Monday, September 5, 2016

The importance of reading

Why we need to read and how to get started

I've never thought about it much until recently, but reading makes a huge difference in a person.  In how they think, carry themselves, and engage with the world.  I've realized that it's almost easy to distinguish between people who read and people who don't without asking them explicitly.

My Personal Leadership professor, Dr. Myers, strongly encouraged us to read.  It's the easiest, most accessible way to expand yourself and challenge yourself.  Books are deep resources there for the taking, they're even free to borrow from the library.  Why not stretch and enrich yourself?

I wanted to share two pieces with you.  First, a Brain Pickings article detailing thoughts on reading from folks much more learned and mature than I.  Please read it.  Secondly, here is a small, powerful excerpt from a video series on the worsening of America's public school system:

"Reading is the skeleton key for all who lack a personal tutor of quality. Reading teaches nothing more important than the state of mind in which you find yourself absolutely alone with the thoughts of another mind, a matchless form of intimate rapport available only to those with the ability to block our distraction and concentrate, hence the urgency of reading well, if you read for power. Once you trust yourself to go mind to mind with great intellects, artists, scientists, warriors, and philosophers, you are finally free."

Even if it's just a little, even if it's a short book or a title that's not highly acclaimed, make time for reading.  Here are some tips from my friend Sarah Becker on how to incorporate more reading into your life.  Making the effort is worth it, and we will all be better off when we and those around us read more.  Since 2013, I've been able to complete at least 3 books a year, which sounds small to me, but I'm proud I've been able to stick to my goal.  I hope to continue and maybe even grow that goal throughout the years!  Let's do it!

Some recommendations to consider:

The Noticer by Andy Andrews
An easy to digest story about how to notice what needs to be noticed

1984 by George Orwell
Monumental for a very good reason, and keeps you on the edge of your seat

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Hilarious, lighthearted, and great for vacation reading

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Funny, endearing, and different from the movie

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Heavier than the others on this list in every way, but also deeper, harder, and more beautiful

P.s. Have anything to add to the list?
Here's what I've been reading up on these last couple years.

4 comments:

  1. Was so excited to read this post and was so humbled that you mentioned me! I had this exact talk with Nathan Johnson in Charlotte last month, reading is SO SO SO important and I can definitely tell readers from nonreaders!!

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    1. Absolutely! I was so surprised when I was able to pinpoint the difference in someone recently, but then *it all made sense.* And that post you wrote about reading was super helpful, and it's stuck in my mind ever since! Wanted to make sure I passed it along. :)

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  2. Good material. Great books. Now I'm reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. And before that I've read Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Eduard! I always have a couple titles going at the same time. So glad you've been able to find good books to keep you engaged!

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