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Put Away the Phone and Reach for a Book

By Lynda Ellis

In today’s smartphone society, there’s a whole world of entertainment at your fingertips. Videos to surfing the internet to following social media to streaming your favorite movies, all the excitement just one click away. According to the Huffington Post, “Books are something else altogether—they are a quiet entertainment and we are no longer raised to know how to be ‘quiet.’” Indeed.

The CEOs, business owners and successful business people that I know tend to read every day to improve their insight and gain understanding of business trends and leadership developments. However, Pew Research reports that nearly a quarter of American adults say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form. Sadly, the pleasure of reading a book is becoming obsolete in today’s digital world. And, there are consequences. In fact, according to the article, How smartphones are changing our brains – and why reading books is better than Kindles, “Reading a screen is superficial and that, unlike with books, it doesn’t do the heavy lifting of concentration and contemplation.”  The result: We are training our brains to become lazy readers.

There’s something simple and special about reading a book. Letting your imagination take you to places you haven’t been and helping you escape from the stress of everyday life. Reading helps you relax and can even lower your heart rate and relieve muscle tension. Studies have shown that reading can reduce stress by 68 percent.

Life is busy and many people claim that they don’t have enough time in their day to read a book. But, reading a book isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Read one page or short chapter each night and when you read the last page, you’ll realize you’ve actually read an entire book even though you didn’t have time! For busy professional looking to relax and reduce stress, put down your smartphone and give it a rest for some old-fashioned book reading.