What is a book? It may seem like a silly question, but have you ever considered what those hundreds of pages bound up and packaged for your consumption actually are?
They are some persons blood, sweat, and tears. They are hours of research and struggle and effort to tell a story. They are focused and curated knowledge about any subject you’re interested in.
A good book is like finding a master on a subject that is willing to take the time to share his or her wisdom with you, without any complaint or judgement or qualm. A good book is like going on an adventure in your mind.
All of that for less than $20! Books are a bargain and they have so much to offer. Here are just a few of there many benefits.
Books open your mind
A book can open your mind to new ideas and perspectives that you were otherwise blind to. It can be easy to see the world in the same way, day after day, as you fall into your routines.
Sometimes, a good book is all you have to get you out of a rut and seeing things differently. They open up your imagination and let you explore things that were previously unthinkable. They are able to give you answers to questions you didn’t even know you had.
Books consolidate knowledge
Ultimately books are the totality of someones knowledge on a subject. It is their thoroughly researched and thought out effort to portray an idea for the world to enjoy. They may not always be perfect, but each one has something unique and interesting to offer.
Rather than having to find and compile this knowledge yourself or find a teacher, all that work is already done for you and found in a nice and neat little package.
Books show you, you are not alone
Sometimes you don’t realize how alike everyone really is. You think you’re alone in your struggles and difficulties when in reality, your stories are all too common. Books are a great medium to see this exact scenario played out many times. A quote by James Baldwin shows just how powerful this is:
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me the most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”
Books can give you strength and show you that you are not alone.
Books shape your instincts
How you think, act, and behave is a culmination of the information you’ve encountered and how you’ve interpreted it. As such, reading more books can only further your mind and your abilities to make better decisions.
In this way, books are able to shape your instincts and thinking in all aspects of life. Your intuition, your gut feelings, are developed through information and can be amplified by reading.
I have a secret to tell. I’m personally addicted to reading. I read on the toilet. I read when I’m running on the treadmill. I listen to audiobooks on my commute. I read before bed. I’m always reading. It’s one of the few good habits I’ve developed over the years.
While it takes some time and certainly took some effort to build the habit, I’m beyond happy that I did. What’s crazy though is that most people don’t read. They don’t reap the many benefits that come from books. In fact, a 2014 report from the Pew Research Center reported that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year.
Not one book! Not an e-book or an audio book or a good old fashioned paperback. That’s a bit concerning, especially due to how much value there is to be had.
Books are a bargain and one we should all take advantage of. Read more books.
Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.