Putting ourselves in others’ stories through reading: 17 News at Sunrise kicks off a book club

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — KGET is kicking off a 17 News at Sunrise book club. In the wake of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, book sales have gone up across the country. But if you’ve never been a book lover, or struggle to find the time, you may wonder, what’s the point, when you can get so much information in short form on social media, blogs and websites?

Science shows there are a lot of benefits to picking up a book. Researchers say reading actually changes the structure of your brain. It can have an array of benefits from helping you build a better vocabulary and feel less isolated. There are even physical health benefits like lowering blood pressure and psychological distress. Plus, putting yourself into someone else’s story helps increase empathy. And if our current climate is teaching us anything, it’s that we could all use to do that a little more.

In our Sunrise book club we’ll explore different genres and wrap up each book with a zoom meeting to talk about it. Throughout the month stay connected on our Facebook group called Sunrise Readers with Maddie Janssen. Our first book will be Between The World And Me by Ta-nehisi Coates. The New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist novel is the author’s attempt to address the invention of the idea of race, and how it has led to things like slavery, segregation and even today’s crisis. Coates tries to answer these questions in a letter to his son, as well as look at how we can all reckon with and overcome our history.

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