UK reading advocacy program Quick Reads – operating in partnership with Galaxy Chocolate – has shared a new research study revealing “that those who read for just 30 minutes per week are 20% more likely to be satisfied with their lives.” Dr. Josie Billington at The University of Liverpool produced research to help demonstrate that “readers are 21% less likely to report feelings of depression and 10% more likely to report good self-esteem versus non-readers, equipping them with a greater ability to cope with everyday life.”
The research has been produced in conjunction with the release of the 2015 Galaxy® Quick Reads’ titles, six short volumes chosen to fit the short read agenda, including Dead Man Talking by Roddy Doyle and Paris for One by Jojo Moyes.
Quick Reads declares that: “1 in 6 adults of working age in the UK find reading difficult and may never pick up a book. People’s reasons for not reading are varied but are often based in fear. Some people say they find books scary and intimidating, thinking they are ‘not for them’ or that books are difficult or boring.”
You have to wonder, though, who’s at fault here? A nation that can believe and endorse such bilge? A statement like that implies a bone-deep anti-intellectualism and anti-achievement attitude so embedded in the marrow of a society that it’d need the cultural and educational equivalent of deep radiotherapy more than a course of snack reads to win it round. And you have to wonder about the values and smarts of a society that can only figure out a value for reading by comparing it to a shot of Red Bull.