As a child, I knew the importance of reading books, studying hard, and passing my exams. I read a lot of big science, math, and medical books in my school and college days, and currently do so in my physician career.
I had to in order to pass my exams and gain the knowledge I needed to equip me to practice medicine.
Formal education is important. We all have to read big books to pass our exams. Reading is enlightening. It takes us into the unknown, into people's souls. We visit other countries in our minds by reading. We travel and imagine other worlds. We gain knowledge of science, math. We increase our vocabulary. We spell better, write better, problem solve better, gain more self-confidence, and we even become less judgmental of others.
Reading well leads to writing well. The more you read, the more you learn and the more critical your thinking becomes. Your knowledge base increases so much that you are open to many more opportunities in life. Your voice becomes stronger.
We could completely change this world if everyone has access to high-quality formal education. It could solve so many of our problems, especially those related to lack of opportunities and human divisions.
Aside from my school and college books, I did not have much time to read other books (or maybe I just did not make time) until about eight years ago, when I felt a shift in my life and experienced a new curiosity about life. I yearned to learn more about other people—their life stories, their life purposes. I read books on spirituality, pursuit of peace and happiness, religion, memoirs, biographies. As I read more and more, I wrote more in my journal. My mind became more open, and I developed more critical thinking. I was more peaceful and started to see the world and my own life a lot differently. I gained clarity on many questions I had.
At any point in time over the past five years, I have had at least three to five books on my iPad that I am reading simultaneously. I read mostly nonfiction.
Reading has propelled me into a world I could not have imagined. I believe doing so much reading was part of my inspiration to write. You have to spend time being quiet in order to read, and this quieting of my soul, opening and cleansing of my heart and soul space, brought out a dormant gift—the gift of writing.
Do you read books aside from your school/college/career books? How much reading do you do? What is the last book you read? How has reading changed your life?
If you don't consider yourself a reader or you totally dislike reading, I want to encourage and even persuade you to start reading.
You are missing out on a lot in life by not reading. We now have so many options—e-books, audio books, books in so many languages. There is really no more excuses to not read.
If time is your excuse, I know you can carve out one hour a day to read. Sure you can.
Trust me—reading will change your life in amazing ways.
I read this on someone's feed on Instagram: “Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a book, which will surely bring you happiness” (unknown source). I really loved this quote and wrote it in my journal.
I'm also so honored to have a book program in my pediatric office. The Reach Out and Read program funds us with books for children six months to five years old, and we give them a brand-new developmentally appropriate book at every wellness checkup. This is one of the most rewarding parts of my career.
Read. Write. Think critically. Pass it on to the younger generation, and we all succeed in life and find permanent happiness.