From the desk of: Cathy Coloff

I recently read the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics report that stated the average American spends 2.7 hours per day watching TV or other video content versus just 15 minutes of reading. I wondered what impact this could be having on ourselves and our society. So, of course, I “googled” it and found a plethora of interesting articles about possible scientific reasons why we should put down the remote and pick up a book to improve our health. One study showed that the composition of your brain can be altered by doing more of one or the other. In particular, the areas of the brain associated with language were impacted. Reading, as one might expect, increased verbal IQ and language skills. Another study showed that just six minutes of reading reduced heart rates and muscle tension from stress. Reading even beat out taking a walk. Apparently, losing yourself in a good book lets you escape from the worries and stresses of everyday life. Now we’re talking! So, I’m publicly committing to read more every day—even if it’s just the six minutes noted in the study. Lest I stress over what to read, there are even websites such as and to help me pick my next book.

Sometimes I prefer the more visually stimulating world of magazines where it’s a combination of great photos and written information. While I’m not sure reading magazine articles has the same de-stressing effect as reading fiction, I do know that digital magazines have made my life less stressful because I no longer have to deal with magazines laying around my house everywhere. Even better, I’ve stopped ripping out magazine pages for future reference and instead started sending them to nicely organized sections of my OneNote app. So much easier to search and find things too!

I hope our “book theme” series of newsletters has inspired you to read more—be it a good paperback or eReader of your choice…happy reading!

First published in our September 2017 IT Radix Resource newsletter