My hyper/crazy mind told me to stop reading after high school.
I was convinced that there had to be a more productive way to learn other than reading. I traded reading for five-minute videos on YouTube. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but it wasn’t.
Then one day, my mom got an iPad. I always thought tablets were stupid. Again, I was wrong. I downloaded a book onto the Kindle App and I became hooked. I then rang my friend.
At the time, I thought I wanted to be the next Wolf Of Wall Street. Oh god some of my false career dreams are hilarious upon reflection!
Anyway, I asked my friend how to become a “Trader.” He told me to read, so I did. He gave me a list of books to read and many of them had the words “Wall Street” in them. I read each book and suddenly I was hooked on reading for the first time in my life.
I hadn’t read a book since high school and I was finally seeing what I was missing out on. Don’t let school make you believe that learning and reading are boring.
So here’s why you should read daily.
Reason One: You’ll learn more
Short bites of content on the Internet won’t help you learn complex tasks. Short content has made us impatient and given us all a university degree in how to live with ADD. With books, you get to go deep on a topic. The words on the page affect you in a different way.
A good book consumes you and takes over your life until you finish it. Books are very convincing because they require a time commitment.
“When something is easily accessible and requires no burden or significant entry cost, we take it for granted”
Books force you to make a decision. You’re required to sit down and read for several hours – and sometimes days – before you can complete the book.
Through this journey, you can truly master a topic. I also find that my comprehension rate of a book is far greater than any other medium. That’s why reading is a must for everyone who wants to grow as a person and learn.
Reason Two: Quotes to live your life by
The addictive part of reading (especially on a Kindle) is that you can highlight quotes. If there’s a line you love, you can highlight it and then find it again easily later.
After a while, you start to build up a library of quotes that you can live your life by. Whenever you need a quick reminder of something you learned from a book, you can find a quote and re-read it.
We underestimate the power of simple tools like quotes.
“Quotes can interrupt a pattern our mind might be running and give us truth right when we need it”
Reason Three: You’ll get better at writing
Being a blogger, I’m always looking to write better. Through daily reading, I’m learning new ways to write. Books have shown me different styles of writing, how to talk in different voices and me different sentence structures.
I recently compared my writing from a few years back and I’ve noticed it’s evolved tenfold. I now know how to spell so many more words and I’ve become better at expressing myself.
Reason Four: You’ll enhance your ability to evoke emotions in others
Stories of struggle have helped me discover my emotional side. Through reading, we can consume highly emotional stories.
These stories make us feel something and can move us to take action. Once we have read many books that explore lots of different emotions, we can use the same tactics to evoke emotions in others.
Being able to make people feel something is a very powerful skill to have. We can use this skill to argue a point, sell our business and attract a romantic partner. Emotions are the driving force of life. Once you know how to use them, you can achieve new heights.
Reason Five: You’ll be taken away from your current reality
Since I rediscovered reading, I decided to see what all the hype was about and started reading Harry Potter. I never knew what the fuss was about until I got into it. At the time, I was recovering from a broken heart and the book took me into another world.
The book took me away from my problems and gave me time to heal. I got to see the struggles that Harry faced and how he dealt with them. Strangely enough, the struggles of this wizard were similar to my own. He faced evil enemies and so did I.
When Harry met Dumbledore in the first book, he saw the power of having a mentor. Seeing mentorship through the eyes of Harry Potter reinvigorated my thirst for coaching and mentorship. Not only did I want to be a mentor, but I also became open to being mentored again.
All of this came from a fantasy book about a wizard with no parents. Reading has magical powers.
Reason Six: You’ll Learn New Words
Reading takes you away from the usual words you would use and introduces you to new words. On the Kindle App, I love coming across new words and then highlighting them to find out what they mean. That’s how I discovered the word discombobulated again.
I had heard the word once in grade four when my teacher Mr. Dover (often nicknamed Ben Dover) used it. Mr. Dover used the word after we made a cardboard tractor for an upcoming play and described his current state as discombobulated.
If it weren’t for reading books, I wouldn’t have rediscovered old words and learned new words.
Reason Seven: You’ll speak better
The words you use in a conversation come from your memory bank also known as your vocabulary. By reading, I’ve found that you subconsciously start speaking better. All of a sudden your brain has better references on how to express your thoughts and feelings.
Communication is key in life and reading will help you be better at it.
“If you sound like a waffling imbecile, then it’s partly because you may not have discovered the habit of reading”
Reason Eight: Go back in time
I’m currently reading a book about the psychology of tennis. It was written before the modern concepts of psychology were known. The great thing about reading books is that you get to travel back in time.
This author of this book discovered the science of peak performance through experience. He did this before all the new science on peak performance became widespread. Through reading, I got to understand peak performance in its very early stages, before all the hype.
History can tell us a lot about ourselves and books are full of wisdom from the past.
Time to take action: Here’s how to begin
Ok cool, so you’ve seen all the reasons you should read. Now it’s time to take action. The task of reading can be daunting though. I’ve found it’s best to read for fifteen minutes a day, to begin with.
You could also try reading a book that has lots of short chapters. Then, all you need to do is commit to reading one chapter a day. There’s no way you can fail with such a small goal.
The nice thing is that once you start reading for fifteen minutes a day, you will become addicted and naturally want to read more. From here, you’ll get lost in the world of reading and gain all the benefits mentioned above. Best of luck and happy reading!