I’ve already pushed through more than 10 books this year, and last year, I managed to hit 35. I don’t set goals for my reading, it just depends on my mood, and this time of the year, reading speaks a lot to my mood and what I need.
Reading is to me not very different from thrill-seeking. When you read, thousands of images, memories, situations, feelings flash before your mental eye and you literally feel like you’re somewhere else than where you are sitting right now. The emotions of the characters, the nuances in the words, the pictures and environments described become my temporary reality. I sit, but it feels like I’m in a raging battlefield, or a beautiful oasis, or in a dark cave.
When you read, you need to hit a basic tempo before it gets any fun. If you’re new to reading, an issue can be that you think faster than you read. If that happens, your mind is going to cause you to trip over yourself. In that sense, reading is not much different from running. At first, running feels tough, but when you hit that special speed and time, endorphines kick in, and it becomes a high.
Sadly, many give up before they’re able to hit that level. A problem is people dismiss the activity too early. “I don’t like reading.” Well, how would you know if you don’t actively read? Sometimes, we can dislike the idea of something, but come to love the reality of it. So I really encourage you to dig in and feel it out for yourself, and give yourself time to like it.
Reading is not very different, and readers-high is when you read faster than you think, and you can literally feel your thoughts racing forward faster than your imagination normally would be able to. Reading is a mental aide in that way, and no matter what you read, nonfiction or fiction, it helps keep your mind running and it helps you challenge yourself.
Reading helps you experience things you could not possibly experience in the real world, like being in space, it creates fantasy worlds, and it speaks to your fantasies. To read a book about becoming a CEO speaks to your fantasy of getting recognition and power. To read a book about becoming a professional musician, speaks to your fantasy of being able to write epic songs and to sing and perform on stage. Books are often where our dreams begin and many life-changing stories begin with buying or borrowing a book from a friend or at a library.
Reading has changed my life many times over, and though it’s hard for me to point to one particular life changing book, there have been a few that really did it for me. I believe people who read books tend to possess higher self-awareness and also tend to be more interpersonally intelligent, better at reading others, and better at seeing a situation from multiple perspectives. The perspective-shifting power of characters in a book is simply a skill we can’t learn easily in the real world, where we literally feel confined to our own thoughts.
What is a life changing book for you and have you thought of reading more lately? Go try out a few different genres, challenge yourself a little. It can take time to discover what style you like, but once you know, it’ll be a lot easier, and a lot more eye-opening. I think everyone should read, at least once in a while. I heard the average CEO reads more than one book a week, and I think there’s a good reason for that.