I come from a long line of readers—I remember my parents reading in their bedroom…and my sister and I reading in our bedrooms…each night before lights out. I still read for an hour every night—no matter how late the hour.

You might think that all I read is nonfiction—I do receive lots of books to consider for story ideas in ­Bottom Line Personal. But here is my guilty little secret—I read a lot of fiction, too. In fact, I have an entire section on my to-do list devoted to all the novels that I want to read—far more than I could ever get to in my lifetime. Right now, I am deep into The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, and I recently finished Murder This Close, Timothy Cole’s second novel. (Does that name sound familiar? Check our masthead—he is our chief content officer!) Vastly different but both intriguing reads.

As it turns out, I am doing my brain a lot of good. Reading a book—fiction or nonfiction—uses areas of the brain that process vision, speech and memory…and reading may reduce my risk for cognitive decline. According to neuroscientist Kristen Willeumier, PhD, just 15 minutes a day of deep reading makes my gray matter healthier.

I guess it isn’t surprising that one of my missions in life is to encourage reading. When a friend’s daughter expressed an interest in Harry Potter but couldn’t get to the library to check out the books, I gifted her the series. And just today, I signed up my two great-nieces—ages three and five—for children’s book subscriptions. I have given hundreds of books to the children in my life over the years…and I plan to give hundreds more.

I hope you will join me in this mission. And  I’d love to hear what you are reading these days. E-mail me at Kelli@Belvoir.com!

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