You know how it is - you read an article, or a short piece in a magazine, or a note somewhere on the Internet and then the same topic seems to be coming up everywhere. In this case, it's how good for you reading is. What a lot of us have known for quite a while is apparently official now. Escaping into a book helps lift your mood and combat depression. I have to say I've been taking refuge there recently - not my usual crime and romantic suspense, but more pure romance, historicals or romantic comedy. Thanks to Georgia Hill, Veronica Henry, Jules Wake, Chris Stovell, Tessa Dare, Janet Gover (I know there are more, but those are the ones I can remember) for assisting my escape at a difficult time. I've been to Italy, Herefordshire, Australia ... The chance to slide into another world, when this one is getting too much, via the pages of a book, is one of the easiest ways of loosing yourself for a while. I hate to be without a book in progress. Writing them has a similar effect - somewhere to go that is not HERE - but takes a lot more work and I'm not ready for that yet.
Is the reading gene inherited? Is it nature or nurture? If there are books in the house and you see your family reading, does that have an influence, or does it run deeper than that? I know my grandmother was a great reader. And my mum. Her ability to read and the joy she got from it never left her. The pile of books on her trolley table in the hospital was witness to that, and frequently remarked on by the nursing staff. The last complete book she read was Anna Jacob's Peppercorn Street. She was eagerly looking forward to the rest of the series. She knew, from living with a writer, that she could read 'em faster than we could write 'em, but it didn't stop her wanting to know when I thought the next one might be ready.
She never got to finish Ann Baker's Wartime Girls.