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.
wierddreamer wierddreamer
31-35, M
11 Responses Oct 23, 2006

Thanks for this. Will continue reading most of my books now. Slowly but surely, will finish them.


The Count of Monte Cristo is a brilliant book, it has to be my favourite (^_^)

"Read not only for pleasure, but to challenge yourself. Read a book you think will be boring, just to discover what it hides"<br />
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After reading the part you wrote, I just froze and had a whole new meaning on reading. However I just started having an interest in reading and need as much advice on books to read. bI really did enjoy reading your passage. Thanks!

the count of monte cristo is my favorite book :)

Denver and Roserosetree:<br />
Initially Rose's comment irritated me, because I've never considered audiobooks "reading". However, the last few years I've been giving a lot of consideration to how to return to more traditional and natural ways of doing things, and last week it occurred to me that audiobooks are steeped in tradition, and are a more natural way of passing on knowledge than reading.<br />
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It's easy to look at literacy rates today and decry the horrible state of education, but if you look at history, people who read well have always been rare. Traditionally, disseminatination of knowledge has always been the job of scribes, lecturers, heralds, troubadours, storytellers, poets, and actors. Writing was always simply the means of preserving knowledge. The real problem today may be the shortage of time and talented narrators.<br />
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This is not to say that one who is capable of reading should leave it for others. I just recognize now that it is not as big a problem as I thought, and it is not laziness to rely on audiobooks. I still won't call it reading, but listening is as valid a method of learning as reading.

Nice post :)<br />
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i have had eye problems in the past and sometimes my eyes strain when reading. im not sure if i should go for a check up...it costs money ye know :)<br />
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i agree with you about reading. its wonderful. i should definitely read more :)

Great, great essay. I love your passion.<br />
I used to have a deep need to get high every night in order to relax and 'escape;' now I escape into the pages of my bedside book (frequently for only a page or two), and fall asleep unencumbered by the days' worries, with no chemical altering!

Yes, at the risk of being controversial, I approve of reading also.<br />
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My favorite way to read is with audiobooks, because my personal "gift set" has me way more auditory than visual.

My hubby and I own enough books to line all the rooms from floor to ceiling in bookcases on two walls in the family room and our bedroom. We also have one wall in my office and three walls in his office. <br />
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We buy and average of 10 books a month between the two of us.<br />
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So, now we are taking books out of those cabinets and offering some to children, friends and used book stores. <br />
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This gives us a little room for the new ones. <br />
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EVEYTHING you describe in you WONDERFUL entry about your reading is SOOOOOO true with us.<br />
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I bless those Journalists who take the time to research and bring great information, I adore those active immaginations that also have creative writing skills, and I am always greatful to those who have given me new power in their "how to do " books. <br />
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"Take me away" is not merely a selling slogan for Calgon; it is the well known path traveresed by the bookish!!<br />
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I adore you already, we probably read through many of the same pages. <br />
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I wholeheartedly agree! (Especially about the reading something you would think is boring bit - I have often been pleasantly surprised by books that wouldn't normally be to my tastes). Reading takes preference over television anyday, though I have a TV to watch dvds; there are some stories better conveyed by images, imo.