Even though we’re all super busy, and the world is moving at a faster pace than ever before, we should take time out of our days to read good books on a regular basis.
If that means dedicating just 20 minutes out of your day a few times a week, or blocking out just one solid hour of reading per week, getting into the habit of reading can be an extremely beneficial activity to engage in.
Reading is (scientifically) good for you
Maybe you’re not convinced about why you should read more books. Well, there’s no need to take my word for it. The research on the benefits of reading show the powerful impact it can have on our lives.
According to a 2009 study conducted at the University of Sussex, reading regularly for just six minutes can be enough to reduce stress levels by 68%.
And as reported in a journal article published by the American Academy of Neurology, a habit of reading helps slow the decline of brain function as we age:
More frequent cognitive activity across the life span has an association with slower late-life cognitive decline that is independent of common neuropathologic conditions, consistent with the cognitive reserve hypothesis.
In other words, reading is good for you, and the science backs it up. So open a book already!
But what should I read?
Now that you’re completely and utterly convinced that reading is just full of awesomeness, you probably want to figure out what to read.
Well, that obviously depends on your specific interests and your reading objectives. Do you want to get better at your job, start a new career, improve your personal life, develop a deeper understanding of the world around you or what?
So, I can’t answer that question for you, but what I can do is give you some insight into what I’ve been reading lately.
Here’s a list of some of the books I’ve read recently as well as a few books that are currently on my reading list for the near future:
Disclosure: Please note that the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase.
- The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
- Become a Technical Marketer: A Guide to Working Faster, Accelerating Growth, Automating Marketing Tasks, and More
- Hope Delivered: Affecting Destiny Through the Power of God’s Word
- Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success
- The Martian: A Novel
- Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising
- The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You
- Growing Up Fast: How New Agile Practices Can Move Marketing And Innovation Past The Old Business Stalemates
- To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
- The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Note Taking
As you can see, I primarily ready business books (mostly to sharpen my marketing knowledge for my work), but every now and then I try to throw in a fiction novel for fun.
Paper books or digital books?
I am a huge fan of digital books. My primary reading platform is the Kindle app on my iPad or iPhone.
Occasionally I’ll buy a hardcopy of a book, but only if it is either unavailable as a Kindle download or it has really great images, charts, and graphics that just wouldn’t translate over well to a digital edition.
However you read is up to you. Just know that you have plenty of options at your fingertips.
In addition to Kindle, iBooks, and Nook (is that still a thing?) apps on your phone or tablet, you can also buy a dedicated e-reader if you want something closer to the look and feel of a real book. The Kindle Voyage looks pretty cool if you ask me.
Dr. Seuss can’t be wrong
So, stop spending half your day reading Facebook posts or BuzzFeed articles and start spending just a fraction of that time reading actual books.
Routine reading will help you in so many different aspects of your life.
You’ll be more articulate at social events, you’ll find that your memory has improved, you’ll have a greater appreciation for simple things in the world, and you’ll even see an improvement in your writing skills.
What’s not to love about all that, for just a few minutes out of your day?
Lastly, as one of my favorite childhood authors, Dr. Seuss wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.”
I don’t know about you, but Dr. Seuss seems to have a pretty good point there.
If this article has inspired you to pick up a book and start a habit of reading, I’d love to hear your story. Tell me what you’re reading too!