Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why Read Books?

BooksImage via Wikipedia

We read in school. Fiction and nonfiction. When I was in school we read all the time. We need to always be learning. Wealthy people read one non-fiction book every month. According to the book "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas Stanley. But, why read books now that your an adult. 
I had to seek out someone more knowledgeable than myself to see the academic or philosophical reason. I found a man named Harold Bloom. Harold Bloom is an 80 year old American writer and literary critic, currently Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. He's had a lifelong study and love for books. He's written and taught about literature his whole life. And just so happened to write a book called "How To Read And Why". So he was the perfect source to answer my question. 
I found in Bloom's book an in depth discussion, I am noting what I think our the most important items. 
Reading helps people form their own judgements and opinions

You read for your own self interest.

Reading is to prepare ourselves for change

We must read as the as Bible student searches for the truth.

We read not to refute, believe, or take for granted but to weigh and consider.

We read to let the book find us.

We read to strengthen self and learn your authentic interests.

We read not to improve our neighbor but ourselves.

We read for a mind greater than our own. 
There are many good reasons to read. His favorite author, Shakespeare, holds an abundance of examples of reasons to read. His reason to read books can be summarized with Shakespeare's works, "Shakespeare is waiting to speak to you." 
Bloom's book has given me something new to think about. But isn't that what he's trying to tell us. That reading opens new doors in our mind that we didn't know we had. Reading takes your point of view and let's you see things through a different lens. It's like when your traveling in a plane or pictures of the Earth from space. What a completely different point of view you have. What completely new thoughts enter your head. That's what reading can do for you. Now go read something. 


  1. Why read books? Because we can..... there are no restrictions in this country on content or point of view, and no government mandated propaganda tomes. I read to continue to grow as a person and increase my sphere of learning.

  2. A lot of people don't read because of time restraints or lack of interest. It's a good pastime and a great way to broaden you perspective.


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