In today’s microwave mentality society and (the new and improved) 280 characters or less Twitter world, many of us have lost the ability to read anything longer than one page. As much as we have access to in this digital age, if we are honest with ourselves, we would say most have become lazy, lies on all sides of media, groupthink, and lives of running around like a chicken with our heads cut off have robbed us of personal growth.
I am a firm believer in reading books. Even though e-books have become popular, I still believe it is more beneficial to hold the book in your hand and have a pen in the other to make annotations. I believe everyone should read; books that encourage us, books that cause us to think profoundly, and biographies.
Many people can read for pure enjoyment or as an escape from reality, there is nothing wrong with that but along with that, if we want to grow personally, if we’re going to learn, if we are to become better people we will read good books, books that make us better people. Most of my reading, as you can imagine, centers around books on the Bible and theology. While I believe it is vital for all believers to read these types of things, from time to time, we should read something that causes us to think deeply; maybe a book written by someone who has a different political opinion than you. If you are interested in science or another field of study, read a book that helps stimulate your thinking.
Biographies are thought-provoking, challenging, and encouraging. We can read the good and bad in peoples’ lives. Reading biographies of great leaders also fit within the bounds of encouraging reading. I have found biographies to be inspiring, challenging and some are even very entertaining. Start with a historical figure you admire, and then move on to a biography of someone in your field that has accomplished great things.
If you are not a reader, start by reading a book a quarter, and as you become accustomed to reading, move that up to a book a month. Once you have done this for a while, you will develop an appetite for reading. You may even find yourself reading multiple books at a time. For example, next year, I will read one biography a month along with whatever other book I am working through at the time. As you get into the habit of reading, make a list of books you want to read and maybe even the order you would like to read them. it can also be beneficial to set aside an extended period of time just to read books on a particular subject.
Even when you read for the information, you can find it to be relaxing. So why don’t you make an early new year’s resolution, whatever fits you, to read, whether a book every two or three months or a book a month. Do yourself a favor in 2018 become a better person, become a more knowledgeable person, become better informed on things that interest you by reading more books.