The 26 Major Advantages to Reading More Books and Why 3 in 4 People Are Being Shut Out of Success

by Brad Isaac on December 5, 2007

read_more_books I read a Associated Press-Ipsos poll revealing that 1 in 4 adults read no books last year. Yes, that’s 25% of the adults out there are reading zero books. This is sad.

I knew intuitively the number of books read each year had gone down but to zero? Ridiculous!

And what about the adults who are reading more than zero books a year. How many are they reading in all? One? Five? Actually, the same poll reveals the average adult reads only four books per year. Half of those people read less than four.

If you are one of the non-book readers who feels you “don’t need no stinking books”, here are 26 great reasons to start the habit…before you are left behind!

1. Reading is an active mental process – Unlike TV, books make you to use your brain. By reading, you think more and become smarter.

2. It is a fundamental skill builder - Every good course on the planet has a matching book to go with it. Why? Because books help clarify difficult subjects. Books provide information that goes deeper than just classroom discussion.

3. Improves your vocabulary – Remember in elementary school when you learned how to infer the meaning of one word by reading the context of the other words in the sentence? You get the same benefit from book reading. While reading books, especially challenging ones, you will find yourself exposed to many new words you wouldn’t be otherwise.

4. Gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places – What is your favorite vacation spot? I would bet you read a lot about that destination. The more information the better. Books can expand your horizons by letting you see what other cities and countries have to offer before you visit them.

5. Improves concentration and focus – Like I pointed out before, reading books takes brain power. It requires you to focus on what you are reading for long periods. Unlike magazines, Internet posts or e-Mails that might contain small chunks of information. Books tell the whole story. Since you must concentrate in order to read, like a muscle, you will get better at concentration.

6. Builds self-esteem – By reading more books, you become better informed and more of an expert on the topics you read about. This expertise translates into higher self esteem. Since you are so well read, people look to you for answers. Your feelings about yourself can only get better.

7. Improves memory – Many studies show if you don’t use your memory, you lose it. Crossword puzzles are an example of a word game that staves off Alzheimer’s. Reading, although not a game, helps you stretch your memory muscles in a similar way. Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters.

8. Improves your discipline – Obviously, if 1 in 4 people don’t read one book per year, then there is a discipline issue. There may be many causes for people not reading books such as the “quips” of information you can get on the Internet. TV is also a major distracter. Making time to read is something we all know we should do, but who schedules book reading time every day? Very few… That’s why adding book reading to your daily schedule and sticking to it, improves discipline.

9. Learn anywhere – Books are portable. You can take them almost anywhere. As such, you can learn almost anywhere too.

10. Improves creativity – by reading more books and exposing yourself to new and more complete information, you will also be able to come up with more creative ideas. As a personal example, I read many, many books on IT Networking. So often, when IT Admins are stumped with a problem, I can come up with a creative (smack your head simple) solution that isn’t written anywhere. But the reason I can do that is because I have read so many books on the subject, I can combine lessons from all of them into new solutions.

11. Gives you something to talk about – Have you ever run out of stuff to talk about with your best friend, wife or husband? This can be uncomfortable. It might even make married couples wonder if their marriage is in trouble. However, if you read a lot of books, you’ll always have something to talk about. You can discuss various plots in the novels you read, you can discuss the stuff you are learning in the business books you are reading as well. The possibilities of sharing are endless.

12. Books are inexpensive entertainment – What’s the average price of a movie ticket these days? $8 – $10? You can buy a paperback for that price and be entertained for many hours more. If you have a used bookstore nearby, you can get them even cheaper.

Tip: Once you make reading a habit, you’ll enjoy reading the books in your chosen career as well.

13. You can learn at your own pace – Where formal education requires time commitments, books have no late-bells or hourly commitments. So you can learn at your own pace when you read books.

14. New mental associations – I touched on this above. As you read more books the depth and breadth of your knowledge expands and your ability to form new associations increases. In reading a book to discover the solution to one problem, you find the solution to others you may not have considered.

15. Improves your reasoning skills – Books for professionals contain arguments for or against the actions within. A book on cooking argues that Chili powder goes well with beef and goes poorly with ice-cream. A book on building a business argues that testing an idea for profitability before setting up is a smart strategy and argues against just barreling forward with the idea without testing.

You too will be able to reason better with the knowledge you gain. Some of the arguments will rub off on you. Others you will argue against. Regardless, you’ll be reasoning better.

16. Builds your expertise – Brian Tracy has said one way to become an expert in your chosen field is to read 100 books on the subject. He also said by continuing the same for 5 years you’ll become an international expert. With the Internet and blogs, you could hone that time down to 2-3 years if you follow through.

17. Saves money – Apart from saving money on entertainment expenses. Reading books that help you develop your skills saves money. Reading books on how someone went bankrupt will be a warning to you against repeating their mistakes. Reading a book on how to build your own backyard deck saves the expense of hiring a contractor.

18. Decreases mistakes – Although I would never suggest putting off an important goal because you fear making mistakes, it is still important to sharpen the saw (link to A.L. post). When you gather the deep and wide wisdom that books can provide, you are less apt to make mistakes.

19. You’ll discover surprises - As you read more books as a source of information, you’ll learn stuff you weren’t looking for. I’ve read many great quotes on life and love by reading books on marketing. I’ve learned facts about biology from reading about chemistry. Heck, I’ve picked up some facts about history while reading about programming. Since so many subjects intertwine it’s almost impossible not to learn something other than the book’s subject.

20. Decreased boredom – One of the rules I have is if I am feeling bored, I will pick up a book and start reading. What I’ve found by sticking to this is that I become interested in the book’s subject and stop being bored. I mean, if you’re bored anyway, you might as well be reading a good book, right?

21. Can change your life – How many times have you heard of a book changing someone’s life? For me, it was Your Erroneous Zones (link) by Wayne Dyer – which is the first self-development book I read. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking that was not depressing and dull. It was the first step in my path of choosing my own life and being free of old habitual thought patterns.

There are many, many other books out there that have a reputation for changing lives including Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, Handbook to Higher Consciousness, Atlas Shrugged , A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Lord of the Rings and Black Boy to name a few. But you can start in your chosen field and work your way outward.

22. Can help break a slump – Being in a slump is uncomfortable. If you are a writer, you call it writer’s block. If you are a salesperson, it’s called – not making a sale in 23 days. But a slump can be a crossroads. It might be you are wavering on your commitment to a particular project or (with marriage) person. Or a slump can be simply a lack of new ideas. Books are a great source of ideas, big and small. So if you find yourself in a slump, pick a book on the portion of your life you are slump-ing and get to reading!

23. Reduces stress - Many avid readers (including me) unwind by reading. Compared with the person who gets home from work and immediately turns on the TV news, you are going from work stress to crime stress. But it’s not just news. TV as a source of relaxation is too full of loud commercials and fast moving (often violent) images. If relaxation is something you want, turn off the TV or computer and pick up a book.

24. Gets you away from digital distractions – If you, like many others, feel overwhelmed with the flashing lights, beeps, boops and ring-a-dings that burn up our computing lives, then give books a chance. When you find some good books, you’ll find yourself drawn into the subject matter. You’ll want to spend more time reading. By spending more time reading books, you’ll have less time for the plethora of the digital gadgets begging for our attention.

25. You’ll make more money - If you make a serious effort to read in your chosen career, your expertise in that specialty will increase. As you become more specialized and learned, you join a smaller group of more qualified people. By being part of the small few with the highest level knowledge your pay will increase. It’s simple supply and demand.

26. The book is always better than the movie – except for perhaps No Country for Old Men. :)

What are some of the most important books you have read? What is the title that changed your life? If you’ve found a book that made a major change in how you work, live or love, please tell us about it in the comments below.

Part 2: 5 Sneaky and Underhanded Methods to Add 30% More Time to Your Daily Reading Schedule

Part 3: What to Read for Maximum Effectiveness

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December 6, 2007 at 1:53 am

Wow, fantastic post. This covers all the things I put on a list before going through yours. I thought I’d have more to add to your list, but it included all of mine and then some. I agree with them all but #26. Only because I don’t read fictional books so can’t even judge that comment really.

I have so many books I can’t say which ones have “changed my life” but certainly taking on reading in the last couple years has changed my life. Went from 1 book in ten years to now over 30 books in one year. I have lots of books I recommend written as reviews on my blog (check the archive).

There are a couple of things you hinted at but didn’t say directly that are the important part of books for me.
1. It is a joy to read and I’m happier because of it.
2. It motivates me (both to write and share more with others) and also to improve myself and my interraction with others. This is largely due to the content I read though.

Ludwig December 6, 2007 at 5:44 am

Hallo Brad,
interesting post, but:
“[...] 1 in 4 people read no books last year. Yes, that’s 75%[...]”
Shouldn’t that be 25%?
So it wouldn’t be “down but to zero in MOST cases” ;-)

Maybe it’s my english that’s fooling me, but I think that number is much more believable. (A source would be good, too)

take care,
Ludwig :-)

Brad Isaac December 6, 2007 at 8:32 am

Ludwig, I was thinking I messed up that sentence last night. I read it 5 times and still got it wrong. It was late I tell ya, late!

Chris December 6, 2007 at 9:26 am

No mention of the library? That brings the entertainment cost down to zero! When I was a kid it seems everyone went to the library? Why has it become uncool?

As far as books that have changed the way I think… Freakonomics, Tipping Point and Blink come to mind.

Brad Isaac December 6, 2007 at 11:38 am

Chris, good point. It is rare that I think of the library with Amazon so close at hand. ;) But it is a free source of books.

Hey, I liked reading the 3 books you mentioned. Freakonomics especially was eye-opening in the way the stats don’t add up to perception. I’ll never forget the chapter Why Do Most Drug Dealers Live With Their Mothers?

Cormac McCarthy December 6, 2007 at 1:30 pm

Good list. I also agree with point 26. I wonder what the author would think?

Friend-o December 7, 2007 at 12:00 am

I reckon I agree with all those points. Especially 26.

I liked both of Gladwell’s books a lot. I learned a tremendous amount. What I think is interesting is that nothing Gladwell brings to the table is new. The way he presents it is amazing though, and it really helps get some very complex points across in a way we all can relate.

December 10, 2007 at 6:22 am

This is quite a concrete set of advantages you have here. I found myself nodding at almost every number, murmuring little bits of “Oh, right…” in between. While I have always loved books, my reading list has somehow dwindled significantly growing up. This list reminds me to pick up where I left off, considering that my concentration skills have become a little less reliable this year!

Raffaele December 10, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Reading cannot make your life longer, but reading really makes your life thicker…

December 10, 2007 at 5:15 pm

Awesome post. I wish more people would read books. I read an average of 40 books a year.
Since you are a reader, you really should check out It’s ‘MySpace’ for bookworms and its a BLAST!

December 10, 2007 at 5:41 pm

Great post.

I will show this to my non-reader friends, and I look forward to reading the life-changing books that you mention (I have read Atlas Shrugged, and it, as well as The Fountainhead, did change my perspective on life).

Brad Isaac December 10, 2007 at 5:58 pm

Hi Cormac McCarthy and welcome to the blog. When did you move to NJ? Your IP gives you away. :P

Brad Isaac December 10, 2007 at 6:01 pm

@jen, you and me both! I found my concentration dwindling a few years ago. Book reading did help bring it back though. though.

@Raffaele, I love that comment. Did you make it up?

December 10, 2007 at 6:46 pm

I absolutely agree with you. From point 1 till point 25. Concerning point 26…I don’t know what to say…I didn’t saw that movie :-)

Jim December 10, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Why do you need 26 reasons to read?

It’s fun. Who needs another reason?

GS December 10, 2007 at 9:45 pm

Apologies, but I must disagree with you.

As awesome as the movie was, the novel for No Country for Old Men was at least as good if not better.

Besides that, I must agree with Jim. I don’t sit down and read because it increases my vocabulary, or because its cheaper than watching a movie. I read because its fun.

Its really sad how many people have the misconception that reading is boring.

Langdon December 11, 2007 at 1:04 am

I’ve yet to read a book that changed my life, but A wrinkle in Time and To Kill a Mockingbird were both major influences on my character. I know the former is more of a children’s book, but I’m still a kid so you’ll have to live with it.

I read A Wrinkle in Time when I was 9 years old, and I loved it. I’m not a genius, and some of the mathematics behind it confused me, but that’s why it changed my life. For the first time I started asking about what the 4th dimension was, and it jump started my interest in theoretical thinking.

I’m a very practical person, society’s inefficient customs won’t get in the way of productivity and ethics, but To Kill a Mockingbird is the book that gave me perspective on the world, and almost as important; it made me a MUCH better reader. I could read the day I was born just like Scout, but the use of symbolism in the book taught me to truly understand literature and appreciate good writing more than a good story. *cough* DaVinci Code *cough*

December 11, 2007 at 2:19 am

Fantastic post. I hope more teachers would be able to read this post and use it as a springboard to influence the young to read.

ry December 11, 2007 at 2:57 am

1984 and The Fountainhead, not only probably the 2 most well written books from about every aspect you think of, they challenge your conceptions of morality, something most take for granted, my favorites, enjoy

December 11, 2007 at 3:15 am

Anthem, Ayn Rand- Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer- First Light, Richard Preston- Everything Bukowski ever wrote, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell- Tucker Max..

So what? I’m a SMART ass..

December 11, 2007 at 10:53 am

I love reading. I love books. I think this article is a wonderful reminder of the many advantages we gain by actually taking the time to read a book instead of plopping down in front of the TV or doing some other form of mindless entertainment.

I submitted the article to

Dave December 11, 2007 at 12:44 pm

Surely the title for this post is wrong?
If reading is a good thing then the 3 in 4 people reading would be gaining more sucess, not being shut out of it.

But enjoyed the rest of the article! All true!

December 11, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Excellent post! I am what would be called a voracious reader, as I read at least 1 book a week, and usually more. I live in Costa Rica, and the culture here simply doesn’t place any emphasis on reading. In public schools, reading is mandated for only 20 minutes a day, and most students feel that is some type of punishment. That is so sad. That really don’t know what they are missing.

December 11, 2007 at 10:56 pm

Very good post. You really covered some ground!
Books are the only constant in my life. I always have one on the go, and I read morning and night.

December 11, 2007 at 11:42 pm

I read for all these reasons, but especially to learn, to relax, and to laugh. Because I love reading, I try to share this joy with others through parent/child book clubs and literacy drives.

I just reviewed two books, Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time and Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children, about humanitarians who are promoting global literacy. I highly recommend both books.

Oh yes, Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat is one of the most important books that I’ve read.

john December 12, 2007 at 1:19 am

They most likely only read one book. The most important book anyone would need to read. The book that people died for having. That is published more than any other book. No need to say what book I’m talking about. If you don’t know or never have read it. It has the 26 greatest reasons to read it, and then some.

December 12, 2007 at 8:59 am

Hello Brad: Great article…many thanks. Speaking of books, I just wrote a new book called ’365 Affirmations’ – designed specifically to help people out during these tough times. I really do believe that the affirmation process is an important foundation toward success, just like reading great books. Regards, Keith Johnson, Hallandale, FL

December 12, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Great article! I’d also like to add that adults who read regularly model literacy for their children and grandchildren. When children have role models who read books, they are more likely to become interested in reading and more likely to achieve in school. Nice to know that a habit and passion that helps me be more successful also helps the kids in my life be more successful too.

Milander December 12, 2007 at 5:43 pm

It always amazes me that people don’t read regularly if at all! I moved to Hungary from the UK about 10 years ago and obviously have had to make many new friends. When i visit their houses it is not unusual to find NO books in the house except a few cookbooks or ‘classics’ that are never read.

Even when I lived in the UK many peoples idea of a book collection was a regular subscription to readers digest.

Of course, I have no concrete evidence apart from my sons chatting with me but I find it distinctly disturbing when my kids return from visiting friends and tell me that they have no books in their rooms!!

The internet and gaming has destroyed the reading habit.

Oh yeah, next time you watch a film (most likely to be an American film) see how many books on shelves you can spot. Won’t be many I’m telling you.

Having said all that it is of course a kind of sweeping generalisation. I’m sure their are many families that have libraries in their houses, problem is that those people are not represented nor held up as examples to others. Reading is for nerds/geeks after all (sarcasm).

To my mind it comes down to example, if the parents don’t read the kids will not follow by example, which means that they won’t set an example when they have kids and so the cycle goes on.

Michel Lankford December 12, 2007 at 9:11 pm

What an awesome post!! I set goals for between 12 to 24 books a year. To be honest, I don’t often reach those goals, but I keep pitching. I thought the article was a good one, but like other commenters I was surprised you did not mention the free public Library (thank you Benjamin Franklin).

As far as the book that has most profoundly changed my life, it would have to be The Holy Bible. I’m not trying to be corny. I’m absolutely sincere. I have always looked for books containing good advice and counsel because I was not brought up well. In fact I was severely abused and neglected as a child. I always want to know what’s good? How does life really work? How can I overcome and succeed in spite of my serious physical and emotional challenges? The Bible teaches me how to love, how to forgive, and how to make wiser choices that will produce better and happier results for my life. I’ve also seen and heard or read somewhere that in places where the Bible is read literacy increases. Your article reminds me of those comments and I’ve wondered if that were true. Anyway it’s something worth researching, or maybe I’ll run across the actual facts in the book somewhere.

December 13, 2007 at 3:25 am

I 100% Agree with everything you said which is rare for me.

Everyone who loves to read should join

I have received good recommendations from friends I have meet there.

Here is my recently updated collection:

HiZaM December 13, 2007 at 11:48 pm

i read about 1 book in two weeks so 52 weeks a year that means 26 books plus school books say 1 book a month we now have 38 i am 17 right know i started reading at 6 and fully reading at 11 or 12 so lets think that the year i read the less i read 20 books and the 38 we have 29(more or less) books a year for 5 or 6 years i have read 160 books in google books there are 596 books of science fiction so i have to keep reading. Also for the people that said internet and gaming have destroyed the habit i finish between 1 or 2 games each month, and navigate between 2 and 3 hours almost daily.

Thanks for the post ill keep it in mind.

December 14, 2007 at 4:21 am

I’m a bookaholic, have been a voracious reader since I was 5 – my mother taught me to read before I started school.
When I became a mother, I wanted my four children to have that joyous habit, so I made a rule: you have to go to bed at your bedtime, but you can keep your light on – IF your are reading – for another half hour.

You can guess what happened. Now they’re adults and I have the great pleasure of discussing books with them AND with my grown-up grandchildren.

Ahhhhh, books.

BTW, in retirement, I’ve become a used-books seller online.

Cara December 14, 2007 at 2:50 pm

For me it was a book by Richard Bach: Illusions, Journey of a Reluctant Messiah.

reading December 14, 2007 at 5:59 pm

someone recently invited me to goodreads which is a social networking site for books. i already found 2 interesting things to read on my friends list its kind of neat.

Fili December 15, 2007 at 12:03 am

This is a fantastic list.
I’ve only recently started loving reading. And I kick myself every other day knowing that I spent so many years detesting reading.

December 16, 2007 at 7:31 am

that’s true u’ve done a great job.I really liked this article thanx for sharing it


Kayleigh December 18, 2007 at 9:50 am

Coming from a person who reads on average 3 or 4 books a month (not including text books for school, which I read cover to cover) I hope my comments hold merit. I absolutely 100% disagree with most of what you say.

1. Reading is an active mental process. So is watching TV, web-surfing, playing in the park, and talking to old people (all of which are NOT reading). “By reading, you think more and become smarter.” Firstly we do not become “smarter”. Our relative IQ stays the same through adult life and remains unaffected by activities such as reading. “You think more…” Not necessarily. I’ve learned more from PBS I think than all the text books and assigned reading I’ve been required to do combined. Because of illustrious programs like Nova I understand String Theory, Relativity, a complete biography of Lewis and Clark and Mark Twain, how the Americas were populated, and how the Bubonic plague was formed. I would like to repeat that I did not read any of it in books. I WATCHED IT ON TV.

2. It is a fundamental skill builder. I would highly disagree. I read all of my text books most of the time. And I do well. But just because “every good course on the planet” (this is a wild and undocumented assumption) has a book to go with it doesn’t make it necessary. For example I took an upper level Literature class and aced it without actually reading ANY of the work assigned. As we went over the work in class I would pull quotes but I never actually read any of it. Many people learn in different ways. For example I am a visual learner. I can learn more from a picture than words. So fuck you.

4. Gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places. That really depends on what kind of book you’re reading, don’t you think? But again, what do you think the national geographic channel exists for? Instead of reading about Margarete Meade or Clifford Geertz I could actually see the cultures they studied. Thanks to Guns, Germs, and Steal (PBS) I became acquainted with many different cultures and even learned WHY they were they way they were.

5. Improves concentration and focus. So does meditation, pranyama, tai chi, and the game memory but neither of those activities involves books.

6. Builds self-esteem. NO GOOD PARENTING BUILDS SELF-ESTEEM. Bringing up children in a loving environment leads to self-esteem. Not fucking books. In fact, a preoccupation with only one kind of intelligence (book smarts) widens the gap between people and isolates those who are not capable of such a specific type of intelligence. It’s just the same as revering size 0 women, it’s simply not an attainable goal for those who CAN’T have a body like that. And some people are not book smart. Why make a goal they can’t achieve and ridicule them for such. Sounds like reading leads to arrogance and pretentiousness. But that could just be me.

7. Improves memory. I would like to say that I know every episode of Family Guy, Arrested Development, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia by heart, perfectly memorized. Do I remember what happened in The Turn of the Screw, fuck no.

8. Improves your discipline. This uses circular logic, the end justifying the means and so forth. My ex boyfriend was astounding at Kung Fu, because of this he had great discipline of character and mind. He mastered his body and his manifest. He did not read. I on the other hand read often and lack enough discipline to stay on a diet, exercise regularly, take the trash out, do dishes, and wake up at a regular time. Sounds like books really helped me with self-discipline. My friend Steve hasn’t read a single books since high school but he does know a lot about a lot from things he watches on the internet or books on tape. He can’t commit to reading but he is a Raw Foodist. When you can have enough personal discipline over your body to not eat any food frozen or heated above 118 degrees, well talk. Until then, your point is not valid.

9. Learn anywhere. Except when it is inappropriate to break out a book or you don’t have enough pocket space to stick the Aeneid.
10. Improves creativity. Knowing more things, facts, theories, and other people’s opinions is not going to help you be more creative. Albert Einstein did not do his best work because he read. He did it because he thought. Stop filling your brains with other people’s useless crap and START THINKING ON YOUR OWN INTELLIGENTLY. Also I would like to mention that most inspirational breakthroughs happen when one taps into their creative unconscious.

11. Gives you something to talk about. (If you want to be a pretentious asshole.) Isn’t your article about how people DON’T READ. So this is how the conversation will go.
You: Hey did you ever read Camus’ “The Stranger”. I found it to be very profound and it made me think about the universe and my place in it. I found it to have many correlations to Greek philosophy. They believed that their life was it, and afterwards they would be bound to Hades in the form of shades. They believed they were greater than the Gods because they were mortal and thus their lives had meaning. I found that to be very true with the character as he contemplated his own impending death sentence. His life gained new meaning in his imminent demise.
(According to your study) 25% of the Population: So did you catch Lost last night?
You: No, I was reading Camus and jerking it.

I’m not even going to continue, hopefully you have the picture. Basically I found this article to be the rantings of an arrogant asshole high off the sense of his own literate superiority.
In conclusion: Fuck you.

Mary December 18, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Funny how reading hasn’t improved your use of language, proofeading skills, or your ability to write coherent paragraphs. Also funny that most irate respondents are unable to do any better. By all means, read more. THEN explain, in decent English, why you are a better person. I read a lot. It has never led to “decreased mistakes.” OMG!

December 18, 2007 at 10:41 pm

So what if people don’t read? It just makes the idiot masses that much easier to manipulate if they don’t occasionally bother to educate themselves with books.

Daniel December 19, 2007 at 4:54 am

WOW!! I have to admit that, I never expect such a fantastic article from simply random stumble. This article recalls my memory of the reading times when I was in the university. I think this article could be the right one which will change my life. I will start to schedule my own reading time everyday. Thanks dude!

zwenkwiel December 19, 2007 at 4:02 pm

I’m not even going to continue, hopefully you have the picture. Basically I found this article to be the rantings of an arrogant asshole high off the sense of his own literate superiority.
In conclusion: Fuck you.

Amen to that!!

you make false statements from the start
unlike TV books make you use your brain (wtf??)
and keep it up to the end.

it doesn’t matter by what means you aquire information.
it’s the information itself wich matters!

Jen December 23, 2007 at 8:19 pm

Well, as an avid reader, I agree with all of those points, except, of course #26. And I only disagree about 2% of them time. Usually, the book is better, but I just gotta say that, though Blood and Chocolate is one of my favorite movies, I couldn’t get even a quater of the way through the book…

December 24, 2007 at 8:11 am

I read one book this year. Not to say, I have never read. When I was younger I would read dozens of books a week, Yes, Dozens. I read very fast, and I do retain what I read. I read so much as a child and teen, That I am literally burnt out on reading. I am 28 now, I may plan on reading more in the future. As for now, I am burnt out. Will you even read my comment here? Thank you! I’ve read four different Bibles, even tho I don’t believe in them much. Well, As for this great read of a website,There are always exceptions eh? I ran out two libraries growing up, and was working on a third before I just burnt out, completely, burnt, out. Thanks for reading my rant!

December 26, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Interesting post. I am somewhat surprised that only 25% don’t read books. I thought we were further down the drain already in terms of literacy in general, and book-reading in particular. I wonder what percentage of respondents said they read at least one book a year because they didn’t want to admit to not reading.

I wish you had included a link to the poll results. I’d be interested to see whether readers of magazines, journals (arts or trade), newspapers, online articles, etc. were also given credit. People who read any of those regularly are also readers and stand to benefit from their reading.

I am of the opinion, however, that fiction, especially literary fiction, has a significant and unique place in society and benefits readers in a way no other form can. Good theatre and film come close, while informative, thought-provoking non-fiction obviously has its place.

As for your 26 points, I fear, most constitute preaching to the converted. Maybe some occasional readers will be inspired to read more, but those who think they ‘don’t need no stinkin’ books’ will likely offer counter arguments to most of your points. There are those who claim, based on their own studies (though it’s often interesting to note the people/institutions/corporations who fund such studies), that children spending their time gaming rather than reading develop mental skill-sets better suited to the digital world. Oh brave new world!

December 27, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Well, it seems that we can easily spot the people commenting who are being shut out of success! Those people would not understand, even if one tried to explain the error of their ways.

Ahh, but if success were easy, there wouldn’t be enough of it to go around. Carry on my wayward sons, and leave the success to those who can handle it.


February 23, 2008 at 6:24 pm

This is a list every first grader should memorize. A good study on the concrete self-improvement value of reading was done by William Miller. Read more about it here. Great post!

June 23, 2008 at 8:01 am

I’m impressed to see so many comments and ideas on reading books. I’m a Chinese undergrauate. I’m very interested in learning English. I like books and it’s my hobby to save good books. I’m sure many people who love books benefit a lot from them. But it’s a pity more and more people choose e-books or watch TV instead of reading the traditional books. The feeling of reading is quite different from them. Very fantastic!!!

September 29, 2008 at 5:56 am

@Kayleigh @zwenkwiel

I’m sorry for you. Seriously.

Of course it is wrong to say books in general make smart etc..
But good books seriously widen your horizont what overall enhances your intelectual ability.
I also have to admit that there are TV programms that are useful but that’s 5% maybe of the total programm. Otherwise please explain me the advantages of watching Jerry Springer.

I wish that both of you will one day find the “right” book.
When you spend the whole night reading to finally finish the book, or if you think about the amazing story even months after having finished the book; you found one.

Confessions of Felix Krull (my favourite book, originally a German book) for example made me question whether those seemingly rich and privileged people around me might be only a bunch of impostors. So I digged deeper and…..simply amazing what was hiding behind those shining masks. A movie never had an impact on my life that big.

You can make the experience yourself, or you can live through a experience of someone else by reading a book. I traveled a lot.
I watched movies about the US all my life. But it was a completely different experience to actually be there (1 year). Now I’m reading books about the states I have been to. And sometimes I start smiling thinking: It’s really like that.

Hope you will one day experience it yourself. You seemingly still young (just like me), so you have still some time left. Reading is no substitute for thinking, but fuels it.

Or in your words: Einstein wasn’t watching TV about mathematics either.

Crappy books contain crappy thaughts. Good books good ones. So read good books and do not mind leaving the other ones.

Best Regards

ThiloPs last blog post..Ich – Das Original

October 30, 2008 at 10:08 am

Thank you so much for the wonderful information. I am reading to a group of children tongiht at our local library and wanted to tell them about the great benefits of reading. You have provided me with a great starting point. I hope that my efforts will create more long term readers.


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