Oh man, I use to really dislike reading. I don’t like to use the word “hate”, so I won’t…but I use to REALLY dislike reading. I would rather paint a fence than read. And if you know anything about me, I don’t like to paint much either, but it was still a better option than reading. Comedian, Jason Caparulo, cracked me up when he talked about having to read versus watching a movie…
“It’s not 1852. I’m not in school. I don’t have to read anymore. I get it done in two hours and it’s over. It’s better now. …I read one book, it was a movie, because I had to for school. I read Jaws. My English teacher was like, ‘You’re gonna love it. The book is so much better than the movie.’ I’m like yeah cuz the movie really sucked huh? Had a 25ft mechanical shark and explosions, but look, the book has…pages. Oh, way better.”
And I can’t agree with him more. When it comes to entertainment, I would rather watch a movie than read a book. But when it comes to wisdom, I would rather read a book than watch a movie. Allow me to explain…
I’m not distracted by the drama…
The intention of most movies is to entertain. Who wants to watch a movie where they aren’t entertained? That’s a fair question, so no matter what the movie is, the director and writer want to entertain you, and unfortunately, that entertainment can be a distraction. Sure, there are movies that can teach us life lessons and help us learn, but you have to wade through the drama to see it. Books can give you drama too, but I find myself with less of an imagination and focused more on the words. I’m less distracted by any drama in a book.
But if I disliked reading so much, why the change of heart now??? Why do I read so many books?
I’m not actually reading
When I read a book, I’m not actually reading. Well, technically I’m reading, but in my mind, what I’m really doing is searching. I’m searching for answers. Isn’t that the same thing? I don’t think so. Think of it this way. When you’re on a road trip and in unfamiliar area, somewhere down I-95, where you have no idea where the next place to get gas or eat is…don’t you read? Tell me you’re not reading every billboard and sign on the right side of the road searching for an answer. An answer to, “Where can I find something good to eat?” Or, “Where can I get some gas real quick?” Are you reading, or searching for answers? I bet you don’t consider yourself as reading.
What answer am I looking for???
When I decide to read a book, I ask myself what answers am I searching for. I never pick up a book without a purpose…without a question I hope to have answered. This way, while I’m reading the book, I’m looking for the answer. And while I’m looking for my one answer, I often find many, many more from people who’ve already experienced what I’m going through or looking to do. I get to soak in their wisdom. And trust me, when I find my answer and all the bonus answers that I wasn’t even looking for, it’s quite a high.
I know for many, reading doesn’t put the “fun” in “fundamental”. And it didn’t for me for most of my earlier life. I started reading books when it truly hit home that I could find answers to many challenges in life. Whether those challenges be with business, money, relationships, fitness, or happiness, books have the answers. Sure movies have some answers too, but I believe books are more to the point and less distracting.
Since I started reading over 3 years ago, I’ve read over 200 books, and I’ve enjoyed probably 95% of them. Not because they had pictures or explosions, and they definitely didn’t have a 25ft mechanical shark. I read them because they were either written by people I respected or promised to provide an answer to a question I was looking for. I always read a book hoping to find answers. So I’m more of an explorer than a reader.
I strongly encourage you to pick up reading if you want to add to your wisdom. There is so much wisdom in books, just waiting to be absorbed. You can find many free books that can change your life and improve your life circumstances. Don’t let the thought of “reading” stop you from searching for answers. See yourself as the Indiana Jones of books and search for the answers to the questions that can change your life.