The November 14, 2014, Inc. article, “22 Top CEOs Reveal Their Favorite Books,” shares CEO’s favorite books, but it reinforces an idea that English teachers have been saying for years, to succeed you need to read. As an English teacher for the last 15 years, I have found that reading is important for three reasons.
1. Expands Your Horizons.
In our fast-paced culture, where most information comes in small chunks and from people who think just like us, getting a fresh perspective is a challenge. Books provide that challenge because the content cannot be consumed in seconds. Reading takes time, time to think and feel. Even if the book is from an author we like, the story or idea is developed so that we can digest it deeply. Sometimes the idea challenges our thinking, other times it confirms our views but that gives us confidence that we are on the right track.
2. Reduces Stress.
I have already mentioned the idea that books make us slow down and slowing down helps reduce our stress. There is a joy to reading that we lose when we succumb to the hectic pace of life. Do you remember reading something and you just had to share what you just read? I have laughed out loud. I have cried because of a book. Going through these emotions or connecting with a friend over a book brings us back to ourselves, thus reducing the stress our faced-paced life can inflict on us.
3. Spurs Action.
This benefit has been hinted at, too. Reading leads us to action. Yes, sometimes it is the simple action of contacting a friend to talk about the book, but many times the action enriches our lives. Books generate new ideas. Books give us courage to change aspects of our life or work and lead us to live a better life than before.
So, have you read any good books lately? Share your reading list with us in the comment section.
Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six, TIS, coach, and teacher for Sandy Creek high school in Nebraska. He is also an adjunct professor for CCC Hastings.