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What’s So Important About Reading?

I had a productive October of 2021, and I liked it. I scheduled my jobs from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep. And one day, I realized that most of the time I did spend was on reading, from Blinkist to Seth Godin, Gabe Anderson, Quora, Wikipedia, Baike, and recently, Coursera. And today, I decided to pen down this article everyone must have read or heard too much in their life: What’s so important about reading?

Bill Gates is wealthy. And he is busy. But he has spent a lot of time to read. I remember every year I have an email in which he writes down his favorite books and encourages people to read more. He is successful because he reads a lot; he studies hard despite being a famous college dropout.

I was once laughed at by a friend who had a chance to pursue a higher education abroad. This friend thought that being in Vietnam limited the vision of people. I disagree. It’s not the degree you get at a more developed country by better lecturers. I think that people who have been abroad but still seen Vietnam as an underdeveloped country are more limited than I am. Learning of some people whose narrow-mindedness hasn’t changed despite going abroad, I understand that reading is more important than moving to another timezone. With the development of Internet at an accepted access cost that you’re being offered, you can get accessed to cheaper ebooks or even free ones to educate yourself. In the end, what they have more than you is a degree, but not the experiences you’ve got over the years you’ve lived. Don’t compare to anyone on the way to be a better you. Unless you don’t want to read.

Besides, on Baidu Baike (which literally means encyclopaedia), reading has a second definition which is formally studying a subject or course. You don’t go to school to study what they’re taught. People widen their knowledge by reading.

Let’s sum up with a few quotes from my favorite Chinese writer, 半山文集, about reading:

“The best reading effect is to digest one’s life experience through reading and reflection. The best words should be like digestive enzymes, which can assist the reader to transform their life experience into their own nutrition.”

“Life is to turn all the vocabulary we have heard and read into vocabulary that we have experienced personally, and to turn those words and characters that are originally ‘dead’ without connotation extensions into lively words and characters, and then use these lively words and characters to explain and guide your behavior to yourself, to understand the world, and to interpret our own life.”

“If life is a journey, reading is one of the qualified tour guides.”

Last but not least, I used to think reading seemingly pointless novels was a waste of time, until I came across an interesting sentence, “Reading romance novels can increase your EQ”. Every read counts. So read, read, read.

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