Reading has tons of benefits: it increases intelligence, boosts brain power, can help you relax and sleep better, and activates your memory.  According to a recent Fast Company article, reading can also help you get ahead in business.  The story sites leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg, who started a virtual book club last year, and Bill Gates, who reads for an hour each night, and illustrates how reading has benefited their careers.  Reading forces you to stop thinking about what is happening in your life and can often lead to new perspective, a new way of thinking about something, and new ideas.  You can find book recommendations everywhere: ask friends or mentors what they are reading.  Hit up an independent book shop and speak with the staff or stop by your local library and browse the shelves.

If you think you don’t have time to read, think again.  Leaders read whenever they have time; while on the road and traveling.  Instead of watching reruns of The Real Housewives or browsing Facebook on their iPad, successful business trailblazers are reading books, newspapers, and magazines.

Thomas Davis, the author of Unhooked: How to Break Bad Habits and Form Good Ones That Stick,  recommends making a habit of reading for a certain amount of time each day. “Identify a constant trigger for when to read (like an existing habit) and commit to it,” he says. “I read for 30 minutes every morning, immediately after my wife goes to work. As soon as I’ve kissed her goodbye, I sit at my desk, set a timer for 30 minutes, and read without interruption. By scheduling when to read, you begin to look forward to it, and can enjoy it guilt-free.”

Do you read? What are you reading?