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The value of books and reading, why do some deem reading unpopular?

Books are as old as human existence. Gaze back in time and you’ll see the presence of books littered throughout every century.

The reading and digesting of books is the oldest learning mechanism known to man. The authoring of books was the prime means of sharing a story, experience, knowledge, success and even failure. Until very recently (relative to history), if you had a burning desire to specialize in a “non-academic” subject, the gathering and devouring of books was your only option.

However there is a sad recurring theme amongst younger people; that the reading of books is “un-cool”.

Allow me to clarify, when I state “younger people” – I’m not referencing an exact window of age. If anything, it’s not the youngest of children who are guilty, in fact, it’s the slightly older camp! Let’s say those in adolescence and upwards to even those as mature as their mid-twenties.

Read any interview or even “about me” style transcript, and a common question is: “Favourite books?”…………

“Reading? Yeah right, I don’t read books!…….Come on now!”

Sound familiar?

Presumably the transition from the partaking in regular book reading to no book reading, occurs perhaps around the time children are no longer made to read regularly. When children are very young, it’s standard procedure to teach them via books. I’m pretty sure that’s how the majority of us learnt our foundational understanding of the English language, and how to both present it to, and receive it from others.

However that inevitable time arises when children are allowed to chose whether or not to continue in regular book consumption.

Alas, having not formed a solid habit of reading or even not possessing the maturity to value reading, the practice is discontinued. 

A great shame.

Now this blog of mine is centred around health, fitness and exercise. This is my blog’s central core. But the realms of self-improvement, learning and even some spiritual evolution are very close rivals of prime purpose.

These elements are very complimentary to one and other. Needless to say, reading is essential to any self-improvement journey. I am, and always have been a regular and keen reader. English has always been my stronger point throughout my life of studying. For that I’m thankful and I guess that enables me to value the art of reading.

Some fundamental reasons to consult books and read on a more regular basis:

Greater focus – 

In today’s information overloaded world, we all at some time or another, fall victim to information overload. We find ourselves trying to divide our attention into smaller and smaller segments. Thus – giving our full and utmost attention to no singular thing.

If you practice the habit of book reading, it will allow you to establish a place or space of time where you are entirely present to ONE particular subject. Whichever book you happen to read will present one primary perspective, this will enable you to digest the content maximally, without the opposing views being present and causing distraction. If you wish to observe the opposing or differing view, you will have to obtain the relevant book and repeat the process.

This will improve your ability to apply the forgotten art of: Singular focus! 

Improved or sharper literacy skills – 

Just like your parents reading to you as a very small child pays dividends to your learning ability, regular reading as an adult will contribute to sharper literacy skills. I had a phase not so long ago, where I had become a little complacent with my reading and writing. I wasn’t doing it at the frequency I am now, and thus it was tainted with some rust.

Now that I am reading on a regular basis and writing both for work and for this blog, I am finding that I can interpret and express much more competently!

Information equally as good as modern internet info – 

It’s a common misconception that somehow, today’s wealth of internet information contains much more improved theories, thoughts, practices and ideas relating to certain subjects.

Take the realm of strength training or even fitness! – All these new “fads” that numerous folk are claiming as their “own invention”, are nearly always ever present in the relevantly related originally published textbook!

Many “greats” of their subject or industry will testify this fact. A large amount of “new” internet information that is said to be so “ground-breaking”, is little more than re-worded or recycled content from great books of ‘yesteryear’!

It’s all there, you just have to look.

There are many other suitable candidates for reasons reading adds value to life, even something as simple as relaxation! 

That’s right, those of you who are sleep deprived or victims of insomnia should pin your ears back………..reading for an allocated time before sleep is great for improved sleep! 

This is personal experience talking.

I’m sure I could make my own book with the plethora of reasons book reading is valuable. 

But for now I trust I’ve made a reasonable case for the inclusion of reading to assist your quest, journey or mission in becoming the strongest, smartest, bravest and best version of you.

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JR @ Straight-Talking-Fitness View All

The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.

19 thoughts on “The value of books and reading, why do some deem reading unpopular? Leave a comment

  1. I love reading! I think it’s great. I would rather read than watch tv any day. I used to read a lot when I was younger, don’t do as much as I should now. I do however loooooove libraries, buy books all the time (my little addiction).

    I’m forever telling people to read but I always get told “no”, or “I’m not that bored”. Really? You now have to be bore to read a book?

    Reading is so fundamental and yet some disregard it as though it’s the worst thing ever. Intelligence is sexy. Read more, learn more!

    Really good post you wrote, can’t believe no one commented or anything on it.

    Like

    • Hello! How’s things? 🙂

      I felt compelled/inspired to write about that as I’ve been reading LOADS lately. I’ve got this pre-sleep reading ritual, I try to read at least a chapter per night (works wonders for sleep too!)

      You really hit the nail on the head about the “boring” perception! I think it’s people trying to turn a blind eye to their ADD. People are finding it harder and harder to focus their attention on ONE thing. I fall victim to this sometimes too 😦 hehe.

      Let’s put the truth hurting down as the reason for the lack of feedback? Thanks for your input as always, I can rely on you to raise some BRILLIANT points 🙂

      Are you a genre specific reader? Or a multi-genre reader? I personally prefer educational reading over fiction/sci-fi. Gotta attempt to keep intelligence up, haha. I do like a story too though 🙂

      Like

      • Hey hey.

        I’m alright, battling a cold that had let but decided to return to me again, yaaaaaay. Hope you’re in good spirits 🙂

        I try to do the whole read a chapter a night (or day) but it hasn’t been working out so well. Might need to read a different book (currently reading a modern romance book. Doooo not judge!)

        Yeah seems people would rather play games than take the time to read a bit. I swear if people read as much as they played games, wow, our nation would be a lot different in terms of literacy and stuff.

        Ummm no, I’m not subject to a specific genre, If I find something that looks interesting, I’ll read it. I do however read more non- fiction than other stuff. Not saying I wouldn’t read it, I just haven’t really. Like I love history, like ancient history, I find it so fascinating, I’d buy books on that and get stuck into them. I’m not too fussy when it comes to reading.

        I once bought a book that looked interesting, but oh my god. Once I started reading it, I was like oh my goodness, is this in English because it does not make any sense at all. I can’t tell you how many times I had to re-read paragraphs and sentences to fully understand it all, but I didn’t give upon it, I read the whole book. As complex and complicated as it was, it was a really good book, just required concentration.

        Lol @ gotta keep up the intelligence, hahaha!

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      • I wish your cold better! A romance novel? Hahaha, what makes you think I’d cast judgement?

        The trouble with trying to be consistent with reading a chapter before bed is….I often find myself fighting with everything I have to remain awake! So what happens as a result, I have to read the chapter again the next morning or whatever to fully digest it!

        I agree, history is a phenomenal topic. And it needn’t be specific either, anything historical is very valuable. Besides, historic books are just another way of learning of others’ experiences, right?

        That book you described sounded pretty complex! It wasn’t a book on ancient Greek or Latin was it? Lol.

        Like

      • My cold is gone! 😀 Now can you make it stop raining?

        Lol I don’t know….us romance novel readers are always shunned for some absurd reason. lol What can I say..I love all things romance ^_^

        Yep, that’s usually it, you read at night and then need a quick recap of what you read lol.

        Yess, so so phenomenal, how can one NOT have even a little interest in it? I wish I had an interest for it when I was in school, but we didn’t really do much of it.. You can always learn something from ancient times I say 🙂

        No no, the book is by Jane Urquhart and called “Away”.

        Like

      • Has it stopped raining yet? I worked my magic again! Remember I have limited magical powers, please don’t exploit them too much 🙂

        I must say I haven’t read any romance novels, maybe when I was REALLY young. (No, that’s not me saying I’m not willing to) lol.

        Oh god, how I wish I had an interest for something(s) back in school! Trouble is, I think at school we just don’t quite have the maturity to value the learning. Plus the teachers are often woefully incompetent!

        “Youth is wasted on the young” – the old cliche!

        I’ll have to keep an eye out for that book, I try to keep a steady stream of books coming in. As soon as I’m nearing the finish of one, I get promptly onto ordering the next. It’s the only way to do it! 🙂 Haha.

        Like

      • Haha nope. STILL raining :/

        I’ve yet to hear of a man openly admit to reading a romance novel, and whaddya mean when I was young? It’s like you’re deliberately trying to age yourself lol.

        I’m glad my teachers were alright, but some days, lessons were just soooooooooooo boring lol. Sad that I miss the atmosphere of it all.

        Seems you have a better handle on things when it comes to books. I tend to buy books and then never get round to reading the, I’ve been reading (well I started reading) a book for about the past three years, and I’m only half way through. Safe to say I barely read at all these days *hangs head in shame*

        Maybe I should succumb and just invest in a kindle or e-reader..

        Hahahaha juuuuuuuuuuust kidding 🙂

        Like

      • Give my magic time to work 😉 haha.

        Trust me, that wasn’t a cover up. I genuinely haven’t read a romance novel…….promise!

        Haha, I often talk about “the good old days”, people think…..”Now there must be a guy with a lot of years behind him!” I’m not that old at all really lol. Just mature for my years I guess? Or I guess you could say I’m conscious of time? Your pick 🙂

        School was very fun for me, although very unproductive. I literally saw it as a social club, so I had a real blast. But could’ve done WAY better, although thankfully I’ve rectified that somewhat in adulthood (the journey continues).

        Sounds like someone needs a little more discipline…..haha, just messing! You could explore audible.com – the lazy way to read, I hear that’s getting very popular! Question: Would you consider online reading to still count?

        Like

      • Time? Nuuuuuu I ain’t got nooo time. Make it happen NOW! Pretty please 🙂

        Ok so when you’re reminiscing about the good ol days, are you smoking a pipe out on the porch, sitting in a rocking chair covered in a blankey? Hahahaha I kid, I kid. But I totally get what you mean about being (or feeling) mature beyond your years, I sometimes feel like that too.

        Sounds like you were a bit of a class clown eh, but still managed to get all his homework done. Well done you.

        Oh noo…that audible bla bla just wouldn’t work for me, I would lose concentration so fast, would be pointless. I can’t really engage in the story. Yeah online reading might be considered, but again, too many other distractions. lol.

        Like

      • You’re not stalking me are you?! How did you describe me so accurately?! JOKING! Lol.

        That’s just what I was getting at…………*Oh that’s an interesting article!* One browser tab up, *Oh wait, why don’t I check Facebook while it loads*………….D’oh, 10 tabs later: Article is still unread! 😦 happens alot lol.

        Like

      • Hahaha I’m just smart lie that..you know…from all the reading I do..lol

        Yep…currently got 8 tabs up…skype and word open..lol plus watching tv and texting. Oh yeah, sure I can focus on just the one thing 🙂

        Like

      • Lie was meant to be like..lol I’ve had a lot of sugary substances, slowly losing focus, haha (poor excuse I know)

        Welll I can’t really say I’m multi-tasking…only 3 are in use..lol but sure…let’s say I’m multi-tasking like a pro ^_^

        Like

      • Check you…….little miss busy huh? Haha……..it’s ironic actually, one of the books I’ve just ordered/had delivered is called “The one thing” (all about filtering out unnecessary distractions in your life) lol. Totally opposes the multi-tasking hype, should make an interesting read!

        Like

      • Hahaha i theory I should be somewhat busy…but I have a tendency to slack….but that’s just due to laziness and partially stress and blah blah. Boy do I need ice cream..lol

        Sounds like an interesting book.

        Like

      • Allow me to gently attempt to inspire you to stay strong and avoid ice cream, lol. It would go against everything this blog promotes otherwise, haha. Yes, sure should be a good book, it’s a best seller and some people whom I really respect have recommended it. I can’t go wrong really 🙂

        Like

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