Why and How I Started Reading Books

 
A lot of people hate reading books. I too hated reading books because it looks boring. Only old or retired people read to pass their time because they can’t move like young people do. I’m young, I have aggression, energy and enthusiasm, I should rather have my ass on fire at this age to work and make the most use of this energy. Why should I waste my time sitting in a corner reading books? This was my mindset few years ago. Today, I’m going to tell you why and how I started reading books. Importance of reading books and developing a habit of reading at early age in life.  
 
Honestly speaking, the biggest regret I have in my life was why did I not started reading books early in my life. So why should you consider reading a book? Here is a quote for you :-
 
What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.
– Carl Sagan

One who reads stays young, one who stops reading, learns nothing new and becomes old. Read invest mindset vs fixed mindset.

“Just imagine, someone at the age of 60 or 70, made all the possible mistakes in their respective field to achieve great height of success. Now that successful person is giving you personal coaching! All those important life lessons, guidance, direction and wisdom worth lifetime for just a few bucks in few hundred pages.”

Training Your Mind

When we are born, we are gifted a brain which is like a blank paper. As we grow, it is filled up with knowledge and values by people around us like our parents, friends, school teachers and everyone we meet. We directly and indirectly take notes from these people and notice how they behave, react and function. If we stay within the circle of these people, we behave and function similar to the way they did until we grow old and die. Just like a cub (baby lion) raised between a group of infant (baby monkeys) behave like monkeys. He grow up and forgets that he is a lion – The king of Jungle. 

If you ever wish to rise above the averages and achieve something big that no one in your circle has done, you have to train your mind and fill the brain with the knowledge and wisdom of people who have done it in the past. You will not be able to unlock your true potential unless you really take deliberate effort to make it happen.

If you were born in an average household like me, it is difficult to get access to these extraordinary successful people and billionaires. We may have to waste days or even months to just get their few precious minutes or a photo with them. However, those few minutes may not be sufficient for us to learn.

These books written by/on these successful men gives us the knowledge and wisdom to achieve something extraordinary in life that your parents, friend or relatives failed to provide. Because their parents, friends and relatives failed too.

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest minds (people) of the past centuries. You download decades of information in hours. I’m sure you don’t want to end up wasting hours, days, months or even years inventing something by yourself that somebody else had already done. Or you don’t want to end up making mistakes that can be easily read and avoided.

Now lets have a look at the results of reading

What differentiates the leader (#1 ranker) in any field to the number 2, 3 and 4? It’s their mindset.

The man who gifted Microsoft onto the world, Bill Gates reads 50 books a year.
Warren Buffet claims to read 500 pages a day. He stated that he devotes about 80% of his time to reading. In fact, when he was young and newly married. he carried books and financial magazines in his honeymoon trip. Perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that he’s one of the richest man in world. The more you read, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you earn. Simple and straightforward. 

Elon Musk do not have a degree in computing or rocket science. He built Paypal, SpaceX (Space Research company like NASA or ISRO) and several other successful companies from scratch. How did he do it? Because you don’t need a degree to build things, you need knowledge and courage. You gain both from reading. You either read because you want to pass that exam or you read because you want to gain knowledge to do something.

When Elon was asked, How he learned to build rockets? He answered “I read books. I was raised by books first and then parents. From a child I was fond of reading and all the little money that come into my hands was ever laid out in books.”

The list of these successful people reading numerable books can go on and on.. But you got the point. Somewhere down the line, all these great people have a book written on their life. Or they have written an amazing book them-self. Believe it or not, the world belongs to those who read. Because not all readers may be leaders. But all the leaders are readers. They could either be reading the latest management books or ancient wisdom written thousands of years ago. But every leader and successful person reads.

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.”

Napoléon Bonaparte

Reading biographies gives you inspiration and motivation. Fiction takes you to another world and improves creativity. Non-fiction and self-help books helps you improve as an individual and learn skills that are not taught to you by your parents or in school. 

The person who stops studying merely because he has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity. No matter what may be his calling.

How I started reading books 

There are innumerable benefits of reading, I can go on and on listing them. However, when I started reading books, I realized I could make money while sleeping by investing in stocks. Something that was not taught to me by my parents. After completing my first book on investing – The Intelligent Investor, I transferred a portion of my savings to stocks which is now giving me handsome returns. After several years, there is no comparison between the returns provided by my stock portfolio vs the banks’ interest rate.

I’m glad that I picked that book up and read it and also followed the lessons learned from it. Few years down the line, I’ll not have to worry about money related issues just because of one decision to pick a book and learning something from it.

Conclusion

The world is moving towards instant gratification. We want everything quickly with less effort. Many people often get away with just 5-10 mins of summary on blogs or Youtube and assume they’ve read the book. Those small summaries may be useful. Many don’t go past the first chapter or first few pages of any book. Moreover, I see many people trying to read the book on mobile or through a PDF version online. It doesn’t happen that way.

A book is best understood when you have the hard copy. Believe me, I used to think spending 400 on a book is waste. But that thinking was a waste. When you spend on books, its always an investment that gives you much better ROI (return of investment than any other asset that you buy).

That one chapter, one page summary or 10 min video is definitely not a substitute of reading the full book. Just like a nap cannot be a substitute of a full night sleep. I cannot emphasis more on reading full book. Next time when you go out, pick a good book and read it completely. It is going to be life-changing, trust me.

Next week, I shall be writing the list and short summaries of best finance and investing books which are a must read for everyone during their lifetime. Don’t forget to subscribe for the newsletter to avoid missing any important post on finance, money and investing. 

Let me know in the comment below about the best books you read recently.