As a kid, my hero Dr Seuss told me that: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
I believed him. And growing up in a small town, more than anything I wanted to get out and go places! So, I read.
I read all the books in the children’s section in our small library. Then the young adult books. Then I started nipping into the adult section for more material. I borrowed my parents’ books on business, relationships, personal development. I read all the Horrible Histories, the works of Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, John Maxwell, Ted Dekker, Stephen Covey, Robert Jordan, Stephen Lawhead, Robin Hobb, Willard Price … books about animals, magic, leadership, tradition, countries … books that opened up new worlds of possibility, new ways of thinking.
More than any other interest/skill, I credit my love of reading with where I am now – able to work from home, confidently connect with people near and far, and express myself in many different mediums. Reading is a learner’s golden gun. With a book, or online written material, you can find out just about anything you want to know.
I’ve met people who say they hate reading. When I ask them why, the usual answer is that as children they were forced to read things they had absolutely no interest in … they associate pain and frustration with reading.
The wonderful thing about being an adult is that now you’re free to choose! It’s never too late to develop an appreciation for all the research, communication, and personal development possibilities that reading brings.
Three quick tips for learning to be a reader:
- Read what interests you. Follow your passions and reading will be effortless. Don’t be one of those ‘Oh someone told me I HAD to read this book so I’m struggling through it’ people. Just like anything in life, it’s more fun to read out of enjoyment, not obligation.
- Read in small chunks. We’re all busy people, and sometimes reading a whole book can seem like mission impossible. Try committing to just one chapter a day, or even a couple of pages. Eventually you’ll finish and feel great about it.
- Use content compilation tools. If you’re mainly an online-reader, try out using a RSS feed, or an app like Flipboard that allows you to create a ‘magazine’ around your own interests.
This is certainly one habit in life that’s worth developing.
Be a Reader.