I have always loved reading, maybe not from the cradle, but, from the early grades of primary school. I learned to read even earlier than my peers, because I had an older sister and I liked to look over her shoulder to books.
Where has this passion come from? It’s hard to say… I must honestly admit that my parents didn’t inculcate the habit of reading. It just happened. I don’t know if it’s some innate curiosity about everything around, curiosity about the world, or an attempt to escape the reality. The fact is that this passion for reading, for books, has remained with me to this day.
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What are the benefits of reading?
There are a lot of them, let’s focus on the most important ones.
Reading expands your knowledge. It is clear here, there is no need to dwell on it.
It develops the imagination. When reading, we must visualize what is happening in the book. It’s different from the movie. That is why it is often said that the book is much better when it comes to the development of children, the development of imagination, the development of mental abilities. You must imagine the things you read about; you must visualize them.
Interestingly, reading reduces stress. Research shows that reading calms you down and slows down your heartbeat. It is said that just six minutes of reading is enough to reduce the feeling of stress by as much as 60 percent. So, it’s worth it.
Reading improves memory. When reading, for example, a novel, we have a lot of things to remember: the names of the characters, the places where the action takes place, their motivations, stories, relationships between the characters, some details. This causes new synapses to form in the brain and existing ones to strengthen. So, let’s remember that benefit too.
Reading expands vocabulary. If we encounter some words often in the pages of a book, we will remember them easier.
Reading also stimulates the brain, in general. Studies show that, statistically speaking, a person who reads a lot is two and a half times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Reading also slows down senile dementia.
One more thing: reading inspires. I think many people can say this on their own example. How many things have been created, how many interesting ideas have been born after reading a book or a story!
What do I get from reading?
The most important benefits that I see from reading are acquiring knowledge, practicing languages, and enriching vocabulary, but also the pure pleasure of reading itself. Of course, it depends on what and how often we read. In my case, I divide my reading into roughly five groups.
The first is the acquisition of knowledge. In this group, there are books, for example, about geopolitics, history, culture, and biographies of interesting people.
The second group deals with self-development. I devour this type of books. I love to learn more about how our brain works, how we function, how our habits are formed, for example. But also, to find out how others plan their tasks, carry out projects, etc.
The third group includes boos I read for language practice. I don’t know if this is a separate category, because here, there are books on diverse topics, both novels and biographies. In my opinion. it’s a terrific way to enrich your vocabulary.
For example, this I read the book “Homo deus” by Yuval Harari in Italian (“Breve storia del futuro”), and his other novel “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” – in Spanish (“21 lecciones para el siglo XXI”). Although I had read them in Polish before, this time I decided to get my hands on the translations into these two languages, Italian and Spanish. Just to enrich your vocabulary. And that the topics covered in these books are very extensive, because they talk about the history of mankind from the dawn of time, first social structures, money, religions, organizations, empires, revolutions etc.
The next group are textbooks. We’re talking about language learning here. But these are strictly textbooks.
The last group are books that I read for pleasure. It’s hard to say that I get anything out of them, other than just having fun.
Since about a year, I have been keeping more detailed notes from books. As I was inspired by other people who advise not only to read the book, but to try to get the most out of this reading. It’s not about ticking the box: I’ve read 600 pages of the book.
I have a database (a table) to record my reading. It’s simple. I generally sort in three groups:
- books to read,
- books I’m currently reading,
- books I’ve read.
I don’t need more details.
- 21 lecciones para el siglo XXI – Yuval Noah Harari
- Arabska wiosna – Katarzyna-Górak-Sosnowska
- Biblia rentiera – Daniel Tokarz
- Building A Second Brain – Tiago-Forte
- Bądź keto – Sabina Sztuba
- Demain – Guillaume Musso
- DNA żywienia – Catherine Shanahan, Luke Shanahan
- Domy z soli – Hala Alyan
- Goodbye Things. On Minimalist Living – Fumio Sasaki
- Homo Deus. Breve storia del futuro – Yuval Noah Harari
- How To Take Smart Notes – Sönke Ahrens
- Hygge. Klucz do szczęścia – Meik Wiking
- I Will Teach You To be Rich – Ramit Sethi
- L’Arabie Saoudite en 100 questions – Fatiha Dazi-Héni
- Manifest codziennego bohatera – Robin Sharma
- Mity o szczęściu – Sonja Lyubomirsky
- Our Last Best Chance – King Abdullah II
- Psychologia dla bystrzaków – Adam Cash
- Sapiens. De animales a dioses – Yuval Noah Harari
- Stulatek, który wyskoczył przez okno i zniknął – Jonas Jonasson
- The 3 Alarms – Eric Partaker
- The Bullet Journal Method – Ryder Carroll
- The How of Happiness – Sonja Lyubomirsky
- The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz
- The Untethered Soul – Michael A. Singer
- Wyloguj swój mózg – Anders Hansen