Growing up, I can remember my mom reading to me almost daily.
When I went through the International Baccalaureate program in high school, as my fellow IB nerds will attest, I read more in those 4 years than the previous 14 combined.
And I hated nearly every second of it. There were a few good books I can recall enjoying, but for the most part getting through each book was simply a means to an end. Of course, my older and more mature self these days looks back with great appreciation for reading the classics.
It took a while, but over time I discovered that I actually did a good bit of reading once I got out of college, but they were usually books related to psychology, exercise science, biomechanics…you know, the good stuff!
It wasn’t until I was just about ready to open CFG that I really started picking up “regular” books. Now, as Mandy will confirm, our house is littered with books of mine all over: coffee tables, bedside table, dining room, bathroom (of course!), and there’s also the book shelf that is in my office.
I kept a running list in 2018 of all the books I read. I think I left a few off, but the total was 24. To some that might seem like a HUGE number, to others a mere fraction of what they read. I’ll recap them in a future post as I’m constantly asked about some of my choices.
I’ve given great thought to why there was such a shift for me and why I enjoy reading so much, so I thought I’d share it with you.
- Different Perspective: I’m fascinated to see things from others points of view. It helps me relate to people better and be even more grateful for the diversity in our world.
- Learning – I love accumulating knowledge and the constant learning process. I said on a podcast episode that I’ve probably read enough books thus far in my life to fill a typical sized library, but I also recognize that pales in comparison to all the books out there. There are more than 116,867 libraries in US alone. Suffice to say, I’ve got a long way to go!
- Deeper Understanding – I’ve got deeply rooted guiding principles and values, and reading from many different sources helps me get an even deeper understanding in the birth, and development of, many of these principles and values.
- Blind Spot Monitoring – ever hear of confirmation bias? Well, this is the opposite approach. I don’t want to constantly read things that reinforce what I currently believe. I want to see the complete opposite side as well.
- Connection – I’ve come to discover that amongst the great diversity within our humanity, we are actually staggeringly similar to one another. Being halfway across the world and having someone comment on a book you are carrying is a pretty neat experience.
- Articulation – I appreciate the ability for different authors to teach me better, more effective, ways to communicate my thoughts and ideas.
- Pure Enjoyment – honestly, I just like it. Its a simple, peaceful practice that helps shut out the distractions that are so commonplace in our lives these days.
So, if you’re a reader, why do you do it?
Coming up next:
- How do I manage to prioritize reading?
- What did I read in 2018, and what have I read so far in 2019?