International Book Giving Day

Living Magazines Simon Ellson International Book Giving Day

Every year on 14 February, International Book Giving Day encourages people to pick a great read off their shelves and pass it on to a friend, family member or colleague. Whilst recommending books may just seem like a friendly gesture, the benefits of reading for decision-makers in the business world has an enormous impact.

Research indicates that to become an expert in a specific field, you need to read 50 books a year – which translates to roughly one a week. To get people off to a great start, Simon Ellson, Founder and Senior Partner at ActionCOACH West Herts, is recommending his top 5 books that every business owner should read. Simon supports many clients in the region, and being an avid reader himself, he knows just how much it can benefit a business owner and impact the success of their business.

‘Regardless of whether it’s for recreational purposes or professional development, reading has a whole host of benefits,’ Simon explained. ‘Many business owners might think they’re too busy to schedule time into their diaries for such activities, but by committing to just an hour a day – half an hour in the morning and another in the evening – the results within your business will start to show. It all comes down to how reading affects our bodies and how we, as humans, operate.’

Here are Simon’s top 5 books that every business owner should be reading:

  1. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith
    America’s most sought-after executive coach shows how to climb the last few rungs of the ladder.
  2. How To Win Friends And Influence People – Dale Carnegie
    Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
  3. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
    By understanding and applying the thirteen simple steps that constitute Hill’s formula, you can achieve your goals, change your life and join the ranks of the rich and successful.
  4. The Ultimate Jim Rohn Library
    Jim Rohn has a unique way of helping you discover that you are much more capable and powerful than you ever imagined.
  5. Ego Is The Enemy – Ryan Holiday
    Ego Is The Enemy draws on a vast array of stories and examples from literature to philosophy to history in order to magnify that the most common enemy lies within: our ego.

Simon also lists his top five benefits of reading:

  • Promotes mental health – when reading, you allow yourself to be invited into a world that distracts you from your daily stresses.
  • Improves memory, focus and concentration – reading not only improves your brain’s connectivity, it also increases attention span, focus and concentration.
  • Brain exercise – reading daily helps your brain to stay in shape by providing a workout in multiple complex cognitive functions.
  • Improves expertise – one of the most obvious benefits of reading is how knowledgeable you’ll become as a result.
  • Enhances sleep – all of the above will combine to enhance sleep and improve sleep quality.

Simon added, ‘When individuals invest in reading, the results are destined to be great. Putting aside the time to focus on your own development will only have positive effects, not just on you as the business owner but the rest of your team too. You never know what you might achieve with just an hour of reading a day – the results really are endless.’

Visiting Our Tring Bookshop owned by Ben Moorhouse is something Simon is looking forward to when lockdown restrictions are eased, and he has continued to support them throughout the pandemic. Local bookshops have had to adapt to the current climate by turning to online orders and delivery services. Whilst lockdowns have given people the opportunity to immerse themselves in reading, the team at ActionCOACH West Herts believe it’s been important to recognise and support the businesses making the changes that ensure we can keep our bookshelves stacked.

If you’d like to find out more about ActionCOACH West Herts and the work they do to support businesses in the community, please visit