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Why I read novels on my lunch break

I’ve read a number of times on self-help or improvement websites that you should use your lunch hour wisely if you intend to “get ahead” in life. The suggestions range from finding that little extra bit of work to do to eating out with co-workers for networking purposes. These are fine ways to spend it, no doubt, but not always personally fulfilling. An alternative? Reading.

Ever since I started a regular nine to five, I have kept a small stack of books on my desk. They are books I want to read, that I’ve wanted to read, and that I’m comfortable reading in hourly doses – Games of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) will make you late, every time. It’s a practice I picked up in school, between classes I would read novels, and have had a hard time dropping.

It breaks up the day nicely while also helping you to grow as a person. Reading has never been bad for you, never will be, and sometimes picking up a good book and reading ten pages or a chapter is just what you need. The plot and characters can help transport you out of the environment you’ve been in for four hours and likely another four afterward. The very act of simply reading helps your capacity for intelligence grow, exponentially. The more you read, the smarter you are. Period.

And it doesn’t have to be Carl Sagan or industry related to help you feel smarter and more prepared for the work day. Book/reading has the capacity to help us discover new ways of thinking and of problem solving. They help transport us to interesting places with interesting people, sometimes a great deal more interesting than the people we actually work with. They can even help you to understand how to interact with that person who sits around that you just don’t like.

So, when you’re feeling like maybe you’ve done that before, or you realize that walking to the cafeteria with a bag lunch and playing on your phone, even reading the news, or watching Netflix seems to redundant, pick out a big ol’tome and bring it with you next time. You might find that you enjoy it and chances are, you will feel better about yourself if you do.

This post was written by John Fenton. John has been a writer and journalist for several years covering topics from technology in the Middle East to real estate at home and popular music. Strong written and verbal communication skills brought John to Yoh as a Social Media Specialist, piloting the program and supporting recruitment efforts at GE. In 2011-12, he worked with an award winning director to edit a screenplay and enjoys spending time working with film and audio recording. In 2011, John wrote the Ritual Education Guide for Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity and currently sits on the Arch Chapter Ritual Committee. He runs his own website and enjoys participating in and hosting charity functions. From the Detroit area, John has a passion for the city and its vibrant regrowth. He currently lives in Ypsilanti, MI and spends his time consuming news and culture, boxing and kayaking, and all the while trying to sneak in the occasional book or two.

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