I have to tell you that I am shocked when I hear people say, “I’m not a reader.” When I hear that I want to say, “You don’t have to tell us. We already know.”
I know, that’s a little harsh, but hey, reading is important! Where did it ever get a bad name? I know, grade school, high school – you know those things we had to read. Reading was punishment. But, my friends, reading is freedom. Here are five reasons you should constantly read.
- You should read for stimulation. Oftentimes there is a debate between whether I read fiction, nonfiction, self-help, or only those books that teach me about business. The truth is, any book, fiction or nonfiction, that stimulates your creative inner mind, that stimulates an inner dialogue, that leads you to new ideas is a good read. It is amazing how your mind can make connections, creative connections that have almost nothing to do with what you’re reading. Reading stimulates your mind. It is a must.
- You should read for insight. Often an idea, a paraphrase, an illustration will close the loop and allow you to get hold of a new insight into a problem or even an opportunity. Insight comes through stimulation of new ideas. And those ideas are found in books.
- You should read to remain relevant. Everyone around you is reading. People in your field are reading. As a matter of fact, that becomes their competitive edge, when they know more information than you do. How do you digest information and stay relevant? Reading. Reading the most relevant, effective books. When you’re reading what everyone else is reading you remain relevant to the conversation.
- You should read to write. One little known fact is that all writers are readers; maybe not in their area of expertise, but they read. They love to ingest the written word. They know that a good book has been written and rewritten maybe a hundred times. The ideas have been distilled and put into practical, forceful, compelling language. It’s where writers learn how to write better – by reading better writers.
- You should read to stay interesting. Readers are interesting people. Interesting people have influence. Influence is leadership; impact. When you read, your conversation changes. Your vocabulary increases. Your knowledge of the world expands and you become a more interesting person.
Think about it. Every day in the books around us we find the best ideas in the world written, distilled, researched, and delivered to us at discount prices. With the rise of Kindles and e-books you can carry an entire library with you and read whenever you choose. The challenge is not what you read, or when you read, or even how much you read, but that you read.