Educational

34. The Priceless Value Of Reading: Expanding Knowledge And Improving Thought Process

Sound knowledge is the only fuel which can sustain the productive flame of intelligent discussions.

© 2019 Nigerian Patriot

Intro

In simple terms, Reading is the action of looking through written or printed material with the aim of decoding a language in order to derive meaning from the text. It is a process that informs understanding and consequently, expands your knowledge base on a subject.

Sadly, the complexity behind the art of reading is grossly underestimated by a majority of us as we engage the process.  Subsequently, the powerful essence of the art is mostly misunderstood and its priceless value lost with the ignorant misapplication of principles which bear the ability to deliver resounding cognitive improvements in any person of diligent character.

Bearing in mind the vast and complex dimension of the subject of reading, this summary blog post is designed to provide peripheral insight and hopefully awaken your interest to embark on a deeper research on the subject.   

For the sake of brevity, simplicity and ease of understanding, this post will highlight major areas that will hopefully convince anyone on the relationship between reading, improving knowledge and the gainful outcome of purposeful reasoning.

The Art Of Reading

Reading is a complex process which is primarily driven by your attitude. It is an art that requires extracting meaning from written or printed words; therefore such materials must be rendered in a language familiar to you. It would make no sense at all reading a book in French, when you have no idea of the language or if you possess a very limited understanding of it.

To aid with the construction of understanding the written or printed content in its entirety as intended by the author, it is also recommended that you keep a dictionary handy. This will enable you to check out the meaning of unfamiliar words. This habit would improve and increase your vocabulary on the long run making the process of reading a fluent, more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

Reading should be done under circumstances that offer the least distraction on your ability to wholly assimilate the content of the written or printed material. The traditional recommendation for best results had been to read in a quiet environment, however, in our modern world of information deluge and with the proliferation of mobile devices, sometimes we are forced to read on the move. As a result, it may appear plausible to think that an ideal condition for reading can be created by a self conviction on your ability to remain focused on the content within an environment of distraction. Experiments and experience have proven that results obtained from reading in a quiet environment are best.

Improving Knowledge

For the purpose of illustration, common sense implies that if you have not read the story book of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, you will not have in-depth knowledge of her interesting adventures. This logic also applies to the fact that the degree of understanding of the story depends on the attention committed and information assimilated during reading. By the time you read other story books with the same depth of commitment, or indeed materials on any other subject of interest, your level of diverse knowledge will continue to grow.

Therefore it is safe to conclude that the more you read various materials, the more your knowledge base expands in equal measure and the less you read, the less you know; fair and simple! 

Purposeful Reasoning

Reasoning (or thought process) is informed by knowledge. The concept of purposeful (enlightened, intelligent, intellectual, clever, smart, witty) reasoning is the powerful reward behind the art of reading. Anyone who is well read on a subject will definitely be able to make insightful contributions on any discussion regarding that subject. Think about it: what you do not know you are not informed or empowered to speak about.

The resourceful potential of a knowledgeable person is a great asset to self, family and society when dealing with daily concerns of life. Such persons are informed to understand diverse issues; constructively providing realistic advice and proffering enduring solutions. They form the core of any positive change initiative within their sphere of reach and influence. They update their resourceful potential by constantly maintaining a healthy habit of reading.

Closing Remarks

One of the reasons we seem not to find a solution to the myriad of unpleasant sorts confronting our collective effort at resolving our issues of national challenge, rests in the fact that a majority of individual opinions on these challenges are highly uninformed and rather unenlightened. The same logic applies to our collective approach toward policies of governance and issues of group concern on any scale in our noble nation Nigeria.

Hopefully the content of this summary post will furnish an understanding which would provide helpful clues to capacity development requirements that would greatly assist with improving our reasoning ability and thought process.

Always remember that Sound knowledge is the only fuel which can sustain the productive flame of intelligent discussions.

Arise O Compatriots….

© 2019 – Nigerian Patriot.  All Rights reserved

29 replies »

  1. interesting read on reading; it’s advantages and practices (e. g., when there are no distractions) that could bring out the best from it…some people don’t know reading has a way it can be utilized more efficiently

    Liked by 2 people

    • As a lifelong reader — admittedly mostly bypassing western fiction and horror stories and heavily weighted toward history, science, and science fiction (where we’ve been and where we might be going) I’ve had a disability that I discovered while attending Swarthmore College and trying to read a book explaining the philosophies of Immanuel Kant. I couldn’t get past certain paragraphs. Over and over, I would “read” through it and, when done, had the questions, “What was that? What did I just read? Why can’t I remember what transpired less than one minute ago?”

      Over time, this inability to take in things I don’t understand has grown to the point that I cannot read much of anything substantial without writing out my thoughts and clarifying the subject for myself. If I don’t, I just seem to be lost in the many pathways of my brain triggered by the writer’s ideas. Of course, this disability has some positive side-effects, but, whatever it is, it’s forced me to be a writer as well as a reader and more of the writing and less of the reading as I journey toward my final destination.

      Liked by 2 people

    • M’friend, the fact that you are bold enough to identify a serious problem of our time particularly with your peers is another expression of the greatness in you.
      Your kind and constructive comment is highly appreciated and is indeed a huge source of motivation. Great thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree totally with these highlights. Reading is very essential in building the capacity of an individuals intelligence and social interactions in our very fast developing generation…. I’ll also like to acknowledge your patriotism and brevity in your post! Such a breathe of fresh air in the Nigerian community💛💛

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Importance of Reading . To the Generation that read.
    One of the basic reasons why reading is important is because it helps you grow mentally, emotionally and psychologically. Every book gives you an opportunity to learn new things and explore new ideas. Reading books increases your knowledge and makes you smarter.
    But the importance of reading is not limited to just these benefits. You will be amazed to know how beneficial reading books can be for you. And that is exactly what you will get to know here in this article.
    It helps you discover yourself
    Every good book opens up new dimensions of thoughts for the reader. When you read a book, you somehow try to connect the events, emotions, experiences and characters in the books with yourself. This not only keeps you engrossed into the book but it also makes you realize how you would react and feel to those situations that have not yet occurred in your life.
    It helps you broaden your dimension of likes and dislikes and things that would please you. So with every page that you read, you have a chance to discover a new part of yourself!
    Imparts valuable lessons from years of experiences
    Books are not written in a day. For an Author, it takes a lot of hard work, understanding, experiences, knowledge and in many cases lots of pain to come up with a single book. But we as a reader get to read them in just weeks or days thereby living years of experiences in considerably less time.
    It improves your Focus and Concentration
    A Man Reading a Book Outdoor
    The Internet has definitely revolutionized our world. But there’s a huge drawback too. For many of us, a large part of our day is spent surfing, chatting, watching videos, reading unnecessary memes and articles online. No wonder people are growing more impatient and losing focus.
    However, reading books is one of those constructive habits that actually help us improve our concentration power. It helps us to train our brain to focus our attention and live in the present.
    Reading improves your emotional health
    Books are full of emotions. Sometimes they will make you cry with every turning page and sometimes they will just keep you smiling. It can fill you with anger when the antagonist of the story succeeds in his evil plan, but again it can give you immense pleasure to see your hero achieving his goal.
    Books can make us happy, sad, jealous, loved, betrayed and so on! Books are thus an amalgamation of different mixed emotions that ultimately help us grow emotionally!
    Importance of Reading in memory enhancement
    There are a lot of things that we need to remember while reading a book. Name of the characters and their features, name of the places, plots and sub-plots, the sequence of events, important conversations etc. are some of the key information we need to keep in mind while reading. And the ability to retain these information keeps improving with the number of books that you read.
    As your brain learns to remember the information from the story-line, it also becomes better at remembering other things of your life. So by reading books, you are also indirectly training your brain in improving your memory.
    It’s a great source of motivation
    Life is tricky. Sometimes there are moments in our life when we feel down and discouraged. We may lose our hope and interest in life and just want to give up. Well, in times like this, sometimes all we need is a little motivation, little push in the right direction.
    Reading a good inspirational book during such period can change our way of thinking and give us hope and motivation. Books are no doubt a huge source of motivation. We can derive great inspirations from them and transform our lives positively.
    It expands your knowledge and makes you smarter
    Books are a very rich source of information. With every book you read, you get to learn new things. The more you read, the more you know about different people, their behavior and experiences, different places, different cultures and facts that otherwise you would not have known.
    Reading books somehow or the other adds depth to your knowledge base. With your increasing knowledge, you become capable of making better decisions and choices in life. You become aware of your surroundings and tend to have an open mind.
    With so many new things learned, people who read, obviously tend to be smarter than people who don’t!
    Broadens your Imagination and enhances your creativity
    A Girl And Her Imagination
    “It was a bright cold day on April, and the clocks were striking thirteen”. This is the famous opening line of the novel 1984 by Geoge owell.
    In reality, we hardly experience conditions like this. Standard Striking Clock strikes a maximum twelve times. Similarly, we rarely have a day both bright and cold simultaneously. However, George Orwell tries to paint the gloomy yet hopeful condition of life by some imaginative references. The interpretation can vary from person to person though.
    This is the beauty of books. It makes you imagine things beyond possibility – things that would not come to our mind normally. Books give you a lot to think about. They also give you the opportunity to have your own perspectives and imaginations into play!
    Apart from this, different creative characters, plots, and approaches trigger your creativity as well. You become both creative and imaginative!
    There are also many books on creativity that can particularly shape and boost your creative thinking.
    It makes you more empathic
    Another reason why reading is important is because it makes you empathic. Being empathic means being able to understand and share the feelings of others. Books connect you with their characters and plots. You yourself become a part of the book and feel what the characters are supposed to feel. You understand their pain and grievances.
    Books also somehow make you feel connected with the authors. You are constantly in some sort of conversation with the book. When you are attentive to reading books, you are actually listening to what the book has to say to you. This makes you a good listener. So reading books develop empathy and thus help you to understand what others feel under different circumstances.
    Reduces stress and helps you sleep better
    Reading is one of the best ways to relax your mind. According to a Research by University of Sussex reading for even six minutes can reduce your stress levels by as high as 68 percent!
    Psychologists believe that this is probably because when we are lost in a book, our mind is focused on reading and that little distraction from the real world and our problems into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and heart.
    So the ultimate way of relaxing your mind is by losing yourself in a book! Read more and you will realize yourself that your stress level becomes significantly low with time.
    Reading has a pretty positive impact on another important aspect of our life – a good night sleep! Reading books calms your mind and helps you sleep better. You can check out my article on benefits of reading before bed to know more.
    However, avoid reading thrillers, horror, and mystery or suspense genre books before going to bed. If you are so lost in such books, you might end up staying awake instead. So, better read some calming, inspirational books that would give you positive vibes without making you impatient.
    Importance of Reading in enhancing your critical and analytical thinking
    While reading, a lot of information are being processed in our brain simultaneously. It opens up many different perspectives for your brain to comprehend. If you are reading a mystery or suspense book, your brain constantly tries to guess certain outcomes and events. It also has to relate one event to the other to make sense in the story. All this, in turn, sharpens our mind and enhances our critical and analytical thinking skills.
    It gives you joy and pleasure
    Kid Reading a Book and Laughing
    One basic reason why we read is simply because we enjoy reading. Reading brings joy and happiness in our life. We don’t have to depend on someone else to be happy and pleased. It’s true that sometimes reading can be little challenging or even boring, but such conditions are very rare if you know your taste and choose your books accordingly.
    It makes you humble
    Reading books not only enlighten you with knowledge, but it also makes you realize how much you do not know about the world. With each book teaching you something new, you can’t help but think how limited your knowledge is.
    You read a book because you know it will add some new pieces of information in your mind which was so far unknown to you. However, it definitely does not mean you are not smart. It simply shows that you have accepted the truth that what you know is not everything.
    There are so many things you can learn and this would not be possible unless you are humble enough to accept this truth!
    Improves your vocabulary, language command, and communication skills
    If you are a reader, you probably know the importance of reading in enhancing your vocabulary. Reading books is one of the best ways to improve your vocabulary.
    Moreover, the conversations in the books also help you to strengthen your command over the language. Your sentence formation becomes quick, better and qualitative. You rarely get stuck for lack of words.
    Once you have a richer vocabulary and controlled command over the language, your communication skills automatically become better.
    Importance of reading in improving your brain functions
    Books has tremendous power. It can shape our lives for good. It can also significantly improve our brain functions!
    Research from Emory University in Atlanta Georgia suggests that reading a powerful work of fiction can make neural changes in your brain thereby improving your brain functions! The changes occur in the ‘resting-state’ of the brain and can last for days. Being lonely will not bother you much
    A Man Reading a Book on a Tree Branch
    If you are a book lover, you are never really alone! You can always have a friend in the form of a book. And there’s reason why book lovers consider books to be their best friends. Books don’t complain, neither do they have any demands. They just be with you no matter what. You can carry them wherever you want and read them whenever you want provided you make time for reading.
    If you are interested to know more on why we book lovers consider books as our best friends, check out this article on 12 reasons why books are our best friends! It makes you a better person
    One of the most significant importance of reading is that it helps you grow as a person. As mentioned above, reading makes you empathic and humble
    You learn about the hardships in life from experiences of others. You will learn to understand people and be kind and gentle. You will have a better emotional health.
    Your increased knowledge can also be useful for other people who may look up to you for advice and suggestions. With all this, you are bound to become a better human being!
    Of course, these are just a few reasons to show the importance of reading in everyone’s life. There can be many other specific reasons why reading is important.
    For a person in the corporate world, reading may have different benefits than that of a person in sports. But the bottom line is that reading actually is very important, no matter in what field you are.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Loved this! I’m always looking up the meaning of words, which really helps me to gain a greater understanding of how words are used in the context that I found them. 🙂 Reading is one of my favorite pastimes!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’d like to nudge just a bit against opening our minds completely to what we read. As a number of my book reviews show:
    Review: Source Field Investigations; Irresponsible rumors debunked
    …….(https://goodguy542000.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/review-the-source-field-investigations/),
    Short Review: The Holy Bible and its legacy
    …….(https://goodguy542000.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/the-holy-bible/),
    Review: An Imaginary Tale; Why irrational numbers are called that
    …….(https://goodguy542000.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/review-an-imaginary-tale/),
    Review: Origin by Design; Irrational science debunked
    …….(https://goodguy542000.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/review-origin-by-design/);
    ………………..we need to keep our wits about us so as not to be led by erroneous information. Several friends have given me books they raved about only for me to find that a great deal of the “facts” in them were completely fraudulent.
    Source Field Investigations, for instance, was a 400+ page tome which purported to investigate commonalities and truths found in melding ancient wisdom and modern science, only the information presented almost always failed to pass muster when checked or cross-checked.
    Reading without cross-checking can easily leave you believing foolish things and passing this ignorance on to others.
    The Holy Bible is another example which sounds so good that we fail to double-check the information and attitudes it presents to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I seem to have stopped this very active blog in its tracks and I’m very sorry. Nonetheless, we have these belief systems such as “reading will make you smarter” which need to be qualified with caveats such as “unless the information you get is fraudulent or wrong.”

    For seventeen centuries, by far the most reading was of one book and the world languished in the doldrums of knowledge and insight. Only when the monopoly of thought by the Catholic Church was broken did science, invention, and intellectual freedom blossom along with new ways of doing things, some bad and some quite nice.

    So, lifelong readers, I urge us all to check our own belief systems frequently and try ardently to see through the clouding influences of loyalty and dogma.

    Recently, I’ve discovered a new bias in Western Culture toward Property Rights, the sanctity of ownership which has our collective cultures upholding the fruits of unfair and immoral deeds and laws for century after century in the collective belief in the rule of law despite knowing that these laws were predicated on racist or even genocidal belief systems. Was the Louisiana Purchase “legal”? The property “sold” didn’t belong to France but to native Americans. Similarly Alaska.
    How about the Americas divided up between Spain and Portugal by “God’s Representative on Earth” and the still valid land grants that ensued?

    I’m still coming to grips with things I’ve known all my life but not really seen clearly.

    The United States wasn’t a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people” until 1920 and the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” were denied to people of color well past the Emancipation Proclamation and to many homosexual or transgendered individuals among us to this day.

    Since dinosaurs ruled Earth for well over 130 million years while man’s been around for less than 2 or 3, it would seem to me that God might have almost as much in common with T-Rex as with homo sapiens. Mankind’s anthropomorphic tendencies often lead us into selfish and self-serving thoughts and behaviors rather than peaceful and mutually-beneficial coexistence. Has it occurred to many of us to consider the rights of other intelligent (though non-technological) species such as elephants and porpoises?

    Or that our survival is in our hands, not God’s?

    Liked by 2 people

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