Books are as old as human existence. Gaze back in time and you’ll see the presence of books littered throughout every century.
The reading and digesting of books is the oldest learning mechanism known to man. The authoring of books was the prime means of sharing a story, experience, knowledge, success and even failure. Until very recently (relative to history), if you had a burning desire to specialize in a “non-academic” subject, the gathering and devouring of books was your only option.
However there is a sad recurring theme amongst younger people; that the reading of books is “un-cool”.
Allow me to clarify, when I state “younger people” – I’m not referencing an exact window of age. If anything, it’s not the youngest of children who are guilty, in fact, it’s the slightly older camp! Let’s say those in adolescence and upwards to even those as mature as their mid-twenties.
Read any interview or even “about me” style transcript, and a common question is: “Favourite books?”…………
“Reading? Yeah right, I don’t read books!…….Come on now!”
Presumably the transition from the partaking in regular book reading to no book reading, occurs perhaps around the time children are no longer made to read regularly. When children are very young, it’s standard procedure to teach them via books. I’m pretty sure that’s how the majority of us learnt our foundational understanding of the English language, and how to both present it to, and receive it from others.
However that inevitable time arises when children are allowed to chose whether or not to continue in regular book consumption.
Alas, having not formed a solid habit of reading or even not possessing the maturity to value reading, the practice is discontinued.
A great shame.
Now this blog of mine is centred around health, fitness and exercise. This is my blog’s central core. But the realms of self-improvement, learning and even some spiritual evolution are very close rivals of prime purpose.
These elements are very complimentary to one and other. Needless to say, reading is essential to any self-improvement journey. I am, and always have been a regular and keen reader. English has always been my stronger point throughout my life of studying. For that I’m thankful and I guess that enables me to value the art of reading.
Some fundamental reasons to consult books and read on a more regular basis:
Greater focus –
In today’s information overloaded world, we all at some time or another, fall victim to information overload. We find ourselves trying to divide our attention into smaller and smaller segments. Thus – giving our full and utmost attention to no singular thing.
If you practice the habit of book reading, it will allow you to establish a place or space of time where you are entirely present to ONE particular subject. Whichever book you happen to read will present one primary perspective, this will enable you to digest the content maximally, without the opposing views being present and causing distraction. If you wish to observe the opposing or differing view, you will have to obtain the relevant book and repeat the process.
This will improve your ability to apply the forgotten art of: Singular focus!
Improved or sharper literacy skills –
Just like your parents reading to you as a very small child pays dividends to your learning ability, regular reading as an adult will contribute to sharper literacy skills. I had a phase not so long ago, where I had become a little complacent with my reading and writing. I wasn’t doing it at the frequency I am now, and thus it was tainted with some rust.
Now that I am reading on a regular basis and writing both for work and for this blog, I am finding that I can interpret and express much more competently!
Information equally as good as modern internet info –
It’s a common misconception that somehow, today’s wealth of internet information contains much more improved theories, thoughts, practices and ideas relating to certain subjects.
Take the realm of strength training or even fitness! – All these new “fads” that numerous folk are claiming as their “own invention”, are nearly always ever present in the relevantly related originally published textbook!
Many “greats” of their subject or industry will testify this fact. A large amount of “new” internet information that is said to be so “ground-breaking”, is little more than re-worded or recycled content from great books of ‘yesteryear’!
It’s all there, you just have to look.
There are many other suitable candidates for reasons reading adds value to life, even something as simple as relaxation!
This is personal experience talking.
I’m sure I could make my own book with the plethora of reasons book reading is valuable.
But for now I trust I’ve made a reasonable case for the inclusion of reading to assist your quest, journey or mission in becoming the strongest, smartest, bravest and best version of you.