It’s taken me a long time to figure it out, but I realize now that I adore reading.
For over 2 years now, I’ve been attempting to read a book every week. This year, for the first time, I’m going to succeed. I’m only now realizing what a tremendous impact a ton of reading has had on me over the past few years, and that I never want to go without this growth ever again.
It happened slowly. One day in early 2007, my girlfriend at the time offered it to me as a challenge. I started with an early Salman Rushdie book, then moved to The Search. I didn’t know what this was turning into, but I have a feeling now that it’s about developing a habit of completion.
The ability to compulsively finish whatever you started, all the time, whatever it happens to be, no matter its difficulty.
The way to do this is to look at the bigger picture. When you visualize having finished this book, or finished 52 books this year, you see your life from the future, reminiscing upon a completed goal. That helps you continue past any boredom you might be feeling now.
Eventually the reading itself, the larger goal of knowledge, becomes the real point. That takes time, but when you get there, and you realize how much all the books you’ve read have helped your critical thinking and developed your ideas, it becomes easy to make that decision to start every day by reading those 40 pages. This is likely the same when you look at weight you’ve lost by regularly working out or eating less, for example.
Then, as time goes on, this habit of completion can hopefully work itself into the rest of your life. Still working on that, but hey, we did finish a book, so I guess I’m part of the way there. :)
The other thing is that books contain pretty much all the knowledge and wisdom in the whole world– not just for today, but for all of history. It’s in an imperfect form right now, what with books being out of print and all the problems of limited distribution, etc., but over time, that’ll be solved. So I see books as direct conduits to the past, and the most reliable way that we have to receive important information from other people, living or dead.
When you think about it that way, why would you only ever restrict yourself to the knowledge of the people you happen to know? Even if you know a lot of people, you can grab a lot more out of life by reading a bunch of books. Give it a shot.