I know of and have been an ardent follower of the whole reading spiel.
Rich people read books. Successful people read books. Read more. Reading is my one secret to success. X benefits of reading. Y downsides of not reading. Science-backed. Incredible. Why you should read N minutes a day, M hours a week. Why reading books will save your life.
Myself, I spent all my money in my earlier days, and frankly still, buying books. Not least because I enjoy admiring them on my shelf.
There is a strong post-Soviet stigma of books-reading making you a more distinguished individual. What else do you expect from the remnants of the most well-read nation in history? *Apologies for the pun!
A book is a signal to the other members of the secret society that you are intelligent enough not to stagnate in other more immediate and shallow forms of media.
I will admit I took a lot of pride in getting publicly caught reading under my desk when I got my hands on an extremely rare Harry Potter book for three days. What a lavish timespan! Had to read fast and had no time to lose, ya know.
Sometimes, I would take a pose reading a very smart book in my vain hope to get the attention of some boy. Now, it’s obvious why I am single.
I definitely completely stood by the philosophy of the book religion. Reading a book, holding a book, just carrying it in my backpack felt like I am above all others, the muggles, the non-readers. Kinda felt like this (this isn’t my art).
Now that I am on a path of reconsidering all of my beliefs to make sure they make sense and are beneficial for my progress and reality-backed understanding of the world, I even reached the sacrilegious point of putting reading on the chopping board.
What is the actual benefit of books?
All the emotional bullshit of attracting attention and seeming smart should obviously be thrown away. Nobody gives a shit. Unless it is actually beneficial, quoting smart books, holding them, etc will not make me smart.
There are very diverse and varied domains of reading, with very different flavors. Just "reading" is too vague of a goal.
There are ways to get rich and successful without reading books, as information nowadays is available in a multitude of forms that didn’t exist before.
Reading is not always an effective way to arrive at a certain outcome: to learn a specific skill, to relax your mind, to engage yourself in a unique activity. There can be better matches for those needs.
More immersive, interactive, and faster forms of media should be intentionally used for education and intake. Like, I order a Dan Ariely book and then I thought “Shit, before going to this lazy action of buying something to convince myself of making progress towards X, I should have used the immediately available resources of a bajillion of Ariely’s TED talks and videos”.
I will look into choosing an appropriate medium for specific educational goals later. It’s gonna be along the lines of “form fits function”.
For now, I had this idea about the potential benefit of reading.
Imagination. More precisely, the ability to take a limited, dry construct of information and visualize, project, complement it with your own knowledge and integrate it into your picture of the world.
Perhaps the actual benefit of reading, especially nowadays, lies not only in receiving wisdom, knowledge, blah blah blah but also in learning to metaphorically take a seed and have the imagination to visualize it into growing into a plant.
Reading is training my imagination to find the energy and motivation to work with that initial jumble of letters and in my head turn them into an entertaining narrative that makes sense.
What I am noticing is that it is easier for me to bridge that gap in my head between a construct (an idea, a story, a premise) and some farfetched outcome of it, like a brand, a film, a dream due to my reading background.
So the jump happens very fast.
Sometimes, it's quite comical and the jump gets me to unrealistic territories of thinking boys’ interest is piqued by book-reading. Okay, it might be the case most of the time.
However, that imagination aids me in seeing the connection between an idea and the final outcome of it in other areas.
How many realistic results does it bring?
My friends, we shall see.
What is the take?
Imagination developed through reading can be very applicable to real-life achievements. Especially fiction, although arguably removed from the nitty-gritty of money-making let’s say, trains that imaginative skill in our toolbox.
Jeremiah once talked to me about “10X” people not needing abundant examples of the validity of a certain idea to pursue that idea. Examples. Not the actual validity of an idea. So if something makes sense to you and you thought it through, there is no need for you to see a bunch of people around you doing it for you to have the guts to pursue it. If you are waiting to really see that let’s say eCommerce is a great way to start entrepreneurship by seeing all your friends do it, the market will get too oversaturated at that point.
So this type of progressive action requires a level of imagination: to take a construct of market trends, a few examples from others, and personal observation and in your head bridge the gap between that construct and an outcome. So, imagination is that secret power giving you the tools to turn this single idea and carry it through to some desired outcome without necessarily visually/emotionally witnessing that outcome.
🗣The benefits of reading might not be in the reading itself. “Books is what makes you intelligent” is an outdated and needless misconception. A potential benefit of reading is training and development of imagination, which aids in bridging a mental construct with a certain “imagined” outcome.