Are Paperbacks the Secret to Staying Mentally Sharp?

Digital tablet and books as progress concept

(DGIwire) While the publishing industry itself is undergoing a severe transformation—some critics might call it a meltdown–people’s desire to read has not been quelled. However, the prevalence of smartphones, TV and Internet distracts us and makes it increasingly challenging to carve out time for the simple, stress-reducing and pleasurable results of sitting down to read. Now determined groups of stalwart readers in Brooklyn, Seattle, Boston, and Minneapolis are striving to change this. An organization that calls itself the “Silent Reading Party” has formed to reserve space in a café,  hotel lobby or other rooms around different cities.  Their stated purpose is to provide an environment devoid of electronic distraction for just plain unbridled reading.

Although it may be difficult for some people to take time out to read, whether for education or inspiration, consider the results of this study on the mental acuity of 300 elderly people, published in the scientific journal Neurology. The study showed that regularly engaging in mentally challenging activities such as reading significantly slowed the rate of memory loss.   Another study published last year in Science magazine showed that reading literary fiction can help build empathy:  you get to better understand others’ mental states and beliefs – a crucial skill in relationships. No question, whether you prefer an e-reader, tablet, or traditional printed book, people who spend 30 to 45 minutes a day reading fiction have sharper minds and lower stress levels!

Let’s say you’ve set aside the time to read, and selected the perfect outdoor bench or comfy chair at home. Now all you need is the right book. Walking into a bookstore or browsing e-book libraries online can be overwhelming. According to an article in Forbes Magazine, anywhere between 600,000 and 1 million books are published annually in the United States!  Fortunately, the hard work of sifting through the stacks has been done for you. There’s a new book in stores and online that’s sure to relax, invigorate, astound, and even teach you a few things.

 Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons is the heart-pounding story of a hospital-based killer intent on playing a deadly game. The protagonist,  Dr. Steve Mitchell, is in line for a coveted position at Boston’s University Hospital when his world goes awry. His over-reaching ambition causes him to botch a major surgery, and then another of his patients mysteriously dies. Steve’s nightmare gets worse when he learns that the mysterious death was no accident but the act of a sociopath for whom killing is a game.

Though this is his debut novel, Parsons is already being hailed in league with Robin Cook, Michael Crichton and John Grisham, and was lauded by none other than the master of the thriller genre himself, Stephen King.   What makes this book unique is the authenticity of its medical scenes. Previous to writing this book, Parsons was (and still is) a respected surgeon and faculty member at the University of California San Diego Medical School.

With bold characters, fresh language, and plot twists to keep you on the edge of your seat, Doing Harm might just be the perfect book with which to begin your new daily reading ritual!

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