A guest post by Ashlie Lopez
Books and reading have played a great role in the success of individuals and entire civilizations throughout history. In the Middle Ages, the religious elite were the ones who possessed the gift of reading which gave them great power as the holders of knowledge about the world. As the world moved towards enlightenment reading and books became accessible to ordinary people who could increase their knowledge by reading a vast number of readily available books. Today, there are books to learn about the universe, learn foreign language skills, or even learn to write.
Developing Intelligence and Creativity
Even though there are more modern media available to acquire knowledge, reading books has a unique charm that no other experience can provide. Right from a young age, children learn to read books as a means to develop their skills but also to develop their creative abilities. The mind of a child opens up in unique ways by reading about magical lands, thrilling adventures, and humorous stories about interesting characters. Books develop the language and vocabulary of a child without which a child cannot succeed in academics.
Empathizing with Others
As we grow, books help us become better human beings. By reading about the experiences of other people and civilizations, even the people who lived before us, we learn to empathize with others. This increases our understanding of the present world and we become more sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. Reading enables us to understand the people around us—their needs, motives and goals. As a result, we can relate to them better and form stronger relationships with them. Without the knowledge and self-awareness that comes from reading, we cannot build such sustainable relationships.
Analyzing and Reasoning
Along with developing the ability to empathize, reading enhances our analytical skills. In order to succeed in life, it is important to possess the ability to analyze a situation, and reason with others in order to get our point across. By reading books on different topics, we can develop our own capacity to frame arguments in support of our viewpoints, and develop counterarguments to what other people claim. In this way, we can get to the bottom of even very complicated issues and find creative solutions for them. Without such kind of rational abilities, our arguments would mainly comprise of subjective biases, personal preferences and illogical appeals to support our claims.
Developing Critical Abilities
Reading develops our capacity to find our place in society. Given all the changes taking place around us, reading enables us to frame the events occurring around us in a certain context. It develops a critical understanding in our minds through which we can assign a value to different phenomena and determine their usefulness to society. For example, by reading about the rise and fall of different civilizations, or the biographies of famous people, we can identify social trends and technologies that can aid in the progress of people and communities, and those that can create more problems in the future.
Developing a habit of reading books has great practical utility in everyday life. Nowadays, books are published on virtually every topic so that there’s a book out there for anything that you want to learn about. Whether you want to learn the skills to excel in your profession, learn a new hobby, or start your own business, you will find a book about it in your nearest library or bookstore. Even better, you can find an eBook online on the same topic that you can purchase instantly.
One of the things that all successful people have in common is their love for reading books. All of the top leaders in the field of business, politics, economy, culture and art have paved their journey of success with lessons they have learnt from reading books. This should serve as sufficient evidence for anybody who doubts whether reading books serves any practical purpose in today’s world. Instead of becoming an outdated activity, reading has become more convenient in today’s age due to the easy availability of eBooks, online bookshops and libraries, and downloadable books. In the coming years as the competition for the top position becomes more intense, only those who read regularly can hope to succeed.
About Ashlie Lopez
Amelie is the CEO of French Lessons in Australia. Her passion for languages never left her. Amelie undertook multiple language exchanges in Spain, America and Ireland, and decided to make it part of her academic life as she completed a Bachelor of Applied Linguistic at the University of Paris, and a languages program at the renowned University of Cambridge.
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