In today’s world that is very much dominated by the internet, TV, video games and other digital forms of entertainment, some people feel that there is not much room in their life for the humble book. But countless people’s lives have been changed by reading books, and they still have the power to inspire serious thought unlike any other medium. You may already be a convert the world of reading, but if not or if you have given up on this habit for a long time, here are just some of the ways that books of all variety can change your life.
Giving a Sense of Belonging
One of the most beautiful things about books is that they make you feel like you are not alone in this world. In novels, when you see some of the trials and tribulations that the characters are going through, you can often identify them in your own life. If you are into reading self-help books, you will see that you are not alone in the fears and challenges that you are currently facing. Sometimes, when you read a book that was originally written in another language or on a different corner of the world, you see that you are in the same human condition that everyone else is.
Reading a book is like being entirely on the listening end of a conversation, but you always have the power to decide whether you keep listening or not! And the more you read, the more of a sense of empathy you get with the writer, and perhaps you get a new sense of understanding of another way of thinking and an entirely different world view. You can think of reading as a way of working out your empathy. Even if you don’t end up agreeing with the author, you can see the type of thinking that has led them to their conclusions and maybe you will be in a stronger position to connect with other people in real life who hold similar views.
In the modern world of Tweets and soundbites, people tend to be more divisive in their opinions, and everyone is so certain in what they believe that they don’t have the humility to admit that they lack understanding on certain issues or even that they might be wrong. When you are reading a book, you tend to be more willing to hear the author out. You may read a real-life account about someone who grew up in a war-torn country, gain a sense of perspective about how lucky you were comparatively and be inspired to take action. It is always worth reading books from a wide range of different perspectives, as the ones that you find challenging, may well be the ones that prove to be the most meaningful and life-changing for you.
Helping You to Know Yourself Better
The best books are the ones that shine a light on yourself, helping you to understand your thoughts and actions that little bit better. And the more you read, the more little things you are likely to discover about yourself. While taking part in an activity like watching TV encourages us to be passive, reading always encourages that little bit more engagement and active thinking. And when you actively discover these new parts of yourself, you never know what this might lead to. You may discover that you want to take on an entirely new career path or you have been inspired to move to a different country.
Making You More Confident
When you read a book, you inevitably take in information, which in turn, serves to make you more confident. The more topics you read about, the more comfortable you will feel discussing things with other people. For example, if currently have a career in marketing and you read a lot of books relating to this subject, you will inevitably come to your job with a host of new ideas and a newfound sense of confidence. In turn, this could make your bosses sit up and take notice of you, and perhaps you could even get that promotion you have always wanted. After all, you can never have too much knowledge.
Presence and Living in the Moment
There are so many entertainment and media forms which are designed to distract us from everyday life, and while reading also has a transcendent power, in many ways, it keeps you in the moment much more. From time to time, you will look up to think about what you have just read. In many ways, it is a calming and therapeutic activity, simultaneously distracting you from the issues you are facing in your daily life and giving you the tools to overcome some of your most challenging obstacles.
Giving You Pleasure
The final point that we are going to talk about is, in many ways, the most obvious one. Reading simply provides you with a sense of pleasure. And while you may not say this is exactly life-changing, finding a hobby like this to which you can devote your attention and passion can really be momentous. If you are an avid reader, sometimes, you will look back on your life and be able to remember exactly what you were reading at the time and how it made you feel. So, books can provide an extra sense of clarity and meaning to your life.
After reading through this list, hopefully, you have been persuaded of the power of books and how they can change your life. That is not to say that the moment you pick up a book your life will be transformed, but, over time, you may well find that they have had an effect that you couldn’t have even imaged. Your life may take a completely different turn or you may simply get an alternative perspective on something you were sure of in the past. Pick up a book and see where it could lead!