Everybody Should Have This Gift.I read. I have no television, and I rarely listen to the radio. If I had an up-to-date list of things I want to read it would be longer than my arm, but I'm too busy reading to keep any such up to date. Books I'm currently reading are The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Creative Destruction by Richard Foster and Sarah Kaplan, and E-Myth Mastery by Michael Gerber. I also read two email lists on strawbale construction and one on building rag wing airplanes. My personalized Google page delivers to me each day 3 Wired articles, 3 Reuters Oddly Enough stories, and 3 Motley Fool articles, of which I about half. Frequently during the day a passing mention of something in conversation piques my interest, and I read the related Wikipedia article. Reading one Wikipedia article usually leads to several more. I occasionally read from several forums.
Some might call this an addiction, but I think it's healthy. It transports the mind and revives the body (except when I stay up all night). It enriches the soul. It opens doors to knowledge. Knowledge is power, so therefore reading empowers. They say readers are leaders, but I don't think it's that exclusive. There are many that are not leaders (the world doesn't need very many) who benefit by reading. I do believe that effective leaders are almost always readers. Effective readers who cannot read (there have been some, I'm sure) are observers, which is nearly the same thing, and given reading, could be more effective. Reading sharpens the mind and broadens experience. One cannot experience everything necessary in life on his own, but from books, one can receive the benefit of others experience. Reading another's experience compels thought on its antecedents. Merely witnessing the experiences of others (as on television) is passive, giving no prompting to thought. Thorough readers generally speak and write well.
Read not only for pleasure, but to challenge yourself. Read a book you think will be boring, just to discover what it hides. When you listen to a person speak, you have a choice whether to be interested or tune it out. Often it is easy to prejudice yourself against hearing someone because of their age or class, or even their sex or race. If you listen attentively, however, with a desire to learn something useful, you probably will. Hearing the real desires, fears, or specialized knowledge of another, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, gives meaning to your own. Books are the same, and if you only ever read books you think will be fun, and discard one because it loses your interest, you will never fulfill your potential. Animal breeding programs benefit from hybrid vigor, and variety is the spice of life in mental operations as well as in every other aspect.
Teach someone to read. Learn to read better. Read aloud to others in your peer group. Read more.