As Book Week Scotland comes to an end, teachers from the all-boys independent boarding school, Merchiston, share their favourite books of all time and why.
William Ogilvie-Jones, Assistant Head of Pupil Support
Supports mental wellbeing
Books often provide a sense of escapism. A gripping plot line transports the reader from their reading chair into a world of adventure. This temporary break from reality allows us to take a step back from daily stressors and focus on the matter at hand – reading. Doing so lowers our heart rate and eases muscle tension. In fact, a study carried out by the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%.
Moreover, reading holds powerful messages that academia cannot always convey. Books hold an insight into the human condition, conveying important, lifelong lessons that cannot be taught in a classroom.
Danny Rowlands, Deputy Head of Wellbeing
A fountain of knowledge
Reading affords us a greater understanding of the world. There is so much to learn from books, be it a fresh perspective on an age-old topic, a heightened awareness for a historical issue or a greater appreciation for a particular subject matter.
With so many genres and themes to choose from, reading shapes our thinking, opinions, and beliefs. And, as Danny points out, we are never too old to pick up a book and learn something new.
Kate Anderson, Head of English
The pleasure of reading!
For many avid readers, books act as a source of comfort and joy. It is within the pages of a much-loved novel that we find inspiring characters to identify with, reading about protagonists who share our own experiences. This is why, like Kate Anderson, we eagerly return to a favourite novel time and time again, without losing that first sense of excitement or intrigue.
Inspiring creative thinking
What’s more, reading widely fosters creativity and imagination, enhancing our ability to think outside of the box. Books force us to visualise new settings, providing mental stimulation and harnessing our creative thinking abilities.
It may be the end of Book Week Scotland but there remains so much enjoyment, intrigue, and excitement to be found in reading.