The Benefits of Reading

Photo Courtesy Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce

Photo Courtesy Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce

Provided by the Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce Monthly Newsletter

How much do you read? What are you reading? Research has shown that fewer adults are reading books; in fact, around one quarter of adults in the U.S. and 16 per cent of Canadians didn't read a book at all last year. But book sales are increasing, which presumably means that those who do read books are reading more of them.

Why Are We Reading Less?

The obvious answers are time and technology. Reading takes dedicated time. Reading requires a set-apart time that is difficult to find in the fast pace of life. We can now listen to books while we drive, and while there's value in that, nothing can truly replace the act of sitting down with a book in your hand. Cognitively, your brain processes information differently when you're just listening, as opposed to reading.

Why Should We Care?

Have you ever thought about how taking time to read might actually increase your skills as a business person? Give you something interesting to talk about? Increase your cognitive abilities? Provide a time to relax and enjoy a simple pleasure? Here are some suggestions for ways to add reading to your daily experience. You may be surprised at the results!

Read newspapers and trade publications to stay current in your industry. You probably get newsletters and do research on the Internet as part of your business, but you do this at your desk in your work environment. Grab a hard copy of the newspaper and sit in a coffee shop or take a trade journal to the staff room to read on your coffee break. It makes a difference how and what your read.

Read business books or motivational books for inspiration. What inspires you? Stories about the successes of others? Wisdom and advice from influential businesspeople? Challenging prose from those who have experienced victory against incredible odds? Nothing feels quite as good as putting down a great book and feeling inspired to do better, to achieve more, or to be thankful for what you have.

Read novels for the sheer joy of escaping and using your imagination. What's better than putting your feet up and getting lost in another world? Reading for pleasure gives your mind a break from the demands you put on it all day long. It's like deep breathing for your brain. It can actually increase your productivity.

Read something challenging to keep your mind sharp - a scientific journal, an article about something you don't understand, a historical piece. Reading things that are difficult challenges your mind to go places it wouldn't normally go, increasing your cognitive abilities, and keeping your mental faculties sharp.

Read great classic works to enjoy the pure beauty of art and language. Dickens, Hemmingway, Chaucer, Tolstoy, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis. Brilliant authors whose use of language is pure art, and whose depth is unparalleled.

So, what are you reading? Make increased reading a part of your plans for 2019. The benefits may surprise you!

Editor’s Note - Every month the Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce provides a newsletter to its members. The newsletter features much more than business advice but also practical advice to better living.

This month one of the items provided to Chamber members was the benefits of reading more.

The Chamber graciously allowed MJ Independent to re-produce the article as a service to our readers.

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