents with ideas on how to find time or make time to read. These include taking a book to work to read on their commute or on breaks, reading while taking a bath, or replacing time spent watching TV with reading instead.
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Cllr David Roche, said: “Reading is a simple yet effective way for people to unwind after a long day, but it’s not always easy to find time for yourselves. Taking just 10 minutes throughout the day to read can be really effective in helping you to manage your mental health. Studies have shown that those who read regularly feel happier and part of their community more than those who do not read, so take some time for yourself and feel the benefits of reading.”
“The great thing about Take 10 is that it’s about taking time for something you enjoy. If you want to read a page a day or a chapter a day, that’s no problem. Do what’s best for you and feel the benefits with your mental health.”
There will be no age limit to who can get involved in Taking 10 to read, from those who have retired to those who are still working, grandparents to parents to children – everyone can start a positive reading habit.
A report by the National Literacy Trust in 2021 found that children’s enjoyment of reading has increased during the Covid-19 Lockdown, from a 15 year low of 47.8% to 55.9%. In Rotherham a staggering 1,312 children took part in the Rotherham Libraries’ Summer Reading challenge.
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Cllr David Sheppard, said: “We have seen so many children and residents get involved with reading throughout the past few years. With so many books, magazines, blogs, audio books, and podcasts out there, it is really easy to feel overwhelmed when you first try to get into reading – even if you are a regular reader, but try not to be disheartened. Our wonderful library staff are always happy to recommend titles to you that suit your tastes, or why not ask your friends and family – you will be surprised how many people are waiting to share their favourites!”
Further information about getting involved in Take 10 or the services available at Rotherham Libraries can be found on the Council’s website here.