Over recent weeks a significant story based on Gallup Poll made the rounds: Americans visited their local library more than they went to the movies, local sporting events, museums, concerts, amusement parks or casinos. The story made it across dozens of small websites and eventually made its way on to CNN.

We’ve been concerned about the state of the library and reading in America. It consistently feels like books lose out to video games, movies, an increasing amount of television programming, and other flashy alternatives. But maybe this recent development is good news.

February is National Library Lover’s Month, a time when we can all show our local library a little added appreciation. For some seniors, it may be a time to frequent the library a little more and emphasize reading. It could also be a way to volunteer more.

The Benefits of Reading for Seniors

For seniors, reading can have terrific cognitive benefits:

  • Delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s or Dementia – Challenging yourself and reading new material can create new connections in the brain. This can make it take longer for the disease to create new symptoms.
  • Improves Memory – Reading can help you with short term recall of every day events.
  • A Reduction in Stress – Reading can lower your heart rate and relax your muscle tension in just a few minutes.
  • Improves Sleep – For those who have difficulty falling asleep, reading can help.

Consider the Library for Volunteering  

The library is the cultural center for many communities. Sure, it’s a place with access to books and literature, but it may also host many community events, art displays, and more. It has a significant impact on all age demographics and it’s a wonderful place to learn. For seniors, this may make it a wonderful location to volunteer.

Your local library may be in need of someone to help stock shelves or promote the next big event. National Library Lover’s Month is the perfect time to get involved!