“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;”
2 Peter 1:5 (NIV)
I have not always been a bibliophile or the one to be always buried between the pages of books but reading is a skill of survival that I have come to learn and it is a necessary skill for everyone who desires to have and exercise true influence.
Today, I observe with concern that the habit of reading and the intentional pursuit of knowledge are gradually going into extinction. I understand that you might like the idea of reading but you just never seem to read effectively or you never seem to complete a book when you eventually start one. You are not alone. Though reading may sometimes seem to be a herculean task, let me assure you, it is not.
The unpleasant semblance of reading notwithstanding, you should understand that reading is a profitable habit. The profit that accrue to you from reading include:
1. Knowledge Acquisition
Books are a sure source of knowledge. History, myth, legend, science, economics and even our faith are all captured in between the pages of books and we can only access them by reading. Little wonder the Bible says that “…Daniel understood by books…” (Daniel 9:2) KJV. Daniel knew what his contemporaries did not know because he dedicated time to reading. It also means if Daniel did not read, he would not have known. So, if you sense that you have a weak knowledge base in any specific area, the solution is as simple as reading a book!
2. Mental Exercise
Just like bodily exercise is profitable and important for the proper development and function of the body, the same is true for the mind with mental exercise. When you read books, you fuel your imagination, your curiosity is satisfied and your mind is stimulated. Reading feeds and grows your mind. You might encounter elderly persons whose world view or thinking pattern is not commensurate with their age; such persons have not probably engaged their minds by reading certain books. The more you engage in mental exercise by reading books, the more your intellectual capital increases. On the flip side, if you choose not to read, your mind will become numb and as the years go by, you will gradually lose the capacity for critical thinking and creative imagination. So, read a book today, your mind will thank you for it.
3. It Forms the Core of Your Personality
Charlie Jones once said “you will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” A little book can have so great an impact that it literally turns or shapes an entire lifetime. I have experienced this formation power of books in my own life. The lessons and insights that I gleaned from reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren in my undergraduate days, has impacted my life in no little measure. So, ensure that you are reading books that can make you better else your life and decisions will be shaped by trends, gossips and hearsay.
On a final note, please do not give in to self-indulgence by saying you are not naturally configured to read, Nobody is. My next post will be about strategies to read effectively and have fun while at it. So, reading is an aptitude you can acquire and don’t worry books are not explosives, they will not blow up in your face. So, start reading today!