Reading Books: So obsolete for learning?


If you want to hide something from an African, put it in a book. This was a saying I often hear growing up. While I can’t speak for other African countries since obviously, Africa is not a country but a continent with 54 different countries, I believe, however, I’m not the only one that has heard this and still do in Nigeria, my home country. In case you don’t understand what this statement means, those who say it, are basically implying that Africans don’t like reading, so if you put anything in a book they will never find it because they will never open a book. I obviously couldn’t disagree more, but nevertheless, there is an element of truth in the statement. From personal experience, I know quite a number of people today, not just Africans, that find reading a book obsolete. The majority of millennials don’t subscribe to the idea of reading books.

Reading relevant books played a significant role in who I am today and who I am becoming. If you attest to any good in me, most of it came from the wisdom that was written in books I was privileged to read. Reading books, enriched my vocabulary and my understanding of a wide range of things and it still does today. This blog wouldn’t be existent without the aid of the various books that I came across. While you can learn things from other medium today, as technology has definitely advanced, you have the internet to search almost anything you want to know, you have audiobooks, podcasts and what not. In my own opinion, there’s more you get from reading a book in written form, either hardcopy or softcopy, whichever feels convenient for you, compared to any other medium. I personally prefer the hard copies though. There are different genres of books, so when it comes to reading books as an individual you should choose books relevant to you, find good books because there are bad books that will do you more harm than good.

Don’t you wonder why most CEO’s of fortune 500 companies, the likes of Tim Cook of Apple and billionaires like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos among others, still subscribe to reading books? Even though you and I, may consider them to have made it in life and are in a position most of us only dream to attain someday, they still read. This must mean that reading relevant books has its benefit regardless of who or where you are in life. It is therefore important that you develop the habit of reading books. I have met people that will say things like well I want to read but I don’t know which books to buy or where to start. Well, I believe each individual has a mentor, and I know without a doubt that this mentor or mentors of yours read books, why don’t you ask for their recommendation. Besides, we all have that one friend who is always a nerd or bookworm, you can ask those too. 

More so, most people who want to develop the habit of reading often set unrealistic targets for themselves about the number of books they want to read in a given period of time, and they usually end up frustrated, don’t make that mistake. You can start with one book and take your time with it, in the long run, before you know it, you will start reading more than four books in a month. So, pick a book today, don’t procrastinate and start reading. Look for books that relate to subjects that interest you. You can also join a book club, I have never been to any, but I hear it helps. It takes 21 days to make a habit, so put yourself to test and you will see. Besides, nothing helps you know little about everything, like relevant books. As my good friend, Dr. Carlos Razack will say, “ we learn by books.”

This is how I choose my books, perhaps it might help you. First off, I have learned over the years to pay attention to details, ask questions and seek for meaning and understanding about things that happen in my life or around me, instead of suppressing or ignoring them, as most people do, and that attitude changed my life for the better. This behavior or habit, has often led me to books that were relevant to the subjects that interest me and I’m curious about. For instance, the book “Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman,”is a book that is psychology based, which I started reading when I became curious about the significance EQ (emotional quotient) plays in defining what it means to be intelligent and why some people are smarter than others. 

There is also this book titled “Mind Over Medicine by Dr. Lissa Rankin,” a medicine and psychology-based book. I bought the book, to feed my curiosity about the influence and connection the mind has with the body, and how the mind can help the body in healing from various diseases. So, basically, I choose books that are usually about things I’m curious about, and more often than not, I have had clarity about my curiosity after reading those books. This year I started exploring other genres like science-fiction, crime thrillers among others. So much for moving out of my comfort zone of medical or psychology-based books. 

Some folks believe that they are not the reading type, well you don’t need to be one to start reading a book today. Do I always feel like reading a book? Absolutely not! my curious for information is what drives me to read, and it can be a driving force for you as well if you let it. So start today!

PS: Check the menu, MSL Reads. The page contains some of the books I have read so far this year. I can recommend some if you are interested.

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