10 Reasons to Read

I have a goal to read a non-fiction book every week in 2013. Why? Here are 10 great reasons to build your mental muscle, develop a new and beneficial habit through discipline, and expand your knowledge base this year:

  1. According to the American Book Seller Association, the average business person  reads 0.7 books that help them in their career each year. Comparatively, the average Fortune 5000 chief officer reads 6.7 books per year.
  2. Standing on the shoulders of brilliant people allows you to jump to the front of the line in almost any discipline. Almost like the fast pass at Disney Land, but better.
  3. History repeats itself. Who doesn’t want to see the trailer before they pay for the film so as to avoid mid-movie regret? I hate when I read a tip in a book that could have saved me some grief had I only read it a month earlier.
  4. Reading facilitates lessons that you can then share with others when they are most needed. Michael Dell said, “Real adults read for the benefit of other people in their lives. It puts them in the position of being able to be a mentor.”
  5. Beyond helping out those you are already know, great relationships can be effortlessly formed around great books. Share a concept that changes someone else’s perspective and you have made a lifelong imprint.
  6. You can’t really appreciate your experiences and environment in life until you experience the contrast. Reading is the closest you can get to a contrasting experience without actually living it.
  7. Human behavior is a complex web of culture, norms, motivation, and relationships. Almost any non-fiction book can reveal new perspectives on behavior. The more you understand, the more successfully you navigate people.
  8. Books consistently expand your vocabulary, allowing you to communicate more clearly and effectively.
  9. Reading flexes our brain more than processing images or speech. It requires a great deal of concentration and creates space for thoughtfulness and insight.
  10. You can take a walk in someone else’s shoes. Dr. Geoff Kauffman argues, “When people read a fictional story, they vicariously experience their favorite character’s emotions, thoughts and beliefs in the process.” But that effect is limited to the written word. “When we watch a movie, by the very essence of it, we’re positioned as spectators.”

“Why is it that we reserve education for the youth, when in fact as we get older we need it more than ever.”

– Stanley Marcus, Jr., Former CEO, Neiman Marcus

If you haven’t read a book cover-to-cover since the last Harry Potter came out, consider getting back in the saddle. Ease into it with a quick and fulfilling read like Og Mandino’s The Choice or Patrick Lencioni’s Death by Meeting.

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