DEVELOPING A READING CULTURE
A wise man once said that where you will be in five years time will be determined by two things:
- The friends you keep and,
- The books you read.
Another wise man also said, “If you want to hide a treasure from a black man, hide it in a book. This is due to the fact that most people have a very poor reading culture.
There is the need for one to develop a reading culture if one desires to become a force to reckon with especially in this information age. There is no doubt that we have a very poor reading culture in this country and those who seem to have a reading culture unfortunately have an unhealthy reading culture because they read more of junks than good and vital books.
I have come to realize that readers are leaders and leaders are readers because a look at the stories behind the glories we see reveals that.
Why develop a reading culture? One may ask:
- It is the pathway to greatness
True education does not necessarily take place within the four walls of a classroom. If you are not informed, you will be deformed; if you are not inspired, you will expire; if you are not updated, you will be outdated. Reading opens you up to vital information that will lead you to your transformation.
Anyone that desires to be great must place a premium on the acquisition of knowledge by developing a good healthy reading culture.
The difference between the ruler and ruled, the leader and the follower, the successful and the suffering, the prosperous and the poor, the teacher and the student is most of the time the information they have. If you have the information people need they will in no doubt submit to you.
- It brings inspiration and motivation.
All through history, we have seen people inspired and motivated through books both in a negative and positive way. It will amaze you the dimension of inspiration you can receive when you give reading a vital place in your schedule.
Biographies and autobiographies of great men have inspired millions into their own dimension of greatness. You, no doubt must have been inspired by some of the books you must have read before and you can imagine what will happen if you read more.
- It makes you learn from other people experiences.
A man that has passed through a route before you knows something about that route that you don’t know. You cannot argue with the fact that you need to learn from others who know more than you do and have experience more than you have. Many deceptively think that experience is the best teacher, but it is better to learn from the experience of others than to learn from your own personal experience. A wise man once said, “If I have achieved anything great, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of those who have gone ahead of me”. When you stand on the shoulders of those who have gone ahead by reading their books, you tap into their wisdom, knowledge, experience e.t.c. and that gives you leverage in life.
- It sharpens your skills
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Just as physical exercise keeps you fit and healthy, reading is mental exercise that makes your mind to become exposed, fit and fresh. It is vital nourishment to your skills because it sharpens your skills. Whatever area of life you desire to be skillful in, make sure you read books in that field that is at least equal to the number of your age. E.g. if you want to be skillful in the area of investment, and you are thirty two years old, make sure you read at least thirty two books on investment.
- It keeps you current in a changing world.
There is no doubt that we live in a fast changing world. The world is now a global village, and technology changes at a rapid speed. How else can one stay current in this changing world except by continually updating oneself to stay relevant! Many become obsolete and irrelevant because they are not current.
Continual reading keeps one current; makes one grow and takes the limit off one’s progress. If you don’t read, you don’t grow and if you don’t grow, you end up groaning.
- It is a wise thing to be a reader due to its diverse benefit.
To motivate you into developing a reading culture without giving you practical tips that will help and give you the “How to” will be incomplete. The following tips will help you develop a good healthy reading culture:
- Analyse your reading habit
You need to analyse and evaluate your present reading conditions by asking and answering vital questions.
- Do you read at all?
- How often do you read?
- Do you plan your reading or just read anyhow?
- Is what you have been reading beneficial to you?
- Is your reading limited to one area or diverse?
Your answers to these questions will help you get started.
- Create time for reading
To develop a reading culture, you have to schedule time for reading, because it takes discipline to develop this culture. If you are serious about developing this culture, it will not be a matter of having time but of creating time. If you don’t create time for reading, you will never have time for it. Discipline yourself to always read daily, no matter how small. Set a goal for yourself and work towards achieving the goal.
- Balance your reading
Balance is the key of life. One therefore needs balance even in the development of a reading culture. You need to be current and versatile by knowing a little about a variety of issues. Don’t limit your reading to only one part of life.
- Respond to your reading
It is not just okay to read a book, it is also vital that you respond to the book both physically and mentally. To respond effectively to your reading means to decide to act on and utilize the information you get from it in a positive way.
- Know what to read and what not to read
Thousands of books are published and released daily all over the world, and even if you read one book per day, you can never exhaust all the books on earth. So it is very vital that you choose what you read. You have to be discreet in your choice of book, because, life is too short to spend on reading junks that are not beneficial to your destiny.
- Make a monthly trip to the bookstore or library
It is vital for you to visit bookstores and library periodically so as to be current and aware of relevant books and new releases. You need to do this so as to peruse and review books.
- Build / develop your own library
If any book is worth reading, then it should be worth buying. To develop a reading culture, you must rise above only borrowing books to read, to buying books to keep. Books are tools that come in handy from time to time, and they are a good heritage to leave for your children. Start building and developing a library now.
I have what it takes to challenge you to develop a reading culture. Everything I am today can be traced to book reading.
I have read an average of one book per week in the last twenty years without failing, and this does not include newspapers and magazines.
If it can work for me, it can work for you. Start the culture now!