In 2007, NPR's "All Things Considered" reported on a study done to check in on American reading habits. The results were significant, if not expected: "Fewer and fewer Americans are reading for pleasure."
The reasons for the recent decline in reading for pleasure are various and many: we're busier now than ever, according to ABC News; we're tired and stressed and sometimes reading can seem like more work than watching television; we don't know what to read and finding something that captivates us can be difficult; we have so much technological stimulation that setting aside time to unplug and read seems impossible; it goes on.
Sometimes, we just have to remind ourselves what's so great about reading and why we really should be finding the time to do it. It may just relieve some stress from your life and possibly even bring back a spark of romance!
Read to Escape
Reading riveting books, especially ones that really pull you into a different world such as paranormal romance books, can bring you out of the everyday monotony of life and ignite your imagination. After a long day at work, who doesn't want to escape into a different world? Some ideas for books in this realm are J.R. Ward's vampire paranormal romances and Kresley Cole's books.
Read to Rediscover Yourself
Reading erotica can help put you in touch with your own sexuality. As you read steamy scenes, you have to imagine what's going on and you might just remember something that turns you on, that you might want to try with your partner, or that you never even knew you wanted! According to Adam & Eve, you can get ideas for the bedroom from erotic literature you read, and then perhaps try a literature-inspired kit and "explore your senses and enter the untamed world of bondage play."
Your romance books may give you ideas about other sex toys, costumes, or props that turned you on in the book and that you want to try. There are lots of romance novels out now that feature BDSM, which may give you some exciting ideas. If you're a history buff, there are also plenty of romance novels set in the Victorian era that will stimulate your mind and body alike. Try Maya Banks' "Sweet Addiction" for a new BDSM book and perhaps "Solace" by Scarlet Blackwell for an erotic Victorian novel.
Read to Stay Sharp
The Huffington Post published an editorial that points out reasons "why smart women read romance novels." Reading had also been shown to increase empathy, reading comprehension, reading speed, and other skills that will serve you in all aspects of your life.
Read to Relax
Finally, reading should be relaxing. It's quieter, easier on the senses, and more centered on your own imagination than television. So fill up the bathtub with warm water and bubbles. Maybe pour a glass of wine to unwind, grab a romance novel, and just relax. You'll be glad you did.