Reading for Life.

I love reading and you should too. Books are invaluable! They grant insight into ideas that you would likely not learn if it were not for books.

The spreading of ideas and stories before the printing press and mass market books was very slow. One had to speak his words to others in physical proximity. Their words were spread by word of mouth.

Now, anyone can print their own work and spread it to thousands if not millions of people fairly easily. You don’t even have to print a book anymore. You can upload it online and send it to anyone with a device connected to the internet.

If your ideas are great, publishers will be begging you to allow them to spread your work to millions more.

Now let us go back to you and how this impacts you.

Think of your favorite book. Or if you are like me and can’t choose a favorite, think of a few of those books that you could not live without. You know which ones I am talking about. The books that while you were reading your eyes expanded with excitement because you knew you had just learned something that would change the course of your life for the better.

The book that you could not stop reading so you sacrificed your energy for the next day by staying up way too late reading. It was worth it, right?

Or maybe you aren’t like me at all and that sounds crazy.

There is a person or a group of people who spent countless hours, and sometimes years, racking their brain to string together tens of thousands of words in hopes to tell a story or teach a lesson that they believed was important for others to hear. They spent their precious time writing something that they had no guarantee would benefit anyone else. They had no guarantee, but they believed and poured their heart into writing anyway.

They sent their first draft to someone to edit and give them constructive feedback. That editor marked up almost every page and told the writer to do it better. It was hard to receive that they made so many mistakes, but they took it in stride and got back to work because they knew they had to get their idea, their life’s work, to you the reader.

I love this quote by Booker T. Washington:

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

It is true that writers write because they simply have the urge to, but it is also true that they give it to others for enjoyment. They are giving to others and helping many.

The writer knows his work could have an impact on someone, so he writes. Maybe the first book won’t do so well, but he continues. He knows that he has this urge to create for some reason. He is not arrogant enough to think he will impact everyone, but he knows that someone will find his work pleasing or helpful.

The lessons learned from reading a book can allow you to skip years or even decades of learning them on your own in the real world.

Reading is a way to gain insight into someone else’s thinking. A way to empathize with others; it is the best way to learn someone else’s perspective. When you can do this, you can see how others look at the world and understand the world in a different way.

The more books you read the more perspectives you will see.

This different way of seeing or thinking of things will give you new ideas. There is no way to know what these new ideas and understanding will bring you, but no one will know until you put in the time to read.

So you must jump in and read like gangbusters. Read like it will save your life because it can and probably will. Read like it will change your life because it will. There is no other way to know but to read.

If I told you that if you would just read one book a week for the rest of your life that you would have 10 times (probably more like 100, but I’ll be conservative) the experience, would you do it?

From my experience and research, it seems to be that simple.

So I challenge you to pick up a book and read. Read anything. Read a wide variety of books that interest you. Read old and read new. Read the classics and read the cutting edge. Read something that would warrant strange looks from friends.

Humans are relational creatures. We seek to understand others and reading allows us to understand the author’s view so clearly.

Well, that’s my thoughts for the day and on the matter. Go out and read that book you love or know you should.