Why we all need books: The benefits of reading for pleasure
- Baroness Gail Rebuck, DBE is chair of Quick Reads and Penguin Random House UK
It is a real piece of luck when your passion from childhood becomes your career.
In the many years since I first became a junior publishing assistant, I have never, for a moment, lost the pleasure and stimulation of burying myself in a good book.
Which is why since I and others set up Quick Reads in 2006 to encourage more people to discover books I have always been determined that however significant the educational or economic implications of reading are for our country, books’ most important benefit was their impact on the emotional lives of individuals.
At different stages in my life, books have meant different things to me.
At moments they have opened up new horizons, at others they have been a huge support.
Often, I have shared treasured books with my family and friends but sometimes I have kept the reading experience to a private pleasure.
But every time I open a new book, it is with the keen anticipation of embarking on a new emotional and intellectual journey.
So I was not surprised to read a new research report, commissioned by Galaxy which sponsors Quick Reads, revealing that adults who spend just 30 minutes a week reading are 20 per cent more likely to be satisfied with their lives.
Amongst the many benefits experienced by regular readers were higher self-esteem and greater self-acceptance.
In part this must be because reading, although paradoxically a solitary activity, actually helps us feel less isolated. Read the London EXPRESS article here.