Reading is a habit that one needs to create and maintain, it doesn’t come naturally for most people. You might hear English teachers in school and English tuition teachers repeatedly reminding their students about the importance of reading and the numerous benefits that it can bring.
So, why is reading important?
Why do we need to add leisure reading to our daily schedule?
WIDEN YOUR HORIZON
Most of us are privileged enough to go to school, get a decent education, land a job and earn some money to make ends meet. Through these phases of life, especially in a safe and secure country like Singapore, all of us are floating in our own small bubble which has caused most youngsters to be ignorant and indifferent about events that are taking place around the world.
According to the law of average, the result you get is roughly the average of all previous outcomes. You may have heard of the phrase “you are what you read” as well. All these goes to show that who you are as a person, your thought process and your feelings are determined by the amount of knowledge and exposure that you have.
Meeting influential people and talking to them in person to gain their wisdom and knowledge is not all that possible. However, it is certainly possible to do the same by reading the books they have written. Though reading books is the meat and potatoes of writers and English teachers; everyone should be doing it as it has a myriad of benefits to offer!
EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE BASE
You may have toyed with the idea of reading books at least once in a life time but there may be reasons which stop you from doing so. For some, buying books may not be a good option as they may feel that it just costs an arm and a leg so fitting books into the budget might be questionable. For others, it’s other reasons like poor time management, the library being inaccessible and simply not knowing which book to start with.
There are some ways this can be tackled:
- If you think that buying books can be a little expensive but you really want to have a physical copy in your hand, try to save up and buy a book each month or every two months. Sometimes buying a book as second-hand is a better option; the cost would be much lower and the quality won’t be compromised!
- For those who say “I don’t have time”, it’s just a matter of poor time management. Everyone has 24 hours in a day so creating a timetable would be helpful!
- For those who can’t make frequent trips to the library, there are other accessible options for reading such as kindle and audible books!
With every book that you read, your knowledge base multiplies and when you come across phrases that capture your attention, you’ll hang on those very words which will be answers to your questions in the most important phases of your life. Students need to use every opportunity and free time that they have to bone up on different areas of knowledge (it can be anything like literature, mathematics, biology, philosophy, etc.)!
Here are some book recommendations for different genres:
- Animal Farm, by George Orwell
- Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai
- The boy in striped pyjamas, by John Boyne
- The kite runner, by Khaled Hosseini
- Midnight’s children, by Salman Rushdie
- When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi
- The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide To Personal Finance And Investing, by James M Dahle
- Pure, White and Deadly: How Sugar Is Killing Us and What We Can Do to Stop It, by John Yudkin
- The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It, by Marcia Angell
- Confessions of a Medical Heretic, by Robert Mendelsohn
- Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine by Candace B. Pert Ph.D.
- Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou
- Bloodlands, by Timothy Snyder
- The warmth of other suns: The epic story of America’s great migration
- Outliers: Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear
Learning should never stop as there is never an end to knowledge. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Character and intelligence cannot be learnt through textbooks alone; the real magic lies within the dusty pages of books stacked in libraries and bookstores!