Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why Do We Need to Read (Great) Books

Jerome Baladad

I've been a book reader as far as I can remember. Personally, I'd rather spend my time reading a book than watching TV (unless, when I got company, then I'd be watching TV, just to poke fun on what's ongoing on the tube). So what reasons may I share you why others would like to consider reading a book a priority activity in their personal lives?

1) Reading books can help you become more productive with your time. If you've nothing to do while waiting for something to happen as you follow your schedule, you better read a book. While waiting for time, you may just read something good from a book. While waiting for the traffic to move, or while going to and fro your destination, you may also read a few pages of a book (it's a different matter altogether if you're the one driving - you need to listen then to an audio book, or books in a different format). Or read a book to someone who's driving and those willing and ready to listen, if that works for you.

2) To read a book is just like undergoing training and learning rolled into one, no matter how some have questioned how people can actually learn from or train using a book. I remember a question fielded out by a teacher of mine in graduate school, who's an expert corporate trainer, who asked the class if books can actually train people. He was in a manner of speaking, sounding out his doubts on the use of books in training. I said otherwise, and explained myself. Well, he was not convinced by my ideas (basically, books give out ideas that you apply in your everyday life situations), and I thought he must have taken it against me. But still, I still stick to my position on books being both a great training and learning tool. You apply what you read from books in life, and you revise, if you made mistakes. You, thus, learn in the process - books then facilitate training and learning.

3) Books are great companions, especially when you're in situations in life that others describe as "going gets rough, the rough gets going" phase. When friends are unbearable to meet out, for some unclear and varied personal reasons, you may just consider reading books. Your seeking solace amidst the pages of a book, may help relieve whatever it is that ails you now. Read two pages or up to ten pages a day, and this will suffice your (reading) needs.

4) You'll read everything about the most important beings, both supernatural and natural, through books. Remember: even God wrote down a book, in the form of the Bible (which was done through people like us, of course). You'll come face to face, so to speak, with these beings (of great consequence) when you read about them from books.

5) You learn great stories that define and explain the mystery and profundity of the human experience. You may read literature, contemporary books, religious books, history books, even technical books ("they give instructions on what to do"), poetry, and you'll still "hear" about great stories that will always inspire you. You see some sort of illumination of what is the "truth" by reading the pages of these books that promise to tell you great stories.

6) The habit of reading books makes you dwell among the great, and highly respected people who have lived on earth. There are just so many of these people who have made reading books part of their habits. Just Google about famous people who read books, and you will be given a listing of pages where you'd see names of known people who have the book reading habit. You'll, then, be in good company if you've been reading books.

7) (Tongue-in-cheek!) People who read books look smart (though may not necessarily be smart) - this can be an interesting trait to show others to create a positive image, unless, if you don't value having a "smart look," which you may think to be "nerdy" more than anything else. And have you noticed that most people who have wealth have a stack of books shown or displayed, or kept somewhere in their houses? This just indicates that book reading can help you become smarter (or even wealthier, if we'll stretch it further!).

8) Books make great gifts! Either you give out a book that you think another person needs to read for some particular reason you have in mind, or you give out a book that that person wants (or has told you indirectly that he / she wants to have and read). Go, get a book from the bookstore, or just give out as gifts something that you have read for no particular event at all. People who received books as gifts would be gratified (or, perhaps question your motives), but the message will surely come through.

9) It's always cool to read books in emerging technology platforms, just like affiliating yourself with something innovative or even revolutionary. This has been the case ever since man invented printing. Even for the blind, new technologies and platform have to be developed, so that they themselves can access more from reading (as well as writing). For the rest of us, we can read books now directly from our cellphones (in text format mostly), from Amazon's Kindle, on your PC or laptop, or from an audio book (though this entails listening), as well as newer reading related technologies soon to be offered to the market.

10) Lastly, books are artworks themselves. Sample works of art, being able to help uplift our spirits and keep us on constant search for what is beautiful amidst life's hardships, can literally be found among the pages of books. Have you seen books published by Taschen? Or those by Phaidon Press? Their books may be considered impressive pieces of artworks. There's a lot of work that goes into the processing of a book, other than the act of writing done by an author. There are the editors, printers, publishers, agents, marketing people, critics, among others. Up until the advent of the Internet (where you can self-publish a book all by yourself), it's a labor intensive endeavor to come up with a book. It takes a lot of brain work just to get a book published and get into your hands, so for goodness sake, go read a book.

I write mostly about changes, and issues revolving around moving-on themes. You may read more about them, mostly written in a personal but daring viewpoint, in these links.
http://www.jeromebaladad.com/
http://takingleadnow.blogspot.com/

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