Why do you read a book?
– a break from reality?
– to find out some specific information?
– someone mentioned it and it sounded interesting?
What types of books are your favourites?
– self help or instructional?
– murder mysteries?
– science fiction?
– romance novels
I gave a speech a few weeks ago about an avalanche of books that fell on me as I sat on the couch. I had looked at the avalanche as a possible opportunity to get some speech topic ideas and many of the titles stood out for me. Titles such as: “Inner Peace for Busy Women” (who me, busy?), May You Always Have An Angel By Your Side ( a good idea), How to Be Like Women of Influence, (some great examples here) Character Matters, (yes it does) and The Secret of Letting Go (yes this would be good too).
The two that particularly spoke to me at this time were, “Oh The Places You’ll Go” and “You’ve Got to Read This Book“, which was a collection of 55 stories told by some well-known people about the book that influenced their lives.
I always loved the Dr. Seuss books and read them to my kids. I decided to read “You Have To Read This Book” as I have read many of the Chicken Soup series by Jack Canfield and I had previously read a book entitled “The Aladdin Factor”, how to get what you want by asking. This book made quite an impression on me as I tried out some of the suggestions, like the year I wanted to attend a conference in Toronto. I asked my boss and he said “yes” and agreed to pay me for the time, however when I applied to the conference it was full. I thought about options and then called someone I knew who was involved in one of the displays and asked if they needed any help at the conference. They said yes and so I was able to attend and all my meals were covered. I stayed at my son’s at night, so no real costs.
Charles “Tremendous Jones”, a noted author and speaker once said, “You will be the same person 5 years from now that you are today, except for 2 things: the people you meet and the books that you read.”
The people we meet can impact our lives positively or negatively, and so can books. Both have transformative power.
Deepak Chopra once said that reading has a special transformational power because “it gives you the opportunity to pause and reflect.” Every day we are exposed to information flying at us while watching a movie or a TV show or other multi-media. As Jack & Gay said, “We’ve all found that life becomes richer when we’re reading a great book.
The interesting thing about the stories in this book is that the people were all influenced by different books. Some of the books others had not even heard of before.
Bernie Siegel, one of the people in the book, believes that when time for reflection is combined with the willingness to be transformed by what you read, the possibility for real growth is created. That is why a book can have different effects if read at different points in one’s life and why two people can learn different things from reading the same book.
People like books for various reasons. Books can be transformational and they can also be simply read for a break from reality. That is why the so called Romance novels are so popular. They take you away from your humdrum life into a romantic adventure. Science fiction and murder mystery books can do the same thing. Most of my books are self-help or personal growth, although I do have a collection of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Series.
Harvey McKay (a noted author and speaker) said that If we read just 15 minutes every day, we can read 20 books in a year.
What have you read recently…and what do you plan to read?
Time spent reading books that cultivate intelligence and wisdom is a labour that yields continuous benefit over a lifetime. I too would recommend that you read this book, or one of the others I have mentioned, or one that might be on your bookshelf. It might just change your life.