Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Reading for Lifetime Awesomeness

Postulate number 92 in "Arun's Guide to Lifetime Awesomeness" states: "The amount of reading one engages in, directly correlates to the accumulation of awesome intelligence."

Obviously I read a lot.

I can't emphasize how great and beneficial reading is. Usually, I can tell who amongst my peers is a continual reader (and I don't mean comic books) just based on the intelligence with which they discuss anything. People who consistently read just seem to be on another level of intellect than the rest of non-reading society (which happens to be most of society).

It's not very easy to be a successful writer. Most toil in obscurity and never have anything published. What does this mean? It means that most of the literature out there is of exceptional quality. Only the best of the best get published! So by simply reading, you are exposing yourself to people who have a high level of mastery of the language!

Want to know some other benefits of reading? Research shows that avid readers:

  • Read, Write, and Concentrate better

  • Notice subtleties quicker

  • Have an easier time processing new information

  • Have many interests and excel in a variety of subjects

  • Develop an ability to understand how other people think and feel

  • Acquire the ability to sift through information and understand how unrelated facts can fit into a whole

  • Tend to be more flexible in their thinking and more open to new ideas.

  • Weather personal problems better without other responsibilities being compromised

Although non-fiction books are great because they provide you with a wealth of information, fiction is EQUALLY beneficial! How? Fiction provides a lot of stimulus to your right brain (the creative, imaginative side), plus it's usually ultra enjoyable to read.

I was not always an avid reader, and didn't become so until midway through college. The first summer I stayed in San Luis Obispo, working at Tennis Warehouse, I had a lot of free time outside of work. A lot of my friends weren't around and overall, the city is such a college town that it kind of goes on "hiatus" during the summer. So, I decided I'd try this whole reading thing that I heard is pretty good for you.

I never expected to enjoy it so much! I think I read eight or nine books that summer, and never stopped! As much as you all know that I like going out and about, and being social, I love spending my "alone time" reading. My "to-read" book list is so long, it's ridiculous.

When I first moved to San Diego and was making semi-serious dough, I devoured about three different personal finance books. Then, when I was interested in the science behind social dynamics and how the brain works in human interactions, I read books like Social Intelligence. Soon thereafter, I wanted to expand my income and flexibility so books like The Four Hour Work Weekwere my focus.

All the while I alternated fictional novels in for pleasure since always reading non-fiction gets pretty dry. In the last five years of being a consistent reader, I've learned TONS of great information along with being an overall better writer and more mentally astute individual.

Recently, I've been spending time doing a lot of writing (I have a couple of projects going that I'll talk about SOON!) so I've only been able to have one book going at a time. Since I'm writing mostly non-fiction material and commentary, I like to balance that out by reading a nice juicy novel (right now I'm finishing James Michner's The Drifters I still read almost everyday, even if only for 20 minutes before I fall asleep and lose my bookmark (and thus the first five minutes the next day is spent finding the damn page I fell asleep on!).

Start reading and enjoy the relaxation of it. TV is VERY tempting, but I'm proud to say that I have no "regular" shows I'm addicted to, yet I get to have just as much enjoyment AND get the metal benefits, reading.

I'm already super excited about the next books I'm going to be reading! Since I'm trying to become more proactive in applying myself to all of the things I want to do in life, on deck is: The Power of Now. I think I might also start Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

By the way, all of the books I've mentioned are great. I'm open to reading suggestions, so go ahead and post them! Also, feel free to ask for any book suggestions (in case you haven't noticed, I enjoy giving advice :)


Basil said...

Great post Arun, completely agree.

I usually have one fiction and a non-fiction book on the go at the same time.

I usually read fiction just before bed. Non-fiction gets you thinking too critically rather than creatively and can cause problems trying to get to sleep, where fiction helps.

I'm 3/4 through The Power of Now, you will love it. The book is only 230 pages but you pause and reflect so much it the equivalent of 400+ pages. Well worth it, learnt so much about myself and how to vastly improve.


Thomas said...

I know you're into tennis, so check out the new Pete Sampras Autobiography.

Mary said...

OMG, Anna Karenina is a PHENOMEMAL book! Possibly my favorite ever!

John said...

Awesome stuff Arun! I'm all about reading.

Mark said...

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand