You spend all day reading. You read emails. You read texts. You read presentation agendas. Your work day keeps your eyeballs busy. However, none of this reading is necessarily going to change your life. In fact, dedicating too much time to reading about work is probably going to drive you crazy.
However, new research shows that you should make time for some more reading. UK-based Quick Reads, a non-profit literary organization, surveyed more than 4,000 adults on their pleasure reading habits, and the findings show that reading for personal enjoyment can play a critical role in making you more productive, more creative and more prepared to take on the world.
Here’s a look at some of the effects of reading for just 30 minutes each week.
1) You’ll be happier.
Respondents who read for a minimum of 30 minutes per week are 28 percent less likely to suffer from depression and 18 percent more likely to report high self-esteem.
2) You’ll dream bigger.
Putting your nose in a book for fun can get the wheels of your brain turning a bit faster — and in more exciting directions. The research shows that regular readers are 11 percent more likely to feel creative.
3) You’ll have a better understanding of the world.
As the meetings industry continues to go global, reading can keep you ahead of the international curve. Regular readers are 57 percent more likely to have a greater awareness of other cultures.
4) You’ll be a better networker.
What you’re reading is a great discussion point. Regular readers are 27 percent more likely to find it easy to start conversations with strangers.
Not surprisingly, there is plenty of room for improvement among readers on the US side of the pond. According to a recent Huffington Post poll of 1,000 adults, 28 percent had not read a book in the past year. To be fair, this audience could just be reading magazines, but it’s clear that everyone has room to carve out additional time for reading. A recent report from Nielsen shows that the average American watches more than five hours of TV every day.
Looking for some suggestions to add to your personal library? Click here to check out our top summer reading recommendations for meeting professionals.