Books are treasures that we should cherish and make use of. We, referring to the literate population of course. Reading is what differentiates you from an illiterate. Someone said if you don’t read you are functionally an illiterate. That is deep, right? Isn’t it amazing that you can learn the lifetime experience of someone who lived decades, or even centuries ago in few hours. Only books give you that privilege, better still, luxury. The ability to read, understand and make use of a written text should be considered a rare luxury. It was reserved for a special class of people in the past. America is a good example. Slaves were not allowed to read. It was almost a crime, their masters used to keep money in books, because slaves will not open them. Access to books (knowledge) was segregated.
Someone spent years to gather valuable knowledge and put it in a book, readily available for your consumption. You just need to dedicate a small portion of your 24 hours to reading from some of the best books. They are unlimited like never before. Books are everywhere, some are cheaper than a pair of sneakers, pizza, or bottle of wine.
An average book takes between 4-7 hours of reading time. Others are even lighter, they take less than 3 hours to read from cover to cover. Books like As a man thinketh by James Allen and The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason can be read in a single sitting. Each page makes you eager to open the next. It is fun and exciting reading a great book like the above examples. These two books alone have changed millions of lives and counting since their publication in 1903 and 1926, respectively. That is how powerful the written word is. It has the power to transform lives through proper application, so will it do for you. Wherever you may be, a book somewhere has answers to your most pressing question(s) problem(s). Go grab it and read, it will safe you many years of trouble.
In this time and age, you can have access to unlimited quality books that could have cost you a fortune few years ago. If you have time for Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, videogames, news, WhatsApp, or YouTube, then you should be able to improve the quality of your life through books. You can use the same data or less to download some books for free on your Ipad, Tablet, iPhone or Android device. In every 10 people you have now, at least 3 or more have one of these gadgets in their possession. On top of hard cover books, you can make your device a library, a blessing unique to our generation. Based on your preferences, the world got you covered. There are audiobooks to enlighten you while commuting, jogging or at the gym. This is certainly the age of information. There is no excuse for mediocrity.
People used to spend a lot of money and time to acquire books. Some of them travelled far and wide just to see manuscripts. If they could treasure books, a special source of knowledge, why not us now? We will not be fair to ourselves and the world if we don’t read. Today, just with a library card or data on your gadget, you have access to thousands of books. If you are a serious student in my part of the world, Africa, for instance; you don’t necessarily need a special card to read. You can borrow any book from your school libray by just having your name recorded. Note that, not all schools in my continent have a library. Even the few which have, some are less equipped than others. Therefore, I thank God because my primary, middle and senior secondary school all have libraries which I’m proud to say I made good use of. However, my middle school library was not well furnished compared to my primary and senior secondary. But my only wish is to have read more than I did. Nonetheless, I will forever be grateful to my second grade English teacher and primary school librarian. They both encouraged me to read and fall in love with books very early in life. It is one of my best gifts. May God bless them wherever they are now.
Remember time is a valuable asset to all. No one gets more than 24 hours in a day. However, some are more productive than others at the end of each day. The reason is obvious, it boils down to our use of time. Tv, useless chatting, social media, entertainment, hanging out with people who have no direction for their lives are few ways many waste time and consequently their lives. Also, because of the rise of the automobile industry, some people spend more than 10 hours on commutes alone every week, to and from work or school. Yet, less than 5% of them use this time to read. Instead, they complain about the traffic jam, engage in meaningless conversations or increase their social media presence. You can download audiobooks as per your need and listen during your commute; if it is inconvenient to read on a bus or taxi. Imagine the type of person you would be in five years from now, by simply using even only 15-30 minutes of your daily time to invest in yourself. It pays dividends. No amount of time spent on self-development is too great or small. The aim is to understand and apply what you consume from books. It is not to gather information for the sake of it. No one ever changed himself by simply gathering information. Information is useless without comprehension and application.
Another important thing is, you have to be selective in your reading. One of the reasons being, there are more books than you will ever have the time to read, not even in 10 lifetimes. Of course, that is so if you are a serious student of life. I mean those who read for transformation, looking for ways to make the world better. Lifelong learners do not stop reading the day they left school. They read to the grave. They don’t just read to pass exam or to earn a degree. They read to discover, to know more about the world, to understand humanity in general, find solution to problems and use it to make the world a better place. Different authors write books for different reasons. That is why your choice of books should be basedon your specific need at every stage of life. There are books on every area of life; self-help, spiritual, business, law, parenting, politics, science, philosophy, finance, human relationship, understanding the universe; just to name a few. No matter your current status in life. The solution for a better version of you is written somewhere in a book. If you are a Christian, the Bible is a good start for you. My Muslim friends too can start with the Quran. The goal is to read to stay alive, because Henry Ford said learning keeps you young even at 80 and the opposite makes you old even at 40. Your choice will determine the quality of your life and ultimate influence in the world.
Written with love, Frank.
In conclusion, if you desire to lead a better or more fulfilled life, I can confidently guarantee that books got you covered. Whatever is your current need, someone has written about it. The first thing to do is to identify which aspect of your life needs improvement. Then look for related books in that particular area and read. You might be surprised, the first book you will stumble upon could be life changing. With the help of the internet, print media, and innovative individuals; more and more books are being published annually. “You’re what you read”. So you must take it serious, because this simple practice will make you a better citizen of the world. Remember, the goal is not just to read more books, but to understand and apply what you read for a better world. Books will drastically reduce your learning curve and therby save you many years of trouble. It happened to others. It is happening to people right now. It could happen to you too. So read to lead a better live.
Written with love, Frank.