Today is National Book Lovers Day, so you are entitled to hear some statistics that will make you feel good about reading:

  • 75 percent of Americans believe those who read regularly are smarter than those who do not.
  • 73 percent feel society would be better off if more people read non-fiction more regularly.
  • 79 percent agree there is no better feeling than learning something new from a book.
  • 70 percent believe that reading could have a positive impact on their careers.
  • 69 percent feel more accomplished after reading.

These are some of the findings in a recent study by reading subscription service Scribd, which commissioned The Harris Poll to better understand how Americans are spending their leisure time.

Even with those heady numbers, more than one-third of Americans wish they could read even more – the second most popular sought-after activity after exercising.

Among the other results:

  • 85 percent of Americans say they believe time spent reading is an investment in themselves and their overall well being.
  • 55 percent say they only need to read 15 minutes a day to feel like they have accomplished something.

And how does reading make the survey base feel?

  • More relaxed (55 percent)
  • More informed (33 percent)
  • Happier (33 percent)
  • Smarter (32 percent)

Even science backs up the health benefits of reading:

  • People who read books for 30 minutes daily lived an average of 23 months longer than non-readers.
  • Stress can be reduced by up to 68 percent after only six minutes of reading.
  • Readers are 21 percent less likely to report feelings of depressions.

So the overriding message: Be smarter, happier, more relaxed, more informed, healthier and have a more positive impact on society by doing one simply thing – picking up a book.

What are you waiting for?

See the full report, along with some helpful graphics, from Scribd.