A Brief History of My Pleasure Reading
Ever since I was a boy, I was an avid reader. Maybe I was not always crazy about the required reading in school, but pleasure reading was a whole different ball game. I was naturally passionate about sports books and sports magazines given the countless hours I spent competing with neighbors in pretty much any athletic activity imaginable. Having the ability to choose to read about a topic I was truly interested in was so much more appealing to me than being forced to read textbooks.
As I got more comfortable at college and improved my time management skills, I made a lot more room for reading books. I took a particular interest in the self-help, business and autobiographical genres. As much as I liked to get lost in a good fiction story or sports book, my reading interests evolved into more practical content that had the ability to add value to my personal and professional lives.
To be honest, I learned more about myself from pleasure reading than I ever did in class. This is nothing against the first-rate education I received.; I just felt that aside from my major, a lot of the concepts I learned each semester went in one ear and out the other. I recognize that the same argument can be made for certain pleasure reading depending on the genre. Yet, the kinds of books I was reading really shaped my life philosophy and mentality. They helped me develop a state of mind and personality that boosted my confidence to craft a life for myself that I can deem happy and successful on my own terms.
When reading books for pleasure, I make a habit of marking information that I find important. For paperbacks or hardcovers, that means old school underlining with a pen. For e-books, that means new school digital highlighting. I practice this habit so that if I ever want to revisit one of the books, I can skim through it and re-learn its key points with ease.
This process is awesome in the way it contributes to that state of mind I mentioned earlier. However, I have difficulty taking tangible action on most of the things I learn that promise to add value to my life, even if I’ve taken the time to write them out as goals/tasks. Obviously it’s hard to get personal/career development stuff done during the work day, but I find my post-work hours and weekends filling up too. I can only imagine how much better my life might get if I put more effort into taking action on my pleasure reading learnings. I’m working on it!
Step Your Game Up
At the end of the day, pleasure reading should be fun. I’m not asking you to forget the art of storytelling or no longer read for the sake of reading. I just want you to be more open to the powerful effects books can have on your life. Take some time to reflect on the message the author is trying to convey. How can it add personal or professional value to your life or someone else’s you know? Don’t just settle for, “It was a good book.” Do something about the lessons you learn from reading and share your results with others. You’ve already invested hours of your life into it, why not get them back tenfold? It’s time to take pleasure reading to a whole new level.
What books are your currently reading for pleasure?