Someone asked me the other day why I don’t include reading as a self-improvement tool. It is probably THE most widely used self-improvement tool and so readily available that I was surprised to find I haven’t emphasized it more.
Reading as a Self-improvement tool
Libraries offer free books to read, and bookstores carry all the latest titles. Audio books are available as well so you can listen while the book an incredible to you. You can find books on the Internet and have them downloaded to your Kindle or e-reader and have the information you seek in an instant.
Every subject imaginable about self-improvement has been put into a book. Reading as a self-improvement tool has got to be high on the “tool list.” And the information is at your fingertips regardless of the type of book.
I’m a bookaholic
Reading is such a part of me that I forget to tell everyone else how powerful it is. I can’t think of a time that I didn’t have at least one book of some kind to pick up when I had a moment to read.
When I was five years old, I begged to go to school with my brother because I wanted to read. Of course, I couldn’t go with him, but my mother helped me learn, and by the time I started first grade I could read most children’s books.
My passion for reading
I still have that passion for reading, and it has brought tremendous joy to me throughout my life. Boredom was never a problem because I always had a book to read. It was easy to get lost in a good novel, reading straight through until I closed the book after the last page. From the first time I went to one, I loved going to the library. In college, before the computer took over, I even enjoyed going through the cards in the card catalog. Finding a book in a library with thousands and thousands of books was an exciting adventure for me. I even like the musty smell of books in the old libraries that I had the privilege of visiting. Yes, I became a bookaholic.
The Library of Congress
When I was in college in Washington, D.C., I went to the Library of Congress and ordered books which I needed for research papers and they were delivered to me at my desk by a clerk. I was thrilled to be in that place and made it a habit of going there as often as I could. Later, when my husband was a U.S. Congressman, I was allowed to use a room for research, and my requested books were delivered to me in that private room. For a bookaholic, that is a tremendous high and one of my prized memories.
It is shocking to me that so many of our high school students are graduating without being able to read well enough to get a job and that colleges have to give remedial reading classes so students can succeed. And it saddens me when I hear so many people say they don’t like to read.
I take reading for granted, so I hadn’t really thought of reading as a self-improvement tool. But upon reflection, I believe it is one of the most potent tools available to us.
It is a tool that:
- makes all forms of literature available to us
- gives us the riches of written wisdom
- makes us eligible for more satisfying and better-paying jobs
- introduces us to other cultures
- introduces us to new ideas as well as to ideas of things that don’t work (sometimes as important as knowing what does work).
- broadens our vocabulary so we can express ourselves more competently and richly
- enables us to participate in this exploding information age
- brings endless joy and satisfaction
- exercises our minds so we can tackle more challenging thoughts and ideas
There are many more benefits of being able to read well.
Perhaps if you don’t like to read, sharpening your reading skills will be of benefit. I was recently introduced to eReflect’s “7 Speed Reading” that turbocharged my reading speed and at the same time enhanced my reading comprehension. I highly recommend it. (And no, I don’t get paid for saying this.) There are other speed reading classes available. Do a search and find on that works for you.
Being able to read well can enhance almost every facet of your life. I urge you to try it. Reading as a self-improvement tool is one of the best.