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I love trains and find that the best ideas come to me on my morning train journies into London for meetings.
This is possibly because I am always reading a book on the move and the changing environment does something powerful to my morning brain.
What's interesting though are the fewer numbers of people actually reading books. I’d say something like 10% of the carriage are typically reading books and the rest are typically on smartphones watching stuff.
Reading books is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me. Probably something I get from my mother and also something immigrants swear by.
Here are a bunch of reasons why I believe reading books is the most powerful life hack ever –
1. Access to the world's best mentors
I have offered mentoring and coaching to many people for a number of years. However, I have never quite had the accessibility of some mentors that I would like for my situation.
One way I tap into them anyhow is to read their books. Think about it, it takes on average 6 months to write a book, and people typically put their best ideas and thoughts into their books.
Reading is the best possible way to literally download someone else's brains into yours. No kidding!
I get so excited about reading that I go totally nuts buying books for fun! I read books from some of the brightest minds in the world, and I feel I know these people personally as a result.
2. A tonne of variety
Over the last year, for example, I have been geeking out in niche areas such as marketing, selling/storytelling, negotiating, understanding the mind etc.
There is certainly no way I could have learned stuff of such variety without investing time and money in buying specific books that have really opened my eyes to disciplines I knew nothing about.
3. You grow in wisdom
Knowledge (I.e. the what) is the beginning of wisdom.
However, reading books actually give you the opportunity to also gain Understanding i.e. the Why.
You get to immerse deeply and connect dots a lot easier, which serves to open your eyes up to opportunity and sets you up for potential value creation.
In addition, reading other people's stories and experiences can serve as affirmation for the next stage in your life hustle.
4. Your communication moves up a few notches
I don't hide the fact that I got a C grade in my English GCSE :). Heck, I was lucky to have landed a C even with a tonne of work!
I’d definitely say that reading has done a great deal to improve my written and verbal communication.
Thing is, with reading you actually get to choose what you want to read and why.
This act alone empowers you as a reader and gives you much motivation to seek out ever more interesting and imaginative ideas.
5. You become smarter and potentially richer
Sounds very obvious but one really good way to know a lot of stuff is by reading.
You can literally become a subject matter expert simply by reading.
This opens up a crazy amount of opportunities because thanks to the internet, there is an ever-growing number of people who want to learn stuff from those in the know.
[redbar]The difference between where you are right now and where you want to be is exactly the same as the difference between what you know and what you don't know.[/redbar]
There are other factors at play, but I’d go as far as saying that if you want to get wealthier, get reading today.
Key is to learn and implement as fast as you can and learn from that process itself.
Don't just read books, geek out on podcasts too in order to cover ground even faster!!
Always Be Learning.
7 Steps to Designing Your Financial Life
What are your thoughts? Any other reasons why you love reading books?
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.
One word Ken: Library! They’re free…!
The Humble Penny says
Hi Liz, you’d be amazed how many people don’t read books even when you give it to them for free as a gift.
Libraries as you identify are a great resource. I definitely use my local one especially as they can also order in books straight from Amazon!
One thing I will never give up are my books. I think I have an addiction to reading (and learning). I too, only got a C for English (turns out I am dyslexic) but I still went on to write an 87,000 word PhD thesis years later. I am sure that books are what got me there.
These days, I prioritise spending on books but am still frugal with my methods. 80% of my reading is with a kindle unlimited subscription. It worked out as less than £1 per book for me last year, without including the ones my hubby and daughter read (as we share an account). The library doesn’t work too well for me as it doesn’t stock what I’m looking for. I’m also disabled and struggle to get there. Ebooks have been my saviours. Last year I read over 100 books, and keep remembering more that I forgot! This doesn’t include blogs that I follow either. Books have given me access to a world I can’t fully be part of any more and I am so grateful to my parents, who bought my first kindle years ago and made me a convert to ebooks.
Ken Okoroafor says
OMG, finally someone else who admits to getting a C at English 😊
Whoa at 87k words!! Funny, I went off Kindle years ago and prefer hard copy. But I was recently gifted an IPad Pro and I LOVE the darn thing! So I might join you and read from a device again. Loving the frugality on the books haha.
Well, you’ve inspired me with your result of over 100 books. I never really considered that disability might stop one accessing books in Libraries too. You’ve really made me think. Thank you
You are absolutely right. Reading is one discipline that is getting relegated to the past. I have a 50mins commute into London every morning and I use that time to read. You may have been too generous when you said about 10% of people in your carriage read. I think it may be much less than that.
I worry for our teenager and kids. If we as adults are not reading how are they going to learn to form that invaluable habit of reading.
I’m continuously building my own library. I definitely prefer hard copies than ebooks. I love to highlight things that I can go back to.
I did a piece on why we need to get into the habit of reading more.
Ken Okoroafor says
Thanks for stopping by! You’re right, 10% is generous for sure! I’m somewhat addicted to books now lol. In a good way, reading improves the quality of material that I can deliver on this blog too!
Cheers for the resource you shared. I’ll check it out!