A report released today by our research partner the University of Liverpool’s CRILS (Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society) in partnership with Quick Reads commissioned by Galaxy® chocolate highlights the key benefits reading can have on the nation’s wellbeing. Statistics in the report Reading Between the Lines: The Benefits of Reading for Pleasure find that those who read for just 30 minutes per week are 20% more likely to be satisfied with their lives. Other findings show that of the 16 million lapsed readers in the UK 42% of people aren’t reading because they’re unable to find the time to do so.
One of the greatest benefits of being a reader within the report was shown in the analysis regarding empathy. With just 30 minutes of reading a week, as many as two thirds of readers (64%) reported a better understanding of other people’s feelings versus less than half (48%) of non-readers.
Further compelling benefits to reading revealed in the study were:
– 43% of readers said reading helped them get a better night’s sleep
– 19% of readers said reading stopped them feeling lonely
– Regular readers reported 57% greater cultural awareness and 21% more general knowledge
– Readers reported higher levels of creativity (48%) than non-readers (38%)
– Readers were found to be 27% better able to make time for their friends, perhaps as they were 10% more capable of planning and prioritising
Dr. Josie Billington from the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society at
The University of Liverpool said: “Whilst the cumulative societal benefits of reading have been widely acknowledged, it’s important also to recognise the gains to be had from reading on our personal health and wellbeing.”
Here at The Reader Organisation we continue to work to highlight the important effects of reading for pleasure and are working to reach out to many lapsed readers and non-readers of all ages through our nationwide shared reading groups. By improving self-confidence and self-esteem, building social networks, widening horizons and giving people a sense of belonging, shared reading groups promote and provide a holistic approach to wellbeing and have provided positive impacts within the culture of partner organisations. They allow people to re-ignite their love of reading in a safe and welcoming environment where core human stories within books connect readers to themselves and other group members.
“I didn’t do reading before, but it’s fun and I love it now. Reading aloud is better than in your head. It’s like you’re on an adventure, you can understand more aloud.” Looked-after child reading in one-to-one session
“Other staff catch our enthusiasm. It’s like laughter in the way that it’s contagious; we come out of the group buzzing, the buzz comes out with us, and the other staff catch some of that.” Rachel, Mersey Care NHS Trust
If you’re interested in the benefits of reading, just enjoy a good book or are looking to make new friends then you can find your nearest shared reading group at http://www.thereader.org.uk/reading-with-us alternatively give us a call on 0151 729 2200 and ask about groups in your area.
You can read the full Reading Between the Lines: The Benefits of Reading for Pleasure report here.