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Why we ought to read books

Updated on April 24, 2013


I remember my childhood days when I was still in elementary school. My dad would urge every members of the family to take their homework seriously using witty remarks that defined the kind of lifestyle we would expect to live, if we failed to attain high grades. He would say “Hey, I hope you will not end up as a butcher’s assistant who washes tripe all day long”. Now, the thought of cleaning smelly intestinal contents of animals was a most unwelcome idea. That could have partly contributed to my reading hard in order to excel in my school work, and eventually ending up with a noble occupation.

Many children hate school and anything to do with schooling such as books. Parents go to great lengths in their attempt to persuade their children to go to school and also, read books. It is advisable for parents to read interesting story books to their children in order to inculcate a reading culture into their children early in life. Both fiction and factual literature should provide a healthy menu which is gradually overtaken by factual stories, current issues and biographies later in life. This leads to an important question in our lives. Why should we read books? There are numerous reasons why we ought to read books. Some of these reasons have been explained below.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey | Source

A cure for cultural shocks

Every individual is born in an existing culture which they view as normal or common place until they encounter other cultures that view issues differently. If the individual’s encounter is a first time encounter, they are bound to register shock due to contrasts with their own previous experiences. People who read books are better placed when it comes to withstanding such shocks because literature has already revealed it to them.

Where cultural shocks often compel victims to mistreat those they view as different in upbringing, wide readership of books arms the reader with wide knowledge. It puts you in a position where you can hold conversation even with strangers. It arms the reader with tools to engage in an intellectual discourse.

Emancipated individuals are better placed in social interactions compared to those with inhibitions. The reading of books exposes us to other cultures thereby making us more tolerant to other people.

Inexpensive literary jaunts

I loved my geography teacher and by extension, the subject became a favorite discipline later in life. My teacher had a way of plucking the entire class using well formulated sentences, and planting us in entirely different geographical experiences like the beautiful glaciers of Switzerland or the imposing dykes in Netherlands in a sixty minute lesson. The conclusion of the lesson meant bringing ourselves back to reality on realizing we are still seated behind a desk. The reading of books provides the reader an opportunity to embark on exciting inexpensive literary jaunts or trips that would be very expensive to make in real life.

Skilled knowledge

Books have a way of imparting skilled knowledge to the reader that comes dearly in a formal school setting. I have read many books that have enabled me to work with equipment or even operate machinery I previously knew nothing about. We would spend all our lives in a classroom trying to learn about unfamiliar things were it not for the skills we acquire from books. I have also read many books on issues I have never known existed. New bodies of knowledge that are truly enriching are often found in books. One can learn how to paint by book knowledge.

The Kindle
The Kindle | Source

Reading for entertainment

Many are the times when you have picked up a fictional book and read purely for the joy provided by the story in the book. Some story lines can be very entertaining and even provide thrills you are not likely to find anywhere else. Reading for entertainment can be a pleasurable experience as many scholars will testify. Books can be mentally stimulating. They are a more preferably rewarding mode of entertainment than watching television. It is sometimes better to sit down to a good book than go out on an expensive outing, thereby saving a lot of money.

Reading as a hobby

Reading can be turned into a hobby. Imagine how enriching and rewarding such a hobby can be, with knowledge, skills and new discoveries that come with it. As a hobby, reading requires time that would otherwise be used in less useful practices.

Reading to learn

We often acquire bodies of knowledge from books. Such knowledge turns us into more knowledgeable individuals who are well informed about life issues. We end up asking fewer questions after absorbing such information. Characters in books inspire us to fulfill our hearts desires like embarking on businesses. Factual books and biographies tend to be most inspiring. They reveal our mentors’ lifestyles for emulation by any interested parties.

Reading to improve aptitude

A good reader is better placed a handle issues in life. They tend to have a power, instinct, aptitude, capability or natural ability that is often lacking in people who do not read books. The reading of books tends to positively improve one’s ability to concentrate while focusing on tasks.

Sell your books on Amazon
Sell your books on Amazon

Reading to improve communication skills

People who read widely are better in speech and communication skills. This owes to the large amount of vocabulary that one encounters as they peruse through literature. You know what to say when something needs to be said and when to keep quiet. People appreciate those who are able to communicate with ease. This is in view of the fact that inability to communicate poses a unique challenge.

Reading to be able to analyze and plan

Reading requires a person to be still, compose oneself, and get to understanding what the writer wrote on paper. Avid readers are good at calculating, weighing and analyzing content, which comes with the mental discipline of digesting ideas prior to putting them into action. Such individuals are capable of carefully planning before implementing new ideas.

What kind of books should we read?

There is a wide variety of books that a person can read. They span from fiction to real life experiences. The types of books that one reads depend upon one’s interests. Small children are keen on mythical story books. Many youthful individuals love fiction. Ladies love books on romance while many mature people will go for real life literature.

Although intellectuals will advise on the reading of less attractive academic books, it is usually wise to cultivate your reading habit by reading interesting fictional story books initially that will endear you to books. Fictional literature is often captivating and provides room for mental creativity. This should lead one to more realistic life episodes and biographical writings. Newspapers and magazines do not provide serious mental stuff for avid readers.

Amazon through their kindle project has made the purchase, acquisition and reading of books much easier for those who like reading a variety of books. Their eBook format of publications is highly portable and affordable. They even offer eBooks at reduced prices thereby making them accessible.


Why should we read books? As observed above, we ought to read books as a cure for cultural shocks. Books provide an alternative inexpensive literary trip or jaunt into both known and unknown world. We gain skilled knowledge when we read books. Many people read for entertainment instead of going out, thereby saving a lot of money. Reading as a hobby is a rewarding and enriching experience. We should read in order to learn new things. It is important to read to improve your aptitude and mental prowess.

Good communication skills are acquired when we read books. People who read books are good at analyzing and planning. One is advised to read a wide variety of books considering the fact that books are currently more affordable and portable in their electronic format.

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  • tamarawilhite profile image

    Tamara Wilhite 3 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

    Reading physical books instead of digital books has several advantages.

    1. Less eye strain from looking at the backlit text

    2. Fewer interruptions from ads to task reminders

    3. You own the physical book, and no digital rights management dispute can take it off your book shelf

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

    I have and use a Kindle; however, I believe it is important to preserve history and other important information in actual print. It is too easy to alter electronic information and there is a huge push to rewrite history for the benefit of corporate entities these days.

  • onceuponatime66 profile image

    Jackie Paulson 4 years ago from USA IL

    I did not love to read when I was younger, but today at age 46 I LOVE TO READ, I finally gave in and got my KINDLE FIRE. LOVE IT

  • klidstone1970 profile image

    இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 4 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

    I have to say growing up, I wasn't quite the bookworm I am today. I am now an avid reader and have always instilled the importance of it to my children from the time they were born. I read nightly to them and in turn, they each have a higher reading level in school. Our books have taken over the basement, but nothing beats turning a page!

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

    I think it's very possible that love of books and reading is generational. My grandmother and mom were avid readers -- I'm an avid reader -- and when my son was born we all read to him early on. All through his life he was a "book worm" and read everything he could lay his hands on. Kids can be directed to interest in books and reading -- and what a glorious "affliction" to have. Great Hub. Best/Sis

  • Anjili profile image

    Anjili 4 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

    Hi shiningirisheyes,

    I totally agree with you on parents have a major role to play in habit formation among children. It seems like the earlier one starts off the better. I hope other parents are getting the cue.

    Hi justmesuzanne,

    Thanks for your support and especially taking time to read through the hub. I have also observed that older folk would rather stick to the good old paperback than modern electronic soft copies. I think they love the durability that these books bring with them. Thanks for the vote too. Take care.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

    The love of books and learning is empowering. I will add that the love of books is quite different from the use of an electronic device. It is important that people collect and preserve the information found in actual books. Electronic information is far too malleable. It can be surreptitiously changed at any time. In this day and age when history is being rewritten by corporate entities to cast heroes of We the People as villains their their corporate entity selves as victims, it is very important the we hang onto our printed history books so that the truth will not be lost. Voted up and useful! :)

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    My Dad, like yours, encouraged reading and today, each of my siblings are avid readers while encouraging their children. Many summer vacations when I was a kid included a library card and regular trips to sign out some of my favorite novels.

  • Anjili profile image

    Anjili 4 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

    Hi Taleb80,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the trip and became a disciple of books too. Teachers and books have an affinity with books that need not be explained. Thanks for your kind remarks.

  • Taleb80 profile image

    Taleb AlDris 4 years ago

    I thought that reading habit is something come with you, put I discovered that you can make it a habit or hobby by reading more & more. Once you start reading you will be more addicted.

    Your Geography teacher was fantastic, there are teachers who could change our life totally.

    Thanks for encouraging us to read more, you was able to take us on a free trip in the great world of books, voted Up & Useful.

  • Anjili profile image

    Anjili 4 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

    Thanks Georgie Lowery for the positive remarks. It goes a long way towards motivating authors to keep on writing. Take care

  • Georgie Lowery profile image

    GH Price 4 years ago from Texas

    Once I learned how to read, it was as if a whole new world opened up to me. I can and do read several books a week and you are right on the money with these reasons why people should read!