While social-distancing guidelines are crucial in reducing further spread of COVID-19, these measures can also have significant adverse impacts on our health. For many, having fewer physical social interactions may result in more loneliness. Severe loneliness can be harmful for both our mental and physical wellbeing and therefore it is necessary for us to manage it.
A 2018 report from Demos and The Reading Agency charity found that reading can considerably reduce feelings of loneliness and reading can help alleviate social isolation. Reading books can reduce the feelings of loneliness.
But how exactly does reading combat loneliness?
The Relationship Between Reading And Loneliness?
Loneliness is a complex emotion characterised by feelings of emptiness, causing people to feel alone and unwanted. Loneliness is not necessarily about being by yourself, but rather, feeling isolated, irrespective of whether people are physically around you or not. However, a major contributing factor to loneliness is physical isolation, which many are currently experiencing.
According to Gabriel and Young, reading mimics the effects of socialising with a group and provides a collective identity. Fiction, especially, requires the reader to develop an imaginative connection with characters within the story. This allows the reader to relate to and empathise with these fictitious characters, potentially leading to more compassionate relationships in their actual lives. This is supported by a 2012 study conducted by Tilburg University in the Netherlands, which also showed that reading is a primary predictor in distinguishing the number of close relationships and individual will have.
Also, when you immerse yourself in an engaging book, you can be swept away into a world that is unattached to your own, causing you to temporarily forget about their problems which is a remedy for loneliness.
For some, reading groups and book clubs can offer much needed interaction during this period of isolation. However lately, government lockdown restrictions have inhibited our ability to be social to an extreme extent. Online book clubs and reading groups provide a platform for fellow readers to safely share their point of view, or understanding of a book, thereby fostering an environment to build new friendships.
Carry A Book To Reduce The Feeling Of Loneliness
Reading is often considered a solitary activity, as many people find it relaxing and often therapeutic to read by themselves. However, reading becomes a lot more valuable when shared with others. Sharing the experience of books with others can help develop a sense of purpose and promote social connections.
Carryabook.com is a new way to connect you with a group of like-minded people. The focus of Carryabook.com is not necessarily to create romantic connections, but instead a friendship built upon similar interests. It promotes an inclusive community and welcomes people from all walks of life. The app provides an ideal platform for all typical book club discussions to take place remotely. For those trapped indoors during this lockdown period, this app provides a solution to discuss and interpret some of your favourite reads and authors.
If you’re feeling a lonely can’t find the comfort in a book, we encourage you to visit Carryabook.com and download the in App Store where you can connect with new people and chat about your favourite book with new book loving companions.