Is reading a habit of the smart?

I have been a constant reader for the past few years and I can really tell the difference it made in my life. I won’t go as far as claiming that I’m smart but I sure feel a change in my mindset since I made reading a habit. It helped me in many ways to expand my knowledge and to be productive in my free time. It has made me be more confident about being by myself, and about being around people. I’ve seen so many positive changes happen to me since I adapted this habit that it amazes me why most people avoid reading.

As I’ve observed, when it comes to learning about a thing, what most people do is they go to their friends or family or someone they know and ask them for the guidance. It does make them feel safe to get that precious advice from a trusted someone and it helps them form better bonds with each other, but unless the ones close to you are expert on the subject you want to know about, I don’t think it is that helpful. People tend to advise based on what they know, and if the people you go to don’t possess the right information, no matter how much you look up to them they would mislead you or keep you hanging.

But unlike the scepticism that comes along when receiving an information from a close friend, or a family member, or from someone you know, you can totally rely on a book to get an accurate information on any subject you want to know about; books are written by proficient authors after all who gain expertise on a specific matter by pondering and researching on it a lot. These authors sure are a better choice than the people you think should know about a matter. By choosing a book you choose to get detailed and precise knowledge about anything you wish to know about. This will help you develop better understanding of the subject.

The second thing that I’ve noticed by observing people is that how random they talk. I’ve observed people jump from one topic to another with no reference to the previous one, it’s like they’ve got nothing to do whether they make sense or not. As an introvert, I think people talk just for the sake of talking. Mostly, their conversations are not meant to lead anywhere.

But unlike people, the conversations in a book are started after properly closing the previous one, and they are always structured and they follow a logical sequence. This logical sequence helps you develop a steady and a composed mind.

I think if you talk too much about random things with too many random people, your mind stays jumbled as you can’t arrange all those random informations. This leaves your thoughts without any direction and it makes you feel frustrated for not being able to think clearly. Reading on the other hand, is a good way to sort out your thoughts, it helps me all the time.

And even more, it helps me to analyse the depth of every situation better.

In the book ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’, the author Daniel Kahneman says that most of the people act based on what they see. He termed this cognitive bias What You See Is All There Is (WYSIATI). According to his description in the book, people perceive things according to the informations available to them, our minds only considers the things it knows to judge and have opinion on anything. This could get tricky if we don’t have proper informations before forming a strong opinion about a matter; we could be horribly wrong, embarrass ourselves, get ourselves in trouble, even go mad if we lose touch from the actuality of things. Reading on the other hand saves us from all of these mishappenings.

I hope most people begin to adapt reading as a habit so that they can understand its benefits by themselves.

I can’t say for sure whether it makes one smart or not, but it sure is worth it. After all, a mindful book never lets anybody down.

31 thoughts on “Is reading a habit of the smart?

  1. Were it true that books give you knowledge! As a writer, I like to remind my readers that books are a wonderful tool for those who seek knowledge. Use them as a start, but question what you read since questions are the real road to knowledge. For instance, Mein Kampf is a book; a book written by a monster who did not hesitate to murder 6 million souls. So, yes, books can lead you to knowledge as long as you do not forget to question what you read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  2. I read books for fun, and use Google for practical advice. Your article didn’t remind me of a book, but of a movie – Ready or Not. Some people have to kill a young woman using ancient weapons. One of them had a crossbow and he googled “how to use a crossbow” because he had no idea what to do with it. That was funny. 🙂

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  3. Yes, reading thoughtful and intelligent books is one of the keys to world knowledge and self knowledge. I’ve been reading Daniel Kahneman recently too. You might enjoy ‘Factfulness’ by Hans Rosling, which also emphasises the importance of digging beneath the surface, and ‘The Drunkard’s Walk’, a fun book about probability.

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  4. How would you know how to read if you hadn’t been taught? How would you understand any frame of reference if you hadn’t been educated? This completely contradicts your post on education?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much for going through my posts. I don’t mean we don’t need no education. We need to be educated but we should not blindly accept the world the educational system shows us. We should go on with the educational system and along with it learn things in our own way by reading books. This is what I mean.

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  5. Your title caught my attention. I’m an avid reader for the most part. However, I’ve been taking a back seat the past couple of months. After reading this I’m going to do myself a favour and grab a book.
    Curious to know, do you like to read hard copies of books or you prefer ebooks?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your comment. It is good to meet a fellow reader. I usually read hard copies when I’m home. I buy many books at once. I also keep some ebooks on my phone in case I want to read when I’m out. This is for the situations I don’t want to be a part of. If I have to make a choice I would definitely prefer hard copies. I like how they smell.

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  6. I have to agree, if you want an understanding, read a book. Unfortunately what I’ve found online, is that for every saying, thought, idea, verse, there is a rebuttal of some kind. Then you have to check each statement to find out whether it’s fact or fiction and whether there’s $ to be hand and that’s the reason for the rebuttal.Whereas, when you write, you delve into a subject and write with conviction because you’ve fact checked and what you write is based on truth.

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