Today we have a guest post from John Chukwuma Anyasor. John writes the personal development blog hiLife2b. Always upbeat, very smart, and wise beyond his years, John is one of the brightest spots on the web. Enjoy!
When most people hear the word ‘read’, or ‘library’, or ‘book’, three signals usually go off in their minds:
Or my personal favorite:
3) Who reads books anymore? I have a Kindle for that.
I think reading books has taken a backseat to other more popular forms of media (television, film, radio, and the internet).
Technology has come so far, in fact, that some us believe there’s no longer a point in reading books. I could just wait until the movie comes out, right?
What’s more, reading books may have taken a backseat to life itself.
These days, there’s too much going on in your life for you to pick up a good read. There’s just no time to read books. I’m too busy. I have a job to work, and kids to feed.
Let me tell you something – not reading books may be the worst mistake you could ever make. So much so in fact, that it could be life-threatening. Not a matter of life and death mind you, but a matter of just leisurely going through life and really living life to the fullest.
Let me explain.
The majority of people’s lives in a nutshell
You can go through life watching the local news, pretending to care about wars in other countries, tweeting to all your friends about your weekend, and remain in your little bubble. Anyone outside that reality wouldn’t notice you – and you wouldn’t notice them.
But when you pick up a book, you step outside your normal, everyday life. It’s not just about technology, reality TV, and work. You step into someone else’s world, experiencing their thoughts and their feelings.
I’ve read plenty of books that have moved me nearly to tears (at most, I got choked up a bit), and I’ve read books that I’ve laughed and laughed with.
I’ve read stories of romance that made me want to find my true love. I’ve read tales of adventure, endurance, and discovery that made me want to explore.
You’re not alone
Reading books has taught me that there are so many people in the world – each with their one unique story. I once believed that my story sucked. I mean, who would want to know about me?
It’s funny, because that’s what every author thinks before they publish their first book. Will they like what I write? Will people care? Can they relate? Does it matter that I’m (from whatever country, part of whatever ethnic group, and have whatever disability)?
And when the authors see people avidly reading their books, they realize that people can relate to them. Just like when you pick up a good book, you think to yourself, “Wow, I totally get what the author’s saying.”
You too have a story
Even outside the scope of books, most people think their own stories suck. Most of us read masterpieces written by those who have faced hardship and overcame it in an inspiring way, and wish we were like them.
What you don’t know is that the best stories are the ones that you yourself can truly connect with. As you read, you’re feeling the exact same feelings as the author.
Living life to the fullest entails experiencing as much of it as possible. Experience the pain of others, know their happiness, and feel their joy. Books give you the power to experience. For without books, how would we know the stories of others?
You could read blogs, but they’re not as in-depth as an entire book. You could watch someone document their life on video, but you can’t get a truly honest glimpse into their psyche.
Books serve to connect people’s thoughts, and that’s the deepest connection there is.
In a way, books have saved my life. They’ve shown me that I, too, have a story people want to hear. I’m not just another book on a rack – I am a bestseller.
That’s how reading saved my life. Books can save your life as well. You, too, have a story people want to hear. You’re not just another book on a rack – you are a bestseller.
“Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more importantly, it finds homes for us everywhere.” – Jean Rhys
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