How Much Should I Read A Day? These Studies Have Some Answers On The Ideal Amount Of Time

According to a 2014 Time magazine article, Americans read (in their words) “a paltry 19 minutes a day.” (19 minutes is pretty paltry.) The stat comes from a study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, who also noted that younger Americans, aged 25-34, read just four minutes a day — really, who are you people? — while American adults over 75 read upwards of one hour each day — aka: my peeps.

Now, as a book-lover, I just have to say: the ideal amount of time to spend reading each day is basically all of the time. But, unrealistic is that is, (because: bills, food, laundry) at least as much time as is available; which, I promise you, is more than four minutes, no matter how busy I might be. But, national stats and personal preferences aside, is there actually a science-backed number of minutes you should spend reading each day? After all, we already know reading helps improve memory and cognitive function, increases empathy and reduces stress, can improve social skills, and actually increases not only your intelligence but your learning capacity as well. Chances are, all those benefits aren’t happening in just four minutes.

It turns out, there are some science-backed guidelines for how much you should read every day. And the numbers may surprise you.