Reading: A Habit Worth Fostering
When it comes to reading, there are two distinct types of people: those who love to read and those who cannot remember when they last read an entire article, never mind a complete book. With all the options available today for absorbing the written word, it is a shame that anyone misses out the advantages of reading.
There are many benefits to curling up with a good book. Brain stimulation in the form of reading decreases stress and increases memory. Reading is one of the best ways to sharpen the brain. Reading has also been proven to help slow and possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. Many individuals find that reading helps with focus and concentration, something many people struggle with in today’s world of multi-tasking. Reading also exposes one to new information and ideas and helps with understanding things from a different perspective.
There are many professional benefits to reading, and it can be one of the single best ways to help advance your career. Reading sparks creativity with new ways of thinking and doing things. People who read consistently have larger vocabularies, improved writing skills, and tend to be promoted more quickly than their non-reading counterparts. Reading is the most affordable education one can obtain. Books can change your fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Reading a story about a person who has faced a lot of obstacles but still succeeded can motivate one to take steps towards their own goals and dreams. A library card can open a whole new world of possibilities to knowledge. There are also many free business books available on Kindle, iBooks, Google Books, and Nook through the Gutenberg Project.
A reading habit does not have to be strictly related to business or literature. Lighter reading, such as graphic novels and bestsellers, like, The Martian by Andy Weir or even a Young Adult series like The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins are great escapes. Additionally, audio books, magazines, and newspapers are also great at stimulating the mind and provide the same benefits. Setting a goal of reading just 15-30 minutes per day can establish a great reading habit. I’ve found that if I commit to reading “just 2 pages” of a book before I go to bed, I will often read more than that; but at minimum, I will continue constant progress while unwinding after a long day.
There is such a wide variety of great business books for those who favor that genre or who want to inject a bit of professional growth into their reading queue. A few good picks to get you started include, Team Genius by Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone; The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg; The Success Principles by Jack Canfield; or The One Thing by Gary Keller and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. No matter your business interest, there are a wide variety of books that are both entertaining and enlightening.
Regardless of the genre or variant (i.e. hardcover, paperback, e-book, audio book), developing a reading habit will benefit your mind, body, and career.
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
— Oscar Wilde
Article by Thomas K. Zeleny