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Hey business people…. actually, any people, take a breather and open a book. How important is reading? Not just the business journal or the newspaper, but novels reading for fun, or insight in other fields like science or economics.

According to John Coleman at Harvard Business Review (link below):

“Even as global literacy rates are high (84%), people are reading less and less deeply. The National Endowment for the Arts (PDF) has found that “[r]eading has declined among every group of adult Americans,” and for the first time in American history, “less than half of the U.S. adult American population is reading literature.”

“Reading can also make you more effective in leading others. Reading increases verbal intelligence (PDF), making a leader a more adept and articulate communicator. Reading novels can improve empathy and understanding of social cues, allowing a leader to better work with and understand others — traits that author Anne Kreamer persuasively linked to increased organizational effectiveness, and to pay raises and promotions for the leaders who possessed these qualities. And any business person understands that heightened emotional intelligence will improve his or her leadership and management ability.”

“Finally, an active literary life can make you more personally effective by keeping you relaxed and improving health. For stressed executives, reading is the best way to relax, as reading for six minutes can reduce stress by 68%, and some studies suggest reading may even fend off Alzheimer’s, extending the longevity of the mind.”

And if you would like more information or to READ the blog on this see the following link   

If you would like some ideas on actual business reads the link to 50 of the most influential are found here :