March is National Reading Month

March 21, 2022                                         

March is MS Awareness Month, but it is also National Reading Month. It was designated in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday to motivate everyone to read every day.

I learned this from reading Harvey MacKay’s weekly motivational column. He states that reading is key to education while fostering confidence and inspiration. Reading also has immediate and long-term health benefits, such as increased memory/cognitive function, empathy, and decreased levels of stress.

When you open a book, there’s always something to learn. I always think that if I learn just one thing that I can use the rest of my life, it is worth the cost. I have been an avid reader all my life, and wonder if that is the main reason that I don’t suffer from cognitive issues that affect over 50% of people living with MS.

Social media and online platforms are popular, easy go-to places to read about MS. But the mounds of information can be overwhelming, especially for people in the undiagnosed or newly-diagnosed stages. There’s something comforting about a good book sitting on a bookshelf for reference, especially if it is both educational and inspirational.

I have observed that conventional books about MS are not actively sought. Why not? One misconception is that because the world of MS is constantly changing, books about it would be obsolete the day they become published. However, anyone who would pick up an MS book would find that much content is extremely useful and not outdated.

Another misconception is that MS books that aren’t written by MD’s are not credible. But, there are great books written by people who have lived with MS for years who are valuable mentors for both medical and non-medical subjects.

I often look at it this way: I can choose between spending $20 for a lunch that’s over in an hour or so, or I can spend it on a book that lasts much longer. Either way, there is a wellness benefit.

Awareness of MS and reading books about MS are not mutually exclusive. Why not check one out today?

Debbie Petrina
Author of Managing MS
Community Advocate for