Ah, literature. The word is enough to send shivers down the spine of nearly every student. My past self included. I knew there were a few good books out there, but I didn’t want to go through the hassle of finding them when I could just watch a movie. Movies are passive. So relaxing. And most of them even have inspirational life messages, too! So why even bother reading?
I’m sure there are plenty of arguments you’ve heard for adapting the reading habit. It helps develop your critical thinking skills and your interpretation skills, your imagination is expanded..Blah, blah, blah. ALL of these reasons are EXCELLENT, and I fully endorse them. But I’m here to talk to you about more unconventional, perhaps slightly egotistical reasons why you should read.
1. Social Value
You’re at an ‘intellectual’ party, having a casual, everyday conversation about how our inflated egos and the need to always be right will lead to the downfall of society. All of sudden, you start drawing comparisons to Guy de Maupassant’s classic, “The Necklace”. BOOM. You’re awesome. Everybody loves you. Or maybe everybody thinks you’re a tool. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that you drew the comparison in the first place, and it’s definitely a good feeling to relate an everyday conversation to a work of literature that you have read. Egotistical? Absolutely. Effective? You bet!
2. Dealing with Life’s Challenges
I started reading personal development books when I was first hospitalized. The peace of mind that they gave me through my battle with Crohn’s Disease cannot be stated in text. There really are book genres for everybody. At the time, I needed optimistic and peaceful books like those written by the Dalai Lama. And thankfully, they were available at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Library! And for every life challenge, there’s a book for that. Will Smith says the key to life is running and reading. Running, because it teaches you to ignore the little voice in your head that wants to quit. And reading, because there is no problem you can go through in your life, that someone hasn’t already solved and wrote about….brilliant!
I will let the following article do the talking. It is really brilliant. And for girls reading this, just replace the word ‘girl’ with ‘guy. In short, people who read are amazing.
Reading makes any type of relationship exponentially better. Seriously, it makes you at least 1,000 times more attractive in the eyes of the opposite sex. Fact.
4. Your Next Great Idea
You don’t know what you don’t know. You really don’t. We’re missing out on so much information, and we’re missing so many unique perspectives. This will be the case for all of our lives, due to the HUMONGOUS amount of information that is out there. But by reading books, you will learn new perspectives on life. For example, I just finished reading Allbert Camus’s “The Stranger”, which is a very depressing existentialist novel. Do I agree with his darker views on life? Not quite. But I have a better awareness that these views exist, and I can use this same understanding to strengthen my optimism. You see where I’m going with this. Books help you with your argumentation skills; they open up your mind to new perspectives, and help you create new ideas. Look at this article. I wouldn’t be writing it if it wasn’t for the amazing impact that books have had on my life. People who read have much more leverage to make a big change in the world, because they have the power of ideas. Some ideas are explicitly stated (most likely in non-fiction), while some ideas are lurking in the background (usually in fiction). The more you read, the better you will get at finding ideas and using them to your advantage.
And most importantly, reading makes you a smarter person. So even if you read for wrong, egotistical reasons, you are still doing an awesome things by reading in the first place. DO IT! EVERY DAY! And your life will be even better.
But don’t take my word for it. Try it out yourself. I bet you’ll love it.
Other Video Links: