Thursday, February 14, 2008

To Read or Not to Read

I'm relatively new to the world of blogging, and after participating in Non-Runner Nancy's 9 of the 9th Sweetheart Shuffle event I started checking out the profiles of the other "jogging bloggers". What makes us tick? Are there certain interests (other than running, deh) that we have in common? So I wasted about an hour clicking on "view profile" of the Sweetheart runners.

What I discovered is Jogging Bloggers seem to be active, nature-loving people. God seems to play a major role in their lives too. And I was VERY pleased to see a majority of runners list "reading" or "books" as one of their interests.

The National Endowment for the Arts released a study (To Read or Not To Read), and they discovered that literary readers (defined as individuals who read fiction, poetry and drama)are almost twice as likely as non-readers to exercise! Readers are also more likely to volunteer or do charity work. In other words, good readers (and runners!) make good citizens.

"Regular reading not only boosts the likelihood of an individual's academic and economic success- facts that are not especially suprising - but is also seems to awaken a person's social and civic sense. Reading correlates with almost every measurement of positive personal and social behavior surveyed. It is reassuring, though hardly amazing, that readers attend more concerts and theater than non-readers, but it is suprising that they exercise more and play more sports - no matter what their educational level. The cold statistics confirm something that most readers know but have mostly been reluctant to declare as fact - books change lives for the better."

(I often wonder does running make us smart(see Does Exercise make us smarter and sharper article)? Or do smart people choose to run?)

Unfortunately, the conclusion of the study is a bit bleak - Americans are reading less and less well. And they are calling for ACTION: "

"We issue this report not to dictate any specific remedial policies, but to initiate a serious discussion. It is no longer reasonable to debate whether the problem exists. It is now time to become more committed to solving it or face the consequences. The nation needs to focus more attention and resources on an activity both fundamental and irreplaceable for democracy."
(
cue Star Stangled Banner song here!)

So be a good American today - run a mile and read a poem!

3 comments:

Brianna K. Grant said...

Wow. What a powerful discovery!

sarah said...

It's also interesting to consider that both reading and endurance training involves patience and not immediate gratification (readers must take the time to let the story develop as opposed to watching a tv show that wraps it up within an hour or so). Reading also helps children develop the ability to step out of themselves and consider the other point of view, thus developing compassion. I've been storing up on articles about this stuff.

Jack said...

Sarah,

Congratulation on your virtual victory. (I'm still trying to figure out exactly in what contest you bettered some others?)

BTW, remember your wonderful post on "delayed gratification" next time you get the urge to "peek" :-)

Keep on keepin' on Champ!

Jack