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By: Shreya Yedla

Reading books for pleasure has shown results almost equivalent to that of meditation. Over the years, many researchers have studied cases and subjects to strongly conclude that reading books significantly helps with reducing stress, increasing knowledge and skills, improving memory, critical thinking, concentration, and focus. For those recovering from addiction, reading about personal development effectively helps nurture this growth. Studies have shown that those with very poor mental health have a higher than average mortality rate. Additionally, it is shown that those who read show a 20% increase in longevity compared to those who don’t read. Analyzing these two studies, it can be said that reading helps increase longevity and improve mental health. 

Image by Tamarcus Brown

Books about personal development do a great job supporting the mental health treatment and fostering good character traits. Reading or listening to books encourages the brain to have a conversation with itself. This, in turn, helps the reader learn more about themselves, and possibly open up to loved ones and others. These books also help individuals assess what their goals are, how to successfully achieve them, to have priorities, and to keep their eye on the prize. This prize is to have a wonderful, inspiring life. 


Below are a few pointers as to how one could find motivation or ways through which they can engage in reading activities while making it fun and interesting. 


  1. Partnering up with friends or family to read the same book is beneficial. This helps those in recovery to open up and engage in active conversations, therefore improving communication skills. Talking about books, especially those about personal development, not only raises interesting perspectives or ideas but also improves skills such as critical thinking and creativity. 

  2. Actively setting goals is beneficial as well. Setting small goals such as wanting to read one book a week or 20 pages a day can help build long term goals such as successfully quitting an addiction. Accomplishing small goals not only brings happiness and a sense of pride but also fosters traits such as accountability, organization and determination.  

  3. Library programs: Many local libraries offer group reading programs where people come together to discuss books. Please contact your local libraries to learn more. 

  4. Audio books are known to increase reading accuracy and comprehension skill because after all, listening is the first skill people learn to understand. 

  5. Bibliotherapy, also known as “reading therapy,” refers to reading programs run by clinics and libraries. They encourage those recovering from addiction and/or poor mental health. Those who are having a hard time dealing with their thoughts and stress or health issues are highly recommended to try this. 


For book recommendations, follow the IQRR on social media!

To find additional support and recovery resources, check out our resources page here. If you are in recovery, you can become a member of the International Quit & Recovery Registry by registering here, where you can take our monthly assessments, earn rewards, and get support from other Recovery Heroes. We would love to have you as part of our community.


For questions or comments, contact us at! We look forward to hearing from you.





Piles of Books



“Bibliotherapy” Psychology Today. Retrieved from


Haupt, A. (2012). “Can Your Mental Health Affect Longevity?” U.S.News. Retrieved from


“The Benefits of Listening to Audiobooks are Extensive…” Western Downs Libraries. Retrieved from


Whitley, R. (2019). “Can Reading Books Improve your Mental Health.” Psychology Today. Retrieved from


“10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day.” (2018). UCSB Geography. Retrieved from

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