091 Why I read

Reading books has recently become one of my many favorite things to do. I read everyday for a number of reasons (highlighted further below in this article). I made a goal of reading 25 books from cover to cover this year and I’m presently just one short of that big number, on my 25th book of the year. That means I’ll be quite able to surpass my reading goal of 2021 by a good margin.

We’ve all been told that readers make leaders and how reading is good for your brain and stuff. We are told, you should read … because of the apparent benefits of reading books.

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers”

Harry S. Truman

Although I hate to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do and I don’t like myself being told what I should or shouldn’t do, last year, during lock-down I took the clichéd “you should read” advice and decided to read a book … just for the sake of reading a book. Once I had read the whole book, the pride of reading a book from cover to cover got to my head and I discovered that I liked reading books for the sake of reading books. And so that one book turned into a few, then many. That’s how I got started with reading – a wannabe reader – , hence also my goal of reading 25 books. Only the numbers stacking up were impressive to me.

But after I got done with reading a few books, I shifted from the “reading for the sake of reading” stage to the point of “actually learning and applying something from reading books“. It didn’t take that long because in my mind I was always reading to learn stuff, howsoever a bit dishonestly at first. But on reaching that stage, it felt amazing and much more simpler to read. It no longer felt as though a burden, but something that was helping me learn about different people and their perspectives and the incredible way the world works, among other topics whose boundaries extended infinitely.

Then, as it is now, my primary goal of reading became absorbing knowledge and learning. I always read non-fiction, that’s how I liked it. If you are a regular reader of my articles here, you’ll know how diverse my subjects of writing are. I like to learn about whatever my unconscious curiosity throws at me. And reading books really helps me fulfill my curiosities better, and more efficiently. Furthermore, I like to apply whatever I’ve read and understood from a book.

I understand that a 300-page non-fiction book isn’t just a “300-page non-fiction book”. Usually it’s a learned authors entire life study or something what the author has spent countless hours of work on. It’s a big deal. A lot of research and information went into that book and it’s all complied now into one 300-page book for the reader to read. But it is much more than just that. Not that I’m saying you could blindly trust whatever you read in even a best-selling book for that matter, no! I for one like to see things as they are through the lenses of this fact: good teachers and/or leaders don’t tell you what to think, they rather teach you how to think. You don’t want to be trusting an author, but just hear the author out because a lot of hard work, perhaps years of hard work went into just an easy week long read for a reader.
Anyway, the point still standing is that a book is more than just a book. It has been written with a lot of thinking, every word of it. So try and treat it that way, and learn from it.

Summing up, here’s a list of why I read:

  • To learn: reading is one of the most efficient ways to learn, there just needs to be a little knack for it. And it’s astonishing that we can learn about absolutely anything by reading. There’s probably a book written down for every curiosity. If there isn’t, my plea is; try writing one to help other readers with similar kinds of curiosities 🙂
  • To learn about people: biographies and autobiographies are a great way to learn about and from famous people who had what it took for them and probably their life story inspires us to see things clearly ourselves. Real life people stories allow me to look at the world from someone else’s eyes and it is incredible how that’s possible by just reading!
  • To understand: another thing about reading and this is different from the previous points is that reading helps me to understand better. As I read more, the overall knowledge seems to grow exponentially. I find linking points from different books and it’s easier to understand how all things fall into place
  • It’s fun: Lastly, reading is just fun. Though it may not be so when you are just getting started; at that time, it’s probably a good idea to have the pride of reading a book for the sake of it guiding you, but then later on it just seems to get fun.

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