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The power of reading

8 February 2016

According to a study funded by the Quick Reads sponsor Galaxy, 27% of the British population have been inspired by a book to make ‘positive life changes' and 41% of regular readers regard the habit as a better antidote to stress than meeting friends.

Amongst other findings are that 36% of the population have been inspired to go travelling by a book, a fifth of the nation has been motivated to take better care of their health by reading a book and 19% of adults say books have motivated them to take up a new hobby.

It's interesting that reading seems to help create a more tolerant and empathetic society. As many as half of adults say that reading makes them more sympathetic to other people's beliefs, whilst 17% report that books have inspired them to remain calm during a disagreement, compared to just 5% of those who never read.

A third (35%) of the population admits that they would like to read more but are often distracted by using their phone or watching TV. Despite this, the research revealed that over a third (38%) of the nation chooses reading as their ultimate stress remedy. 35% of participants revealed that books are most likely to bring them comfort when they are feeling down, versus 31% who choose a glass of wine and 10% who choose a hot bath, and an amazing 41% of adults find reading a better cure for their everyday worries than a night out with friends.

This year is the tenth anniversary of Quick Reads. Founder Baroness Gail Rebuck said: "I consider reading to not only be one of life's greatest pleasures but also a source of empowerment and enrichment. Books can change people's lives. I hope that the benefits highlighted in this report will encourage the one in three adults who never pick up a book to consider how their lives - and their children's - could be enhanced with the simple act of reading."

The Galaxy Quick Reads 2016 authors and titles, available from today, are:

The Double Clue: Poirot Short Stories by Agatha Christie (edited by Sophie Hannah and John Curran)
Too Good to be True by Ann Cleeves
A Baby at the Beach Café
by Lucy Diamond
The Anniversary: Ten Tempting Stories From Ten Bestselling Authors by Veronica Henry (editor)
On the Rock
by Andy McNab
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban (An Abridged Edition) by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

The easiest place to find these new ones and the 2015 titles is Amazon