The Importance of Reading Books

On August 29, 2012

The Importance of Reading Books

The joy of reading books can't be described in words. It's something that you understand only by real experience.

There is much more to life than your work, and the time that you spend aimlessly using the latest technology products. Reading books gives you that much needed break from the chaos in your life. It instills peace inside you, makes you relaxed and also exercises your brain in the process.

When you read a book, it feels great to put yourself into a world the writer has created for you. Ask any avid reader about this, and they too will agree that reading a book is same like watching a movie.

When you spend several hours reading a book, you create a world of your own in your mind. You fill this world with different characters and scenes. This increases your imagination powers and helps you to think about your ideas more visually. Depending upon what you read, you will come out with the same experience as you do when you watch a great movie.

I have been a voracious reader ever since I learned to read. That's why I never get bored even being alone for a long time. I have found that reading books is the best medicine to kill boredom.

What starts with reading story books, when you are a kid, turns into reading books for improving yourself as you grow older. From story books to technical & management books, and then from self improvement books to spiritual books and beyond, the journey is fantastic and you learn something with each passing day.

You understand your thoughts and emotions more clearly. It makes you realize who you really are and makes your life more meaningful. Reading books makes you a better thinker and a better man.

And reading books is not the same as reading articles. Thanks to technology you can easily find good articles to read on the internet. A great article can inspire and motivate you as much as a great book. It's not how much you read, but what you read which is more important.

The only reason I recommend reading books over short articles is because when you read a book you spend several hours with it, whereas you only spend a few minutes reading an article.

It's easy to read a quote or an article for few minutes, then discard it and continue with what you were doing. But when you invest your time in reading a good book, you end up spending at least a few hours reflecting on its contents. Thus, what you learn from books is likely to stay with you for a longer time and have some positive influence on you.

A good reader also varies his reading pace based on the content he is reading and what he wants to get from it. The purpose of reading news articles is different from reading stories, which is different from reading important documents. Over a period of time, you will understand how to vary your reading pace and comprehension based on what you read and what you want from it.

Also, just reading good books is not enough. The way you read it is more important. When you come across a new idea or a different opinion, think upon it deeply. Don't accept or reject it blindly. Try to reason with it and understand the writer's point of view.

Reflect upon the thoughts that come to your mind when you read a great book. You will know whether a book is great or not based on the thoughts it awakens inside you.

As you continue this habit of reading and reflecting on what you read, you will start forming your own thoughts and values. It will challenge your mind and the thoughts, customs and traditions that you have grown up with.

However, there is one thing which you should always remember when you make this a daily habit, as you are investing a part of your life doing it. Too much reading, without any thinking and action isn't of much use. When you know you are ready to do something it's time to move to the next step. Act upon what you think is right and what you have decided to do.

It's easy to get so much involved in the reading process, that you forget that the main purpose of reading is to make you a better person which can only happen when you act upon it. Just finishing one book after another without any real action from your side won't help you.

What kind of person you want to be and what you would ultimately become depend greatly upon the type of content that you read and how much you act upon them.

Reading articles that promote negativity, hatred and give wrong information is dangerous. It's better to not read anything at all than read such articles.

Whether you read on some electronic device or prefer reading a real book, that's your personal choice. Personally, I prefer to read real books whenever possible because even after hours of reading my eyes feel fresh and full of energy. That's something I don't feel when I read too much on my computer.

Before ending this article, I would like to summarize few important points and also suggest some Do's and Don'ts of reading:

  • Always read your content from a safe distance. Neither too close to your eyes, neither too far away from your eyes.
  • Always prefer quality over quantity. Better to read one great book than hundred mediocre ones.
  • Understand properly what you have read and reflect upon it.
  • Don't accept anything blindly that you read, but think for yourself and try to understand the reason behind what's been written.
  • Bookmark interesting pages for future references. You never know when you will need them.
  • Sometimes it takes more than one reading to fully grasp something. Don't be disappointed if you don't understand a book in one reading. Maybe when you come back to it the next time, you will get it.
  • Focus completely on what you are reading. Don't think about other stuff while reading.
  • If possible, create a favorite spot in your house for reading books. You will feel more relaxed whenever you are there.
  • And above all, enjoy your reading experience.

The habit of reading good content daily will act like an exercise for your mind and keep you mentally fit and flexible. If you have never given it a try then always remember that it's never too late to start a good habit.

And if you need some help in picking up a good book, you can start with my recommended books section. Happy Reading.

Image Source: Enokson

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