How I got into the habit of reading books and Why it matters.
It all started with the lesson from the English subject taught in my school.
Two friends(Person A and Person B) debate on life imprisonment vs Death Penalty. The person A is supporting life imprisonment accepts a challenge to prove the point. The challenge for “A” is to go into solitary confinement for 10 years and monetary compensation from “B” is the prize.
Person A was locked in a room without outside human contact. Person A spends a year in boredom, Then starts reading books. In 10 years “A” completes reading books about variety of subjects like Science, Music, Art, Finance, Economy, History, Culture and etc. The person B is afraid of losing and plans to kill “A”, just the day before completion of the confinement term. As planned, “B” enters the room to kill “A” and shocks to find that A is missing in Room and finds a letter.
Letter by A: In all these years, I have read books and gained knowledge about many things. It is more valuable than the money I receive from you. Bye, Thank you.
!! Wear the old coat but buy the new book. !!
Uncle’s Advise: those are the days without personal computers and information was available mostly in the format of Books. My Uncle is a Botany professor and is highly honoured for his knowledge. He gave me the advice to read anything I find and learn from it. ( Even from the papers used to wrap the samosas). This fueled my interest.
Then started going to bookstalls in bus stands during my travel, spent time skimming through the titles and bought any interesting books. I started with the biography of Vivekananda ( enormous influence), Books on proverbs etc. Have set up my home library.
Then entered college, lucky to find a decent library. Had the dream to read all books in 4 years. We can borrow books only for 14 days, so I used to visit the library and borrow books apart from the ones recommended by professors( for course subjects). Have read books around Architecture, Design, Psychology, Biography of scientists like Edison, Tesla etc. Gone through all titles of books in my college if not content :P.
As I started the Job, have read some of the best-sellers like KiteRunner, Alchemist, Five-point someone, rich dad poor dad etc on weekends. I just bought books randomly and read them whenever I found some time.
In Malls, I head straight to bookstalls like Landmark or Crossword. Nowadays these are the only books stalls you will see in malls. I review what's latest and how many were already in my library.
As I started working in financial domain, Picked up interest in finance, have read books like Intelligent investor, Learn to Earn by Peter Lynch, Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis, etc. This helped me a lot with my financial planning, calculating ROI, comparing investment and helping my friends with the same.
My current company encourages employees to read books. No stopping for me.
Note on Kindle: House shifting means packing of many cartons with books and is ever-growing each time. My wife gifted me the Kindle to control the buying habit of hard copies and for managing the storage at home. Kindle is a great invention but can’t replace the feeling of reading a hard copy.
Connecting the Dots: The lesson and uncles advise helped to develop the interest in Books. The habit of stopping by the stalls to skim through titles motivated me to buy books. The habit of buying books has led me to read books.
Why It matters:
a) Years of research or knowledge packed into a single book. Just by reading it, You gain the fruits of authors work easily.
b) All the personality development books, says the same thing in different format and flavour. (My favourite one is: We are what we think and we become what we think). Reading makes you think better.
c) Read and be part of the top 5%. All successful people were avid readers. ( Warran Buffet, Elon Musk, Bill Gates…..etc).
d) Increases your creativity or expands your field of imagination. Which helps you to have better thoughts or new perspectives in your decisions.
e) It helps your brain ( Memory, cognitive capability, stress relief etc).
The value you receive on investing in reading is exponential.
Today we are lucky to have the access to knowledge very cheaply. Take this opportunity to buy a book. start small, KEEP READING, KEEP GROWING…..
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