Reading for Pleasure and Profit

on July 23, 2018

By Alleah Heise

Reading is a hobby I have enjoyed for years. As an elementary school student, I remember when our school first adopted the Accelerated Reader program, where books were assigned points and you were rewarded those points based on a scored comprehension test upon completion of a book. That experience likely fostered a love for reading that persists today. Pleasure reading is something I thoroughly enjoy. A good historical novel and a couple of long nights to finish the book after my daughter is asleep, and I am a happy camper.

For example, I recently completed, and highly recommend, Martha Hall Kelly’s book Lilac Girls. It is a gripping historical novel set early in WWII and follows the interwoven lives of three women, from three different cultures, as they experience the war in vastly different ways. Story and truth are neatly interwoven in this compelling book.   Yet now that I have chosen the career path of family business consultant, I am constantly on the hunt for reading that goes beyond the pleasure titles and topics.

There are so many business books out there that choosing a good one can be overwhelming. But an appealing one I have recently completed and would recommend to next generation family business members is: You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. The book is designed to help people overcome behaviors that sabotage or undermine their possibilities for success. Witty stories are interlaced with practical advice to produce a quick, informative read.

There are numerous studies that have concluded that reading any kind of book, even comic books, can make you smarter--and not just from an IQ perspective. Pleasure reading can improve our emotional intelligence, and business reading can sharpen insights into what you are trying to accomplish in your work. To read any kind of book is to hone our cognitive abilities. You, and the people you work with, will appreciate the effort you take to enhance those abilities.