I read whenever I get the chance to do. I have a huge library consisting of both traditional paper books and e-books. I truly did read more than 1,000 books and I would like to share my thoughts on why reading books is important. Feel free to share what you think about it, too.
I’m curious to learn about your own experience, what books give you and why you are reading in the first place.
Why reading books is important
1. To broaden your horizon. We are born in a specific environment that has its own laws, culture, and traditions. What lies beyond it is a world that may or may not be similar to what we are used to. Books open the doors to it. They let us see what’s there and how other people live. This expands our horizons and helps us take a brand-new look at many different things.
2. To open up to something new. This reason is tightly linked to the first one. We all are brought up believing certain stereotypes and preconceived notions. I am not talking about the laws that govern our life. I’m talking about the mindset and the way we perceive information. Not everybody is willing to give up those old thinking patterns. In contrast, when you aren’t restricted by constant boundaries, you can do and achieve so much more. The books help you remove those boundaries, be more flexible and open to new experiences, and less biased and judgemental. By expanding your mind, knowledge, and learning more about the world, you can make bold, independent decisions, and break free from old patterns, and boundaries you’ve been living in.
3. To «interact» with outstanding people. Books, in particular biographies, offer you a unique chance to learn about the world’s greatest minds who defined the course of history. They give you a glimpse into their thought process, and why they saw things in a certain way and acted the way they did. I sometimes get into these little arguments with these people. I may not agree with them, I may ask them why they did what they did when there were other options available. I may or may not share their opinion or stance on something. That’s how these books provide me with invaluable experience that sometimes triggers my personal transformations. They say we can never truly understand somebody else and their actions unless we are walking in their shoes. Books make it possible. When I get to learn the story of a certain person whose biography I’m reading, I get to see them in a new light and understand what made them act a certain way. That, in turn, helps me evolve.
4. To get your thoughts in order. Yes, this is another valid reason why reading books is important. The books help find a solution in a certain situation, give clues, motivate and make you come up with certain ideas. Obviously, not every book has an answer to your specific question. However, when you are really focused on something, it’s enough to come across a small suggestion that will later transform into the right decision.
5. To gain knowledge. Books on specialized subjects can help you gain and deepen the knowledge and skills linked to your profession, especially when they are written by experts in their field. Biographies of famous people are also a great source of practical knowledge. For instance, Reminiscences of A Stock Operator by Edwin Lefebvre is basically a trading bible everyone quotes, or Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight. The knowledge accumulated throughout decades, people’s stories about how they overcame life’s challenges, and their first-hand experiences — we can learn about all that in a matter of days while reading the book.
6. To boost your motivation. I would like to share one book with you all which has come to me at the right time and had a major impact on me especially given the traumatic events of winter 2022. I have suggested reading this book to one of the people I know. He contacted me after a while. I’m not going to quote his entire message, just a couple of phrases. Here’s what he wrote: «You have no idea how timely this book was. I realized that I simply had no right to fall apart. If she managed to face all these terrible things at her age and got to the other side of it, so will I. I was reading it and knew what I was going to do. You know, if this book was written by some coach, I’m not sure that it would evoke such strong emotions in me. However, coming from a person who survived so much, it’s a whole different story…».
7. To develop stronger empathy. This is another critical factor why reading books is important. This has more to do with fiction. This type of book offers you a chance to live a thousand lives, take a brand-new look at your own life, and imagine how you would react in certain situations. In other words, your emotional capacity and sensitivity expand. You may experience emotions that you otherwise wouldn’t given how different times, generations, and cultural backgrounds are. Just recall One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, or The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. These books let us dive into a totally different world which is sometimes extremely odd and even terrifying. They undoubtedly make a strong impression on you and whether it’s a good or a bad one, is another matter.
This is what I wanted to share with you all. Why should we read? To live a thousand different lives while having just one, and gain a magnitude of experience and knowledge.
To be honest, I can talk and write about books forever, just as I will never get tired of saying that books are the most affordable source of knowledge. And I suggest that you use every opportunity to grow and evolve both personally and professionally.