How does reading help us?

05 May 2023

You’ve decided to set yourself a challenge – to read more. For at least 30 minutes a week, you’re putting aside your phone, hiding the TV remote and picking up a book instead. You’re committed and want to make the most of it. However, deep down you may be having doubts. You may be thinking ‘What’s the point?’ or, more specifically, ‘How will half an hour of reading help me?’ Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and we want to help you banish those doubts from your mind.

Reading is incredibly beneficial, especially when it’s done on a regular basis – just like physical exercise. Regularly hitting the gym may sound like a chore for some of us, but once you’ve completed a session or two, you may find that you feel happier and healthier. Reading is no different! Here at The Reading Agency we’re interested in not only encouraging you to read, but also sharing with you the benefits of reading. If you’re still having doubts, keep reading to get you off the hard shoulder and back on the Road to Reading!


58% of readers say that reading lets them escape from the real world.

Ask regular readers why they enjoy reading and many of them will say the same thing – to escape. After a day’s work or school, they’ll say that being transported to another world or hearing about someone else’s life is both freeing and exciting. Whether through a novel, an autobiography or even a magazine, reading is all about escape. Some of the best genres for escapism are fantasy, thrillers, historical fiction and graphic novels. Find a book in these genres.


43% of readers say that reading before bed helps them sleep better.

Is reading relaxing? How is it any different from scrolling through social media? Studies into the benefits of reading have provided answers to both of these questions. People who read regularly are generally less stressed than non-readers and feel more relaxed after reading than after watching television or scrolling on their phone. For relaxing reads, try comedy, romance or poetry.


Readers are 10% more likely to report good self-esteem than non-readers.

Gaining confidence can be tricky. Reading, it is believed, can help. Research suggests that just 30 minutes of reading a week can lead to feeling 20% greater life satisfaction. Just like how regularly exercising your body by going for a run or swimming leads to better physical health, regularly exercising your mind through reading can improve your mental health!


Readers are 37% more likely to get greater pleasure out of their social life than non-readers.

How can reading make you more sociable? Isn’t it something we do alone? Yes, but it’s true, reading really can help your social life! Readers are more understanding of other peoples’ feelings because of what they have read. They also enjoy social interactions with others more than non-readers. If reading a book helps you to enjoy your social life more, there’s no reason for you not to pick up a book and give regular reading a try!

Billington (2015), Reading between the lines: the Benefits of reading for Pleasure, Quick Reads, University of Liverpool.


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