by Jeff Haden / © 2020, Mansueto Ventures, LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Reading books can obviously make you a better, smarter small-business owner. But reading does other wonderful things as well.
Books can reduce stress: Reading for just six minutes can reduce your stress levels by up to 68%. Books can slow cognitive aging: Compared with nonreaders (people who read less than one book a year), readers experience a 32% lower rate of mental decline in their later years. Books can even change your brain, at least over the short term: For up to five days after, reading can heighten connectivity in areas of the brain responsible for language and sensation.
Becoming immersed in knowledge
A 2018 study of over 160,000 adults in 31 countries found that the more books that were present in participants’ childhood homes, the more proficient they now were as adults in three important areas: literacy, math and using technology to communicate, gather and analyze information.
The advantage for aspiring entrepreneurs—or for any career—is clear.
Communication skills are paramount: for leadership, for pitching, for inspiring employees and partners, for sharing your vision and mission.
Math skills also matter: If you can’t understand your business’s numbers, soon you won’t have a business.
And as for gathering and analyzing information: How can you react to new competitors, new technologies and new market conditions without the ability to not only understand data but then turn it into actionable intelligence?
According to researchers:
Book-oriented socialization, indicated by home library size, equips youth with lifelong tastes, skills and knowledge. Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in [literacy, numeracy and technological problem-solving] beyond the benefits accrued from parental education or [your] own educational or occupational attainment.
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