How To Read More Books

Reading has an enormous effect on life outcomes. Literacy (which comprises more than just reading) has a larger effect on income and employment level than any other factor.

Recently, my beloved wife presented me with an exquisitely wrapped gift.

I excitedly tore open the wrapping and discovered she had bought me the one gift I treasure above all others.

My wife bought me a book. And nothing in the world could make me happier.

Reading is as much a part of my life as brushing my teeth and breathing. I cannot imagine a whole day passing without at least some time spent reading.

I was raised in a family of readers and in a country that did not, at the time, have television. That has proven to be a blessing. Entertainment was comprised of reading or listening to the radio and for as long as I can remember I have read an average of two books per week.

So it was disheartening for me to read a study that showed the increase of reading in Canada during the pandemic.

Reading More Books

The articles on these statistics are framed in a very positive way. More people are reading since COVID decended upon our country. Usually about 68-69% of Canadians say they’ve read a book in the past year. Last year that number rose a very small amount to 73%.

To me, this is a concern. It means that around 30 percent of people haven’t cracked a single book in the past 12 months.

Furthermore, it means that the reason isn’t lack of time. During the year where team sports, vacations, and trips to the pub were curtailed, Canadians didn’t particularly turn to reading to fill the void.

Canadians who do like to read are reading a lot. Readers report spending an average of 6 hours a week curled up with a book.

However, those who aren’t leisure readers may have significant problems. The US has nearly identical levels of reading as Canada, and in an American survey, 42% of post-secondary students never read another book after graduation. About 17% of Canadians do not have sufficient reading ability to understand what is printed on a bottle of medication.

Benefits of Reading

Reading has an enormous effect on life outcomes. Literacy (which comprises more than just reading) has a larger effect on income and employment level than any other factor.

It also:

  • Thickens your cortex, the part of your brain that deals with higher order thinking.
  • Slows the onset of dementia.
  • Improves cognitive skills as you age.
  • Increases ability to cultivate empathy for others.
  • Stops fake news. People who are regular readers are more likely to be able to ascertain correct information on the internet.

How to Read More Books

If you’re having trouble squeezing reading into your schedule here are three ways to fix that:

  • One suggestion by Michael Simmons is called Fractal Reading. Fractal Reading is a way to consume non fiction books in less time for less cost, while gaining the benefit of their knowledge, as well as the benefit of using your spare time reading.
  • Try audiobooks. This isn’t cheating. You can squeeze reading into times when you are driving, doing laundry, or other tasks. The research shows audiobooks offer most of the same benefits as the old fashioned printed word. Audiobooks are available in most libraries too, bringing down the cost compared to online services.
  • Carry a book with you. When you have a few minutes to spare, open your book instead of your social media accounts. This is made easier by eReader apps you can download to your phone.

Reading is one of the greatest gifts we are given. The greatest is, of course, the gift of choice.

Use your gift of choice to choose to allow the gift of reading to bring joy, laughter, knowledge, enlightenment and wisdom into your life every day.

You’ll be so glad you did.

If you are a reader, I’m always looking for new things to read. Tell me in the comments what you’re reading now.

Till we read again.

4 thoughts on “How To Read More Books

  1. Ross MacInnes Reply

    Thank you Rael for that excellent blog post. As an author, (as you are as well), our careers typing on the keyboard or scribbling our words on lined foolscap, would be short indeed. I normally have two books on the go at once. One being non-fiction, and the other a work of fiction by an emerging author.

    • Rael Kalley Post authorReply

      That’s a great solution for always having something you’re in the mood to read.

  2. eric larson Reply

    I love reading and I found that if I down load an audio book after reading it, I get so much more out of the book.

    • Rael Kalley Post authorReply

      That’s so interesting. I think this is becoming more and more common.

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