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Monday, April 27, 2009

51. Reading

I do not read as much as I used to.

That was what I said to myself last week. I love reading and yet I neglect doing so for the past few months since looking after Alif. I wanted to change that. I believe no matter how busy I am with other things I am sure I can fit this long lost hobby of mine into my life again.

So last Sunday I went to our local library and borrowed some books, 3 in fact because an adult member is allowed to borrow 3 books for 2 weeks. I am lucky to have a library nearby my home.

Our library near my home, just a 5 minutes walk away.

There are many reasons which I am fully aware of that made me make up my mind that I must read, reasons which I have neglected and which I should not. If I write them here it will remind me to continue reading and perhaps for those of you reading me here it will help you and encourage you to read too.

These are 50 reasons why we should read. I know you can get bored reading these 50 reasons and you may not finish even reading them but you can come back and go slowly over them next time ok? :)

1. Use your imagination - When reading fiction books, you use your imagination to create the story in your mind the way you see fit.

2. The book is better than the movie - Because you use your imagination to create the story, you get to make it the way you like it. No Hollywood director to ruin the story for you.

3. Find common humanity - A good story will give you insight into the common experiences we all undergo. Being able to strongly relate to a character makes
for a great book.

4. Learn a new skill - There are non-fiction books on every topic imaginable. You can learn a wide variety of skills from computer programming to gourmet cooking

5. Become smarter - Every book you read will add knowledge to your mind. Day by day, you will inevitably get smarter.

6. Gain different perspectives - By reading multiple books on the same topic or a book that espouses ideas that run contrary to your personal opinion you cultivate the ability to see things from multiple points of view.

7. Question your beliefs - Every now and then, you will run into some ideas that fly in the face of what you believe to be true. This provides an opportunity to discard incorrect positions or reaffirm an idea to yourself.

8. Become more well-rounded - By reading on an array of topics, you will become a more diverse individual yourself.

9. Be a better conversationalist - By being more well-informed about different subjects, you will be speak intelligently about many topics.

10. Leverage other people's experiences - Authors often draw upon several years of experiences to develop the ideas in their books. You have the ability to learn these ideas in only a few hours.

11. Increase awareness - Learn about what is going on in the world around you. Learn how it works and your newfound knowledge might great influences on you.

12. Live more consciously - As you gain awareness, you can decide, with greater clarity and effectiveness, how you want to live your life.

13. Pass the time on your commute - If you travel to work via subway, train or bus, reading will give you something to do to pass the time.

14. Gain more confidence - As you get smarter and increasingly think for yourself, your confidence will naturally grow as you trust yourself more.

15. Experience other people's adventures - From climbing Mount Everest to building a multibillion dollar corporation, you can experience part of these feats by reading about them.

16. Be more productive - Read books on time management and productivity to improve your skills in these areas.

17. Get inspired - Learn about the challenges other people have overcome to inspire you to do bigger and better things.

18. Replace negative habits - Use reading as a replacement for things you do that are not constructive.

19. Relaxation - Utilize reading as a way to relax, let go and recharge.

20. Wind down before bed - Relax yourself while preparing for sleep and simultaneously learn something new.

21. Get through life's struggles - Learn about people who have been through similar situations and find the strength to push through.

22. Solve your problems - Find solutions to your challenges in books. They can help with everything from getting out of debt to overcoming shyness.

23. Create new problems - As you continue to learn, you will find new ways to improve that you haven`t even thought of yet.
24. Be happier - All the advantages of reading will dramatically improve your life over time. Alternatively, read about happiness and learn how to improve it directly.

25. Better utilize technology - Learn how to get the most of your computer, cell phone and other technology. You can also learn about new gadgets that could improve your life.

26. Improve your writing - Good authors will have a positive influence on you and over time, your writing will improve naturally.

27. Go to places where you've never visited - Learn about different cultures and places even if you can`t afford to travel.

28. Go to times you have never experienced - Learn about life in the past through historical books.

29. Be introduced to people you have never met - Read biographies to meet some of most successful and significant people that have ever lived.

30. Expand your vocabulary - You will encounter words that you don't yet know but will be able to infer their meaning from the context (or a dictionary). Over time, this will cause your vocabulary to expand.
31. Get your questions answered - If you have a specific question that you want answered, you have your reading purpose clearly established. There are likely several books out there that can help you.

32. Get entertained - A well-written novel can be incredibly enjoyable.

33. Get new ideas - As new learning combine with previous knowledge, new associations will form that can inspire great ideas.

34. Be different - The majority of adults stop reading books all together once they are finished with school. Choose to be different by making reading a lifelong habit.

35. Mentally active - Unlike watching television or movies, when you are reading, you are actively engaged and alert.

36. Improve your concentration and focus - The practice of being mentally active while reading will boost your ability to concentrate.

37. Mental exercise - Think of reading as exercise for your brain. Just as you want to keep your body fit, you should keep your mind fit.

38. Learn anywhere - You can read anywhere as long you have a book with you. All the time that you spend waiting can be turned into spending time learning.

39. Become more creative - The constant influx of new ideas from books will improve your ability to generate your own ideas.

40. Inexpensive entertainment - For less than the price of a movie, you can get a novel that will entertain you a lot longer than 2 hours. If you go to the library, the entertainment is free.

41. Watch less TV - Use reading to replace the activity of watching mind-numbing television.

42. Learn at your own pace - Unlike in school, you are in charge of your rate of learning. Go as fast or as slow as you need to in order to learn what you want.

43. Make less mistakes - More knowledge will allow you stop making mistakes you used to make and avoid making mistakes you would have made.

44. Make more mistakes - Reading will encourage you to try new things, which means more mistakes. With more mistakes, comes more opportunity to learn.

45. Say bye to boredom - Once you get really into the habit of reading, you will always have something to do if you are feeling bored

46. Reduce stress - The relaxation effect of reading will help reduce your stress. Use it whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.

47. Make more money - Learn how to create more value for others and get money in return. Learn the principles of solid investing and effective personal finance.

48. Get ahead your career - Keep reading to stay up with current trends as well as learn timeless business principles

49. Get a better job - Increase your skills and abilities in order to trade up for a job you like better and get paid more.

50. Get a promotion or a raise - You will reap the benefits of your improved skills and increased value contribution.

These 50 reasons are very general of course but personally
did you know that reading can keep your mind active and engaged well into old age?

There was a story about this old woman who was a resident at a local nursing home. She was 100 years old. And she read at least one book per week. Mostly novels. She was bright, intelligent and fun to talk with.

"I love to read. It helps me keep up with what's going on in the world," she said. "A friend of mine brings me a new book every week. I look forward to her visits and I look forward to the books. We talk about the books we've read."

Reading a good story can help you forget some of the problems in your own life.

"I can't get around much anymore," said the 100-year-old woman who lived in the nursing home. "When I go somewhere, I have to go in a wheelchair now. But when I read, I can go anywhere, anytime I want. And no one has to help me!"

Somehow I put myself in her shoes. I want to be like her enjoying reading. Wouldn't you?


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