December is Read a New Book Month

Not only does December bring happy thoughts of snow days, winter comfort, and holiday cheer, it’s also Read a New Book Month. The idea of comfort through the cold winter season includes cozying up with a blanket by a fireplace, drinking hot chocolate or coffee, and spending time with those you love. Many people like to relax by the fireplace with a book, making December the perfect month to read a new book.

Reading is recommended for all ages in many aspects of life. It engages the brain, and those who consistently read usually have many mental benefits that those who don’t read may not have. Reading strengthens the brain and improves vocabulary. From a mental health perspective, reading reduces stress and relaxes the mind, as well as helping to pass the time in a productive way. According to Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, reading has also been seen as a preventer for age-related cognitive decline that causes diseases like Alzheimer’s. Reading can also alleviate depression symptoms. Readers also often have more ability to empathize as they read from the perspectives of different characters and can understand many real struggles of others better. 

“For me, it’s a huge stress reliever and a way for me to calm down,” said English teacher Connie Colvin, “I usually read a little bit before every class period.”

Those who don’t read consistently can use the opportunity of December being Read a New Book Month as a way to start diving into more books. Many PHS students and teachers already have plans to start reading a new book in December. 

Colvin has plans to reread “Follow the River” by James Alexander Thom during December, a book she reads during the winter months. Sophomore Viktor Reins will be reading “The Gathering Storm” by Robert Jorden and Brandon Sanderson, the 12th book of the “Wheel of Time” series. 

“I started reading the ‘Wheel of Time’ because it sounded good and seemed like a challenge,” says Reins. “I then grew to love the series and kept reading.”

Zoey Stephens, who is a sophomore, is reading “The Butcher and the Wren” by Alaina Urquhart and “Brazen” by Penelope Bagieu. Sophomore Megan Midcap plans to read “The Summer I Turned Pretty” series by Jenny Han. 

“I want to read the series because I’ve read some of Jenny Hans’ books already and I really like them,” said Midcap. “It is also a romance series and I love romance so unbelievably much.” 

Junior Ex Noland will read “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Kristen Brandjes, a senior, is rereading “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. Senior Amelia Eaves plans to read “Home” by Whitney Hanson. 

For more great book suggestions to begin reading, click here or here.