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If you don’t read regularly, you’re missing out on an immense sense of joy. Yes, even if you don’t like reading. 


Because science proves that reading helps you live longer, lowers your stress, prevents mental decline, and boosts your mental health. 

In this episode, you’ll discover all the benefits of reading and simple ways to start reading again. 

Listen now and fall back in love with reading — your body and mind will thank you. 

Show highlights include: 

  • How reading tanks your stress levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and even depression (0:56) 
  • The weird scientifically-proven reason that reading makes you live longer (1:11) 
  • Why devouring one autobiography a month helps you mimic and duplicate their success onto your life (4:06) 
  • How reading as slow as molasses actually transports your mind to another world (4:49) 
  • The “gut a book” secret taught in graduate schools for rapidly reading and applying what you learn (6:28) 
  • Why reading to your kids every night is the single best way to pass your love of reading onto them (8:19) 

Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Click here to get the first chapter of Dr. Rick’s best-selling book, Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout, for free.

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to “How You Living?” a transformative podcast featuring best-selling author, inspirational speaker and minister, Dr. Rick Rigsby—and, now, Dr. Rick.

(00:23): Hello friends. Thanks so much for joining us today. I want to talk to you about reading specifically the benefits of reading. Oh, what a joy it is to read a great book, but do you realize all the other benefits that come from reading? I'm talking about something that improves cognitive functions, increases vocabulary and comprehension. Reading encourages you to have empathy for other people. Reading will also help you to fall asleep at night. It will reduce your level of stress that you know, that reading also lowers the blood pressure and the heart rate, reading fights, depression even prevents cognitive decline as you age. Wow. I read one study that even suggests that there's a positive correlation between reading and living longer. Listen to this. The health and retire study investigated the reading patterns of over 3,600 participants during a 12 year period, the results are absolutely fascinating.

(01:33): They're published in the journal. Innovation in aging. The article is titled the survival advantage of reading books. Listen to this results. Those who read books survive about two years longer than those who either did not read books or those who only read magazines and other forms of media. The study also reported that people who read more than three and a half hours each and every week are 23% likely to live longer than those who don't read at all. Thomas J law wrote an article on the benefits of reading in part, the article is titled why I should read every day, listen to laws, practical benefits. They include exercising the brain, improving for focus, improving memory, better communication skills, greater overall mental health friends. I would argue that reading anything will place you at a huge advantage, but if you can read books, well, the research speaks for itself.

(02:41): You can add years to your life. In the words of Dr. Seuss, the more that you read, the more things you will know, the more things that you learn, the more places you will go. I love this quote from Sasha Salina. Listen to this. A child who reads will be an adult who thinks, oh, I love that. I love reading friends. I read everything. I love reading magazines. I love reading blogs. I love streaming information and reading. I love my Kindle. I love books on tape, but to me there is nothing, absolutely nothing like holding a book. There's just nothing like reading a good book, British writer and theologian, CS Lewis once said, you can never get me a cup of tea, large enough, or a book long enough to suit me. I love that. You see, we live in an instant world, right? Where we want knowledge instantly quickly in this world of instant knowledge books offer more than just clicking a button and reading information.

(03:54): Books, offer breadth and depth of subject matter. Nothing like settling in and reading a good book and getting lost in the story. I have a personal goal to read at least one biography every month. I love reading biographies because people don't just attain success. There are many failures on the road to success. I love reading about the ups and the downs. They encourage me to keep going regardless of the circumstance, regardless of the situation. So I love learning about all of these wonderful people from all different periods in time, from all throughout the world who just didn't quit, they just kept going. And so my goal in addition to all the other reading is to read at least one biography a month. And when I'm reading for enjoyment, I, I like to take my time. I relax. I allow my mind to be transported somewhere else.

(04:59): I can tell you when this all began, it began when I was in grade school, either third or fourth grade, it began with a book by Beverly Clery, someone who would become one of my life's heroes, Beverly Clery used to be a librarian, but she discovered something. She discovered that her students in the library weren't enjoying books because they couldn't relate to the characters that were in the books. Beverly stopped being a librarian and wrote books for kids. Her first book published in 1950 Henry Huggins. And it all began for me with that very same book. The first book I read from cover to are in grade school, Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary, before I knew it, I was on click attach street in Henry's hometown of Portland, Oregon. You talk about being transported. I was with Henry and his dog sey on their paper route.

(05:57): I was at that corner drug store when Henry bought guppies or at school when Henry and his friends, Bezos and Ramona would hang out and play together. Oh, the places you can go. And despite mark, Twain's brilliant Quip that a classic is a book. You praise, but never read. I have read the classic Henry huggin scores of times all throughout my life. When I'm reading for enjoyment, I like to take my time. But when I'm reading to gain information, I employ a technique I learned in graduate school. Back then, I learned how to gut a book. During doctoral studies, the weekly reading volume was quite heavy. We quickly learned to gut a book. This is what I mean. You would discover the thesis. Then you would skip to the systematic development of that thesis. And then you would locate the argument. And then you would either refute or support that argument.

(06:57): So instead of reading 200 pages, perhaps you read a fourth of that amount. Now, admittedly, it took me a while to develop this technique. But once you know what you're looking for, you can become more efficient with your time management. I was discussing this process with my good friend, Jeff. Recently, we attended the same adversity, even served together on the same university board. And we continue to see each other on a regular basis. Now Jeff loves reading also. And recently we were in the same city at the same time we met for dinner and as always, we discussed the latest books. We've read as a traveling pharmaceutical salesman. Jeff's a busy guy and he was most interested in my gutting technique, especially books with regard to information. It was Jeff that suggested this podcast on reading. And I'm so glad he did Jeff and I talked nonstop about two books that we'd recently read.

(07:55): We could have talked for days. Oh, the place you can go. The great comedian Groucho marks once said, I find television very educating. Every time someone turns on the TV, I go to the other room and read a book. Reading is one of those loves you. Don't have to just keep to yourself. Friends. You can pass it on. You can even pass it down to future generations. We have four sons and grandchildren each loves to read. And we began like many of you by reading to the children when they were young, as many of you know who listen regularly to my podcast, my first wife, Trina sadly passed away years ago, following a long battle with breast cancer. Back in the seventies, I met Trina in college. I was a, what we used to call a mass communications major. Trina studied nursing and went on to work as a labor and delivery nurse for a hospital.

(08:57): Once our sons were born, Trina decided to retire from nursing and be a stay-at-home mom. But as the boys got older and as they got into their elementary school years, mom, Trina, as she is, affectionately remembered would volunteer in the school library, wherever the Bo boys were attending school. And it was in that library where her love for reading was always on display. Her favorite thing to do as a volunteer was to read to the students, even when she was sick, even between chemotherapy treatments, she would read to the students. It gave her such joy way. And what a thrill gave her. When she was named school librarian at the last school our boys went to toward the end of her life. She still read. She would even ask me on one occasion to bring a rocking chair from home and place it in the library so that she could be more comfortable.

(09:55): When she read to the students, she read to the students all the way up to the week before she passed away friends, I'm privileged beyond measure to speak a couple hundred times a year, all over the world. But my number one absolute favorite engagement each year is driving from my home in Dallas to Brian college station, Texas. It's there that I read to the students who attend bras Christian school. I read the same book every year, Henry Huggins, and I read Henry Huggins to the students who have assembled that the school's library known today, the Trina L Rigsby Memorial library, friends pick up a book today and begin to read again. It will not only transform your life, but it will impact the lives of countless others. All the places you can go when you read, that's gonna do it for this episode until we meet again. This is Dr. Rick asking the most important question I can ask. How you living.

Are you ready to make an impact in your world right now? Do you want to stop existing and start living your best life right now? Dr. Rick wants to give you the first chapter of his bestselling book, “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout”, absolutely free. Just go to www.RickRigsby.com/FreeGift to get the print or audiobook right now.

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