Personal Development

Reading beyond pleasure

I like to read, and I don’t mind admitting that I have too many books.

In the early days, I was driven by the need to fill a lacuna in my knowledge of many ignored areas over a period of 20 years of studying law. Thankfully, that sense of inadequacy has abated.

Now, I read to develop as a person.

But reading is only part of the story. Whatever I read, I try to apply in my life.

I’m not sure where the needle has swung with the Nation’s proclivity in reading. My sense is that we are probably reading no more than we did 20 years ago, but our tastes are more eclectic (see We Are All Weird by Seth Godin).

What I’m certain about, however, is that few people, having read a seminal text or otherwise, set out with the avowed intention of changing how they live their life or behave.

Take something like Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. The principles enunciated are timeless. Yet how many people do you meet who walk the talk?

I accept that life is not a counsel of perfection but reading is more important than acquiring a bushel of Top 20 likes.

Done right it has the power to transform your life.

PS. What one book would you say has influenced you more than any other? In my case, it’s probably The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

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