A Different Perspective on Reading

A Different Perspective on Reading

Imagine that you had the opportunity to sit down with a famous person at a coffee shop. For one hour, that person would share with you some valuable tips and lessons that they have learned. Would you take the opportunity? Would you go to coffee with that person?

We live in a culture that reads less and less. We prefer to be mindlessly entertained by movies, rather than actively engage in learning. I’m not here to tell you why you should be reading. Instead, I want to give you a different perspective on reading. Reading is like sitting down with that famous person for coffee.

In many ways, it’s much better. When you choose to read a book, you have access to not just one, but hundreds, even thousands, of great minds. You can choose to learn from any person who wrote a book. You are not even limited to people who are still alive!

If you sat down with a famous person, there would probably be some periods of silence. The other person might share some valuable lessons, but there would be a lot that he or she wouldn’t think of. You wouldn’t learn as much, because the other person would be thinking on the spot. When you read a book, the problem disappears. The author had plenty of time to think through everything. The author has carefully worded everything. From start to finish, the book is full of his or her deepest insights.

Whatever the subject is, the author has studied the subject. The author is, to some extent, an expert. You get to sit and listen to that knowledge. Whether the author is recounting a historical event, describing a scientific breakthrough, or sharing a lesson that changed his or her life, you get the full story. It’s even better than going out to coffee.

Of course, a large part of this depends on who you go to coffee with. Don’t read any book. Read books from the people that you wish you could go to coffee with. Read books on subjects that would captivate your interest. Don’t just read something because it is new, or a best seller. Read things that would actually benefit you. Books are food for the mind, and a diet of degrading books will degrade your mind.

So, who are you going to drink coffee with?