Sixteen million adults in the UK, or one in three, read for pleasure infrequently or never. Adults who read for just 20 minutes a week are 20% more likely to be content with their life, according to a recent survey of 4,164 adults, including both readers and non-readers.
People unable to read due to literacy issues or other disabilities were not the subject of our investigation. Instead, we focused on those who could read and were once regular readers but had fallen out of the habit due to a major life event, such as having children or being unwell. Lack of time was listed as the main obstacle by two-fifths of survey respondents for the charity initiative Galaxy Quick Reads, whose research I assisted with it.
Feelings of tranquility
Compared to people who routinely read for enjoyment, non-readers were 28% more likely to report experiencing depressive symptoms. Five percent of readers claim that reading makes them feel less alone. Both findings align with the earlier study we conducted at the University of Liverpool in collaboration with the national charity The Reader Organisation on their shared-reading aloud strategy for kids and adults.
People with depression see statistically significant improvements in their symptoms after reading, the most notable of which may be feelings of isolation and loneliness. Reading does more than acquaint readers with larger life systems and more universally understood meanings. It may also revive a person’s sense of belonging and purpose in the world by reminding them of past pursuits, vocations, or information and skills they still possess.
The full person, not just the depressed one, is called on and found through reading. In this sense, “recovery” refers to the finding of new feelings and experiences and the rediscovery of old, forgotten, suppressed, or inaccessible feelings and experiences.
In the Quick Reads study, readers said that reading made them feel more relaxed than watching television, using social media, or reading more leisurely like magazines. Reading is linked to a specific kind of mentally and emotionally “engaged” relaxation, as opposed to the passivity connected to other forms of leisure, such as watching television.
Many “down-time” activities, including social media, don’t help people “turn off” and may even anger individuals more than they calm them down. Reading helps personal anxieties fade away and provides shelter from the interruptions and stressors of daily concern since it requires concentration and induces immersion in a parallel universe. In the survey, 43% of readers claimed that reading improved their ability to fall asleep.
stronger after setbacks
Reading also aids in the realization that one’s difficulties are not unique to oneself. People frequently feel a strong sense of recognition, such as “this is me” or “I had no idea other people felt this way,” as well as a sense of solidarity with others who are going through similar problems. People feel more connected to the larger world and more accepting of their issues or troubles when they can recognize their predicament in another.
Regular readers claim to be better able to handle challenging circumstances, and reading broadens people’s horizons and perception of potential courses of behavior or attitudes. It may be because readers can better recognize that hardship and setbacks are inevitable components of human life. They find it easier to prioritize, plan, and make decisions.
Additionally, readers were 18% more likely to report having high self-esteem in our study. People who return to reading after a lengthy absence, or even for the first time, frequently experience a profound sense of pride and success.
Regular readers have a stronger sense of community and friendship than lapsed or non-readers. Previous studies have demonstrated that reading fosters tolerance and respect for others’ viewpoints and improves one’s willingness and capacity for communication. Reading can evoke sympathetic intuitions that can help us become more receptive to the experiences of others and feel more like a member of the larger human family.
Reading also provides a means of genuinely exchanging experiences outside of the context of everyday social interaction. Readers have more interesting topics to discuss and are better able to empathize, which leads to deeper conversations and ultimately stronger interpersonal ties. Reading can foster relationships between individuals who might not often associate with one another in a friendship or professional group since it functions at a level deeper than the social norm.
Readers have a wider view of the world and a more secure sense of their place within it than non-readers do. They are also more conscious of social issues and cultural diversity. According to our research, reading just 30 minutes a week increases your likelihood of feeling socially engaged by 52 percent and your chance of having a stronger sense of community by 72 percent. Additionally, readers are 37 percent more likely to enjoy their social lives. The Discussion