Articles about reading

Ensuring we make time to read as adults

Nov 2023
Two thirds (67%) of UK adults would like to read more, but nearly half (48%) admit they are too busy.

A survey commissioned by The Reading Agency found that we are a nation of aspiring bookworms, who simply don't have time to settle down with a good book!

The survey of 2,000 UK adults found that two thirds (67%) would like to read more, but nearly half (48%) admit that they are too busy to read.

Certainly, in our hectic, modern lives, it is easy to fall out of a regular reading habit and even easier to forget just how enjoyable reading is. Social media isn't necessarily just for teenagers and many adults also find it hard to put down their phones in favour of picking up a book.

Do you remember when you last dedicated time to reading a book?

A quarter of those involved in the survey said they would read more if they were given recommendations from friends and family, emphasising the need for avid readers to share their book knowledge and recommendations with loved ones.

Many of us wish we could read more, and the study found that we will often exaggerate the volume and frequency with which we read. Two out of five of us (41%) are happy to stretch the truth when it comes to what or how much we've read. Millennials were found to be most likely to lie about their reading habits, saying they've read the book when in fact they've only watched the film adaption.

Sue Wilkinson, Chief Executive of The Reading Agency, said: "We believe everything changes when we read. It's proven that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background; that it can result in higher levels of self-esteem and improve social interaction."

Let's remind ourselves of some of the many benefits of reading as an adult:

Reading can relieve stress
Whilst reading, you have to concentrate on the words on the page. The distraction of being drawn into a literary world has been shown to ease the tensions in your muscles and in your mind.

Dr Lewis, Cognitive Neuropsychologist said: "Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation. It really doesn't matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author's imagination."

Probably still best to avoid reading Stephen King before bed!

Reading can help you sleep
Getting a good night's sleep is extremely important to ensure you are ready for a new day but many people will struggle with concerns or worries which make falling asleep difficult. Reading for ten minutes or so can help you switch off from your daily stresses and relax enough to sleep well.

Reading can make you more empathetic
In reading fiction, our understanding of texts and people comes from inferring their emotions and reactions to events. We sympathise with these emotions and to some extent share them, becoming empathetic to their plight.

Now that winter is here, be sure to pick up a book and dedicate some of your spare time at the weekends to reading, you'll certainly feel mentally, emotionally and physically better for doing so.

And if you haven't any recommendations to hand, you'll find over 360 titles to choose from, for children and adults alike, on Kumon's Recommended Reading List.