I love books. I don’t remember ever disliking reading, but I fell in love with it when I was eight. I’d an accident. I fractured my left leg, and after that I’d typhoid. Or maybe typhoid was before the accident – not sure which came first, but all in all, I’d about three months of bed rest within a short space of time.
People came to visit me, and brought me presents. Quite often books. We also had a librarian neighbour and she brought books for me to read.
While I come from a family that’s big on education, no one had a habit of reading for pleasure. I discovered that joy during these three months of illness. I’m eternally grateful for that because without this love of books, my life and who I became would’ve been very different.
Since then, I became a voracious reader which only improved with age. Following my example, my sister and cousins began to read too. Some parents might say I “corrupted” them by reading at the dining table. But of that, I’m unashamedly proud. If your children are going to have bad habits, reading at a dining table is certainly one of the better ones to have.
Reading has been the single most important factor in my continuous growth, in self-education and personal development before I even thought about those terms. It can do the same for you, and much much more.
[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#c90000″]5 Reasons Why You Must Read[/typography]
For Personal Growth
Reading is a pretty cheap method of personal development. Most books cost anywhere between £3 to £20. You can also get them for free by visiting your local library. Books are the kindling for fuelling the fire of knowledge seekers.
It’s the quickest and most efficient way of ensuring you continue your self-education even after you’ve finished school. Reading teaches you new concepts, and shows you old ideas in a new light. Reading leads you to make connections between different pieces of information. Reading increases the store of your knowledge.
For Improving Language/Communication Skills
This is a must for a writers, but having well developed language and communication skills is useful for just about anyone. You don’t have to go around mouthing off big words to make yourself sound intelligent (it doesn’t work), but you should work on increasing your repertoire of words. Better language skill enables you to communicate your ideas more effectively. Reading helps you acquire that not just by enriching your vocabulary, but by showing you how good writers write.
For Improving Focus
Very useful in this age of distraction. When you are reading, you are concentrating on the material at hand, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. If the material is engaging enough, you learn to tune out all the other noises around you. Reading helps you acquire and improve, ability to focus.
For Exercising and Expanding Your Brain
When you exercise your body, your current muscles break and then form again, bigger and stronger. Reading does the same to your brain. Reading is a great way to explore the universe without going anywhere.
As I read, “The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi” by R. K. Prabhu, I’m led to wonder about my own views on violence and pride.
As I read, “The Game of Thrones” by G. R. R. Martin, I’m immersed in story and the characters, but I’m also thinking about what part politics plays in our daily life.
As I read, “Discover Your Genius” by Michael Gelb, I’m inspired by ten outstanding people who’ve been profiled as geniuses, and thinking about how I can further use my abilities to make the best of what I already have.
This is where a reading journal – or incorporating aspects of it into your regular journal – becomes an invaluable tool. It helps you assemble and then disassemble your thoughts, and makes you see how what you are reading affects you.
I’m always in search of a story or ideas that will keep me up all night, characters who would remain with me forever, inspiration that will lead me to action.
I don’t believe in snobbery of reading only the classics, or only non-fiction. Any well-written book is good literature. I read children’s book with the same attitude as I read Ulysses or Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s letters is no more or less important than reading Lord of the Rings.
Good literature is what feeds your brain the good food – a balanced diet that could be made up of any number of ingredients such as: one that enriches your imagination, one that makes you forget about your troubles for a while, one that transports you to a world you’ve never been, one that strongly resonates with you and leaves you laughing or crying, on that inspires you and makes you take action, one that helps you discover more about yourself.
Don’t take anyone else’s definition of what good literature is. While there is abundant trash in the market (because it’s purchased by the masses who want immediate gratification of easy reading or sensational, lurid stories and not much substance), not all light or pleasure reading is trash.
In conclusion, these are just some of the benefits of reading. There will be countless little benefits that come as part of being a voracious reader, but most of all, the experience that each individual gets from books is as unique as the person reading it.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:
If you are not a regular reader, start a book today.
If you are a regular reader, try something new, and record your experiences. Think about what you get out of reading, and what books teach you.