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REASONS WHY READING MAKES You Better and Brighter

SE RIOUS R E A D I N G


S ER IO US R E A D I N G

Contents

contact@SeriousReading.com http://SeriousReading.com/magazine

Reading Can Make Your Brain Work Faster

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Books Automatically Make You an Interesting Conversationalist

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Books Can Increase Your Vocabulary

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Books Can Change Your Perceptions about Reality

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Reading Can Make You Happier and Content

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Books Can Minimize Stress in No Time

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Reading Makes You a Nicer Person

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Books Can Help You Be More Successful

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You Enjoy Little Things in Life

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Books Offer a Glimpse into Other Cultures and Places

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Books Make You Appreciate Life

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Books Make You a Better Host and Entertainer

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Books Will Give You an Amazing Sense of Wanderlust

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Books Make You More Creative

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Books Can Change Your Life

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Books Can Change the Way You Think

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Books Can Make You Smarter Than Your Peers

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Books Can Help You Think Analytically

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Books Can Inspire You to Do More with Your Life

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Books Can Turn You into a Badass Woman

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Or A Man

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Books Boost Your Self Esteem

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Books Will Make You Interesting

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Books Make You Leave Your Comfort Zone

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Books Can Help You Make More Money

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Books Enhance Your Focus and Concentration

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Books Make You a Great Leader

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Books Can Increase Your Knowledge

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Books Make You Grow

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Books Will Help You Avoid Grave Mistakes

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Books Will Make You More Empathetic

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Books Will Help You Avoid Boredom

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Books Will Make You More Adept at Handling Surprising Situations

Books Will Teach You Fictional Languages

Books Make You More Disciplined

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Books Improve Your Reasoning Skills

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Books Can Help You Get Your Life in Order

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Books Can Help You Avoid Digital Menial Attractions

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Books Will Tell You That Not All Fairytales Have a Happy Ending

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Books Improve Your Memory

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Some people say that reading is the soul of life. For some it may be true, if you consider its blessings on your lives and intellect. Books come into our lives when we are kids and accompany us to the grave. They are our true constant companions in lonely nights, embracing us in their warm cocoon, providing us with a certain sense of security that is unknown to those who don’t read. Without books you wouldn’t have the amazing imagination that you possess today. Whether it was Harry Potter or The Lion, or the Witch and the Wardrobe, books opened for you a whole new world.

possible by taking little steps and graduating from illustrated books to short stories and then to novels and classics that opened a whole new world for you. Books are like the most wonderful teachers that are patient and understanding. They teach you to be a better, brighter and smarter version of yourself and help you understand the feelings of innocence, love, grief, and treachery. There were so many emotions that were unknown to you and books introduced you to them. When you thought that you had no friends, books stepped up and were your constant companions for years.

Understanding the emotions and complexities of plots was made

As a self-proclaimed nerd, coming across someone who

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doesn’t read is a new, baffling experience. Hearing somebody say they don’t read is like hearing them say, that they don’t breathe or live or love. There are not many things that are worse than burning books. One of them is not reading them. But alas there are people who don’t read and haven’t done so for a better part of their lives. For avid readers, this may be confusing and an unnatural fact. People who don’t read?! Could

“People who don’t read?! Could they really be out there?”


they really be out there? Do they really exist? And if they don’t read, what do they do? As someone who loves to read and breathe books, you may want to introduce non-readers to the amazing world that you experience every day. Converting a non-reader into a reader is literally on your bucket list. You literally find yourself daydreaming about a book plot and you have the innate ability to sneak in books in almost every conversation that you have. You know that book puns are the greatest thing ever (even if you are the only one who understands them in your group of friends). You lose track of time when you start a great book and the

next time you look up several hours have passed. Reading books is like having access to the greatest minds that the world of literature has ever produced. You can read their thoughts and benefit from them. You can learn from other people’s mistakes. You can learn to cope up with the unknown and difficult emotions and situation. You can learn to forgive and understand. Reading can help you comprehend life and help you live it to the fullest. We start reading since we don’t even know how to read. The little world of children is made surreal and enigmatic by books and intellectual parents know that. To make sure that your child grows up to be

a reader and not a slacker, parents often force their children to read, even when they cannot read. Staring at the colorful illustrated books like “The Hungry Caterpillar”, “Good Night Moon” and “Where the Wild Things Are”, when we couldn’t even recognize the words brought joy to our life. Most avid readers who indulge in regularly reading books state that their habit and love for books originated from their childhood, when their parents encouraged them to read aloud and point at the words with sticky fingers, incoherently trying to imitate syllables that sounded suspiciously like words.

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Do you remember the times when story time was your favorite time of the day and you waited patiently for your parents to spend those precious few moments with you, while reading out the tales of adventure, chivalry, love and friendship? That was the time when you got excited about getting illustrated books for presents and revered them more than your toys and stuffed bunnies. What they say about books is really true. Books are presents that you can open again and again. If you had a life like most of the book lovers, most of your interests must have revolved around books, not to mention the discussions that you might have with any other human being.

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Being a book lover means that you wait for a book patiently and desperately, and at the same time, try to visualize every possible scenario in your head that might happen in it. If you have ever been guilty of pre-booking your books before they have released well, you are not alone. Who needs Kate Spade’s Ath-leisure special edition collection when you can get your hands on the latest J.D. Robb novel? It’s true that they made a movie out of The Book Thief, but you read it before it was cool. And this is due to your relentless obsession with books. If you are one of the few who have yet to discover the joy of reading (and yes we say this with utmost sincerity), this magazine will surely convert you.


Reading Can Make Your Brain Work Faster For people, who list down watching TV or using the internet as their hobby, there’s bad news for you. Doing both of these things does nothing for your intellect and brain activity. On the other hand, people who read books are more likely to be smarter, and have the ability to grasp concepts efficiently. If you read Shakespeare in your leisure time and tried to make sense of The Tempest’s old English narrative, understanding basic assignments would be a piece of cake. Reading can make your brain pedal faster. When you are immersed in a book, the brain is constantly trying to make sense of the words on the page, linking then to the previous storyline and connecting all those little dots, making you aware of the acute twists and turns in a story. Have you ever felt like a phantom feeling that something big is about to happen in the story. It is the feeling before a big twist in the story, which is similar to the silence before a storm. G.R.R Martin is excluded from that, however. Some might say that his unpredictable knack for delivering deaths upon deaths is unique and unmatched, but well you can’t hate him no matter how many times you have tried. Scientists have determined that our brain has the ability to store information spanning over a whole lifetime. This gigabyte worth of information includes everything that we have ever read so far. This is one of the reasons why our brain has the

ability to recall the vague characters and stories that you read in high school. So, the next time you are impressed by your mind to call up the name of the protagonist’s third cousin, twice removed, who was introduced in the prologue, and then was brought up again in the last book of the trilogy, well you have to thank your brain for that. Brain activity is at its peak when you are reading. Absorbing all those emotions and literary words into your mind, trying to comprehend their meanings and anticipating a move before it even happens, bracing yourself for a twist that’s about to happen, and embracing a tragic loss even when your feelings rage against it. Everything we feel while reading a book is aided by our brain and opening our mind, to so many avenues certainly makes our brain sharper and more efficient.

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Books Can Increase Your Vocabulary When you first read War and Peace, you had to use the dictionary a few times to understand the difficult vocabulary that Tolstoy used, but after a while of reading, you got used to that. Therefore, when the time came for you to read Scarlet Letter in school with the rest of your classmates, it wasn’t a nightmare and you actually enjoyed the descriptive digressions by the author. It’s true that people, who read books, have a better grasp on the language than people who don’t. No matter if it’s your native language or not, if you read books, your vocabulary is going to be better than most of the population. Nerds have the canny ability to work words like morosoph, profligacy and baldenfreude into a conversation easily.

“If you read books, your vocabulary is going to be better than most of the population.” As a nerd, you might have watched your friends give you blank stares in the middle of the conversation, because you inadvertently start speaking in English, which cannot be understood by non-readers. Your friends might tease you about using heavy words, but for you that’s like a walk in the park. But hey! Whenever they want help on an essay, you are the one they call. Being a reader makes your grasp on the language better. Sometimes it makes you a better storyteller and a better writer, even a poet. Your grasp on the vocabulary means that you are your teacher’s first choice for the school journal. If you are aiming to get into an Ivy League college, writing an essay would not be stressful for you. Sounding smart is not what most nerds have on their mind when they are incorporating diverse and eclectic vocabulary into their conversation, but they do so nonetheless, and that makes them stand out from the crowd (in a good way). Reading William Faulkner and Earnest Hemingway, is really going to pay off in the long way.

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Reading Can Make You Happier and Content

There are some of us, who have trouble dealing with the emotional challenges of our daily lives. The idea of immersing yourself in the fantasy world, where problems of book characters and life and death situations makes your existential problems seem like child’s play. Readers generally follow the idea of including Virginia Woolf’s commitment and passion to serendipity in their personal reading choices. Readers often find themselves in an evangelic position, when they are so entranced by the book they have read, they consider it their responsibility to introduce other people to the similar feelings of happiness and contentment. As a reader, you must have found yourself in a position when you thrust your latest favorite book into the hands of unsuspecting friends, with a peculiar gleam in your eyes, and just a single statement on your lips, “Read this!” As if the whole situation could be simplified by such a short statement. But if your friends have been with you for long they will just sigh and accept their fate. In the long run, they will come to thank you though, for you have bestowed upon them a treasure chest of wisdom. It doesn’t matter if your first true love was a

book, most people don’t feel the same way about them. It’s like finding someone who doesn’t like chocolate! Even within the reading community, books mean different things to different people. For some it is a nice way to spend your leisure time, while for others it’s similar to breathing. From taking slight interest in this hobby to making it your obsession and passion are two very different things. But whatever you choose, reading will make you a happy person. And no we are not saying that you only have to read “happily ever after” stories to be a happy-go-lucky person, because even if you shed some tears or mentally curse the author for killing the soul mate of a person you were rooting for, you end up loving the book and are never remorseful for your choice to read it in the first place. Reading becomes essential to your life because it gives you such joy. Although, you might find yourself daydreaming about the current book you’re reading, or getting preoccupied in the middle of a conversation because you are worried about a book character, gathering up your spiritual resources and shoring up all your emotions for the inevitable next read is just a 8


survival tactic for readers. As a reader, you have faith in the author that they will bring the story together in the end, tying the plot neatly into a conclusion that you will appreciate or at least you hope so. Reflecting and digging deeper into the stories that you have read and how they have transformed you into a better human being can make you happier. Books make you understand that you can find your true calling even when you think your life is finished. The Guide by R.K. Narayan is a perfect recommendation for people who want to discover their destiny and are waiting for the unexpected to happen. Books like Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow and The Case for God by Karen Armstrong will leave you slightly happier and more enlightened than you were before. It is true that books are powerful and when you are reading fiction, you lose all sense of the world around you, but at the same time feel uniquely aware of yourself. When you are reading, you are split into two different personalities; one through which we eliminate and shrink our ego, and the other in which we strive to connect our mind with our soul. This perpetual union makes us happier and fulfilled and who doesn’t want that in a world where people feel incomplete even when they have everything? 9


Reading Makes You a Nicer Person “People who read books are socially and morally more adept”

Excluding the time your friends got mad at you because you refused to hang out with them because you had a date with your latest hardcover, books have always contributed positively to your personality and this is the reason why they are the best thing that ever happened to you. Literature can improve people and their minds, as well as their ability to cope with complex situations and emotions. Reading the Perks of Being a Wallflower will teach you it’s not bad being different from others and even if you are the most awkward person in real life, you can take a tip or two from literature to ace your social skills. People who read books are socially and morally more adept. What better way to understand people to read a book from other people’s perspective. What they think, how they feel and how they view the world and people in it. It gives you an uncanny ability to empathize with people. Empathy might be a valuable facet of a reader’s personality. Slow, rich and immersive reading

also known as deep reading enhances your sensory detailing ability and your social and moral complexity. This is because reading does not just comprehend the words on the pages, but it offers a distinctive experience in which the reader has the power to feel or to remain aloof. He has the power to become attached to the characters on a personal level or to remain undetached. The illusion of metaphors and emotions helps readers to compare literary situations to the ones that they experience in their real life.

before your eyes in the real world. And as a reader, if you have ever found yourself misty-eyed, because of a character, this means that you have developed intense empathy which makes you susceptible to people’s emotions in real life too.

Parts of the brain that are responsible for handling emotional signals become active if you face a scene, which you have experienced before in the books, unfolding 10


You Enjoy Little Things in Life Studies suggest that people who read, enjoy an unhurried experience when they are reading. They are protected by the nuances of the language and their brains become attuned to the story rather than any distractions around them. While you are reading, you enter into a hypnotic trance. This is one of the reasons that will explain why you slow down your reading speed when you reach a particularly interesting or likable part of the story. When you are enjoying it most, you are likely to slow your reading speed. This unhurried progression of words gives the readers a chance to reflect and analyze their feelings, opinions and emotions about the story and also enrich their reading experience with after thoughts. Moreover, reading allows you to develop an intimate relationship with the author. You become invested and engaged in an ardent and extended narrative, which prolongs into a love affair. Falling in love with a story makes you appreciate little things in life. 11

Even when you know deep in your heart that reading sad books is counter-intuitive to being a happier person, shockingly they do make you appreciate what you have and others don’t. Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is a perfect example of how two people who knew each other their entire lives destroyed each other due to their conceited, egoistic and selfish personalities. The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy and The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald will also make you appreciate the little things in life. Riches and fame cannot make you happier and you can endure and be happy, if you embrace little things. When you cry for humanity and the love that couldn’t

endure, you will manage to appreciate your close knitted group of friends (even if they are a bit weird) and your annoying siblings (even when they eat the last piece of the apple pie in the fridge). The heart breaking and audacious storylines makes you appreciate those homework assignments and house chores when you compare them to the tragic, poignant and crushing life stories of fictional and even real characters.


Books Make You Appreciate Life

One thing that most readers will agree to is that books make you feel more alive, happy, calm and fulfilled. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a story that will make you appreciate life in its most simplistic form. Although the decadence and hedonistic theme of the story makes you go back to it over and over again, you cannot help but be repulsed by the double standards that we practice in our real lives. We pretend to be someone we are not, because we are too afraid to show our real face to the world, and are afraid that we will be rejected. We reject the amazing sense of the fleeting beauty of life and nature. For those who are forever grasping at straws to be more beautiful and are constantly indulging in Botox and facelifts should learn a thing or two from the fate of Dorian Gray. Another book that will make you happy to be alive is The Facts Of life by Graham Joyce. The story of an illegitimate male child raised in an era after the Second World War, will certainly make you want to give your parents a tight hug. The aftermaths of the powerful feelings will definitely stay with you for a long time. Reading books like The Stand by Stephen King and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, can make you appreciate life as it is and make you understand that good people can do bad things and the preconceptions that we have developed about life and other people will be washed anew.

It’s the weighty responsibility of an author to inspire ideas and thoughts into the minds of their readers and to transform their lives for the better. It is their duty to not just talk about the good things, but also introduce them to the injustice, the hunger, the unfulfilled, and the unlucky aspects of life. These rich and heady observations, suggestions, stories, and research will make you create better decision-making skills and better habits.

"Books will make you happier in an everlasting and meaningful way."

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Books Will Give You an Amazing Sense of WANDERLUST Reading books will give you a serious case of wanderlust. It is like traveling for your soul. Reading Outlander will make you yearn to dip your hands in the icy cold Lochs of the Scottish plains. Books are the inexpensive options for those who cannot afford to travel or simply don’t have the time to go to far-off lands. But they do inspire you to think about investing a little more time and money to travel, and experience things that you have only read so far in books. The Alchemist teaches us that following your heart to find love and the meaning of life can take you through deserts and force you to wade through raging rivers, but in the end, your destiny will await you. The wonderful description of places from Egypt to Spain will make you want to take a walk though the Bazaars of Egypt and drink Kahwa in the streets of Cairo. According to Paulo Coelho, “If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man… Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.” After reading this book, following your dreams and passions might not seem like such a bad and impractical idea 13

to you. Another book which will awaken your lust for traveling is On the Road by Jack Kerouac’s, which perfectly explains the desires and frustration that mar our lives and how travel and adventure can make a person overcome his personality flaws, making him a better, confident and stronger person in the end. Books can make you travel though space and time. Reminiscing the past and learning about how people lived, and what they struggled through their lives, will make you think about the past events with profound clarity. Not only that but you will have an insurmountable set of knowledge about places, not because you have been there in reality, but because the author painted a picture so vivid, that you felt you were right there. If

you know the place where you can have the finest Beef Stroganoff in Vienna or the most notable religious landmarks in Israel, it’s because the books you have read have taken you to far off lands, while you were sitting in a cozy sofa in your room with a hot cup of tea. Books can teach you about the geography and cultures of unknown lands. What they find offensive and how they like to be treated. Not only that, but books have the innate ability to take us to lands that are not even real. Who doesn’t want another trip to Diagon Alley, King’s Landing or Atlantis? Dreaming about cities made of gold and places where people live forever or places where you never grow up and live like young lost boys forever, is a heady experience every time.


Books Can Change Your Life Reading can have a restorative effect on your soul and personality. Fellow bibliographers will understand that. Sharing a bond with other nerds will make you appreciate the shared interest of reading, because it can change your life, as it did all those years ago, when you started reading. Whether it was a distraction from the menial boring tasks of your life or a result of a habit instilled in you by your parents. It doesn’t matter what or who introduced you to books, if you have books in your life there is a huge chance that they have transformed you or your life in some way. Don Marquis’s ‘Archy and Mehitabel’ poems inspired you when you were feeling down and were willing to give up on your dreams and were afraid of being rejected by your peers. Patrick Gale’s “Notes from an Exhibition” taught you to be fearless in the face of rejection and be stubborn when it comes to pursuing your dreams. We pass through several transformative periods while we read, and whether you read Jane Austen or Truman Capote, some part of you will be affected by the profound message or story of the novels. Books speak with your brain and some can speak directly to your soul, emotions, feelings and intellect. Some can make your life seem inconsequential and some can make you question your beliefs and what you held true all your life. They have the power to change the way you feel about things. The tales of self-discovery can help you listen closely to your heart, and to follow your dreams in face of opposition. Acting brave to enrich your soul with creativity and to change your entire life by coaxing the mindful and spiritual side of you will bring about a dynamic change

in your life. Books can teach you to believe in things and no, we are not talking about believing in a deity or God, but anything whether it is nature or simply your own strength. Books can help you evaluate the nature of psychology and give you precious insights on complex human emotions and attributes as well as spiritual development that will move you forward towards the path of self-actualization and self-realization. Books will make you realize when you are really happy, and teach you to enhance those happy vibes to channel positive energy into your lives. Whether it’s Life of Pi by Yann Martel or The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, every book can change you for the better and transform you into the best version of yourself, elevating you to your higher self. 14


Books Can Make You Smarter Than Your Peers Learning is a process that continues for your entire life, and you start dying when you stop learning, or more specifically, your brain dies. Spending a lot of money to earn a degree, just so you can call yourself smart, is not the way to go about it though. You must have seen people who are wiser than people who possess more degrees than them. The reason for that is they don’t put their faith in the educational system just for the sake of getting a certificate. Rather they are generally more curious and are eager to learn new things. Finding a book that provokes your thoughts, pinches your mind, and makes you question the beliefs that you held true and close to your heart can be a terrifying experience for some. However, it can also be extremely satisfying to learn new things and finding a book that increases your knowledge and encourages you to think and learn in a new way. When you know that what you are reading is not going to turn into an assignment, class discussion or a test, you feel that you have the power to read it at your own pace, thus understanding it with clarity. Learning a bit about ballistics, lightening, the DNA, the depth of the ocean and the quirky subject matter like a periodic table made out of cube shaped bricks, can be made quite interesting if you read “What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” by Randall Monroe. Books can teach us things that are pretty much within our expertise, but due to our fleeting memory have stuck to the far corners of our minds. There are books that can help you recover lost memoires, refresh the existing ones and improving it to retain information in the future efficiently. There are books that shed light on myths and fairytales and conspiracy theories and unexplained hap 15

penings around the world and offer scientific (if not logical) explanations for them. Books address compelling theories about universal questions and offer simplistic answers making us smart and bright in the process. If the author is able to answer the burning questions at the back of your minds with rigor and expertise, the unveiling of mysteries can reveal the true nature of myths and fantasies. Books will make you appreciate life as it is today. If you complain about the crowded subway or the long queues at Starbucks, some books will make you appreciate your life. Life in old times wasn’t that easy or nice and learning about our history will make us organized for the future.

“Life in old times wasn’t that easy or nice and learning about our history will make us organized for the future.”


Books Can Inspire You to Do More with Your Life There are some days, when you are ready to take on the world, and then there are some, when you have to do a mental workout to just get out of bed. If you think that your alarm clock is secretly your enemy, pulling you out of your deep slumber every morning, and throwing you into a world full of people ready to devour your positivity and self-appreciation, then reading can make all of that go away (up to some extent, at least). Although reading won’t miraculously turn your life around (you have to do that yourself), it can help you get started. If you are not willing to turn your life around and do much more with the time that you have been given, then no book, person or miracle can do that for you.

“Books can give you the courage to paint, sing and even tell you to follow your heart” Changing your life and feeling inspired to do more with your life and passion is every one’s dream. But taking that first step is your responsibility or rather the power of your mind that will take you forward in your life. Often in life we feel overwhelmed by the expectations of people around us and our menial responsibilities. We find ourselves revolving like the hands of a clock, not stopping, just going around the same routine over and over again. What if you really hate that accounting job you have, but can’t seem to want to leave and pursue your passion for Indie music, because you have bills to pay? Some people might even have a job they love, but crave some peaceful, quiet time where they can relax and unburden their soul and mind after a hectic day at work. Books can help you get closer to your objectives, if you know what to read. They can help you de-stress, make you inspired to do more with your life and simply make you look forward to another day at work. Books are the tools that can help you achieve a positive state of mind and help you to pay attention to where you

are going in your life. The inspiring quotes and life stories of people in books can help you break the monotony of your daily life and to get out of the rut of responsibilities, thus taking that first step of courage required to bring you closer to your goal. Books can help you realize that all you need to do is slow down in life, take a deep breath and think about where you want to be after a few years in your life and where you see yourself. Do you want to get old, and realize that all you did for yourself is, get out of bed and sacrifice your precious time to earn money for paying bills and taxes? When you are old and frail, you will not feel guilty about the things that you did, but the things that you didn’t do. Books can teach you to pay more attention to converting your life from just surviving to actually living it. Books like, Down And Out in Paris in London by George Orwell and The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir, makes you want to do more than what you are currently doing. Books can help you ease and relax, when you are bouncing back and forth from being tired and wired, and are struggling to get out of the trap of every day responsibilities. Books can give you the courage to paint, sing and even tell you to follow your heart and make that long planned road trip. Travel the world, eat unusual food, live like a nomad, try a new fitness routine, change your eating habits, recover your energy, sleep better and gather courage to perhaps start a new business venture. My New Business: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Start-Up Success by Wendy Kerr tells us that even when you think that your idea to leave your sensible and secure job and go into the void of unexpected, is not smart, take the plunge. But nothing good and exciting ever happens when we are afraid and overly careful. Taking risks and those frightening first steps towards a new business venture can be an overwhelming idea, but with the right guidance and reading references, you can do that too. 16


Books Automatically Make You an Interesting Conversationalist Sometimes, when you are at a party where you don’t know anyone, instead of feeling like a fish out of the pond, talking to strangers can be an exciting experience. Forget your inhibitions – when you know what to talk about, you will seem more confident and automatically more and more people will be drawn towards you. Talking about the weather is so last season; nowadays it’s all about books. People who haven’t read books are venturing into this new world and trying this new habit, because of the many movie adaptations. Who isn’t familiar with the trending hash tag ‘#hotdudesreading’? People have gone above and beyond to acquire books. Advance bookings of novels and books are not a surprise anymore, but rather a norm. Books can make you a great conversationalist. Talking about what you love instantly makes you attractive to the other people. Being passionate about something adds that glow and attractiveness to your personality and you practically shine through the crowd. Even when you have never met a person, talking about a book can instantly make you interesting to them. After a while, you find yourself discussing the finer points in the plot with a person you did not even know a few minutes ago. Books can make for a great conversation starter and can take you a long way through the initial awkward moments with a stranger, if you don’t know what to talk about. How many people are forced to rely on their smart phones on first dates and awkward first meetings, because they don’t know what to talk about? I mean who doesn’t like to talk about books? And if someone is not interested in talking about books rather about how good the canapés are, it’s their loss right?

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Sometimes you meet strangers and they become your lifelong friend, because you decided to discuss To Kill a Mockingbird with them while they were reading that on the subway train. Books can introduce you to friends, who you have never met before. Do your eyes lit up when you see someone reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding. And you find yourself itching to ruefully discuss the unhappy truths that make the book special and sad at the same time. Starting conver-


sations with people reading your favorite books is not something that you can help; it just comes naturally. Talking to people your own age can be easier than talking to elderly people.

al status in the eyes of other people, not that you care much, because you got to read that amazing book and if you are getting an interesting conversation out of that, double points for that!

However, books like Anything by Albert Camus, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, and An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine can be great conversation starters and will certainly elevate your intellectu-

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Books Can Change Your Perceptions about Reality

Books can become your constant companion during a particularly dark or boring time in your life, when you thought there was no point in living and you would rather put the covers over your head and hide from the world. Books can pull you out from a dark point in life, and guide you in the right direction or even teach you a valuable lesson that can help you reach your utmost potential. Books can help you articulate your emotional wellbeing, process your feelings and help you be courageous and find your voice and intellectual personality. Without books, you would not be the person you are today. Books, especially the good ones, have the power to change your perceptions about reality and life. They can make you look at a situation and think differently about it, because you have read about a similar situation in a book. You start judging other people less, because books have taught you that there is no simple explanation to any situation and that there is always a side of a story that you are unfamiliar with. Judging others based on your limited imagination and information can be a recipe for disaster. Books have taught you that sometimes, bad people can do so much good and good people can become the bane of your existence. Books can change your life, make it better, and act as your North Star to guide you towards your destiny. Comparing yourself with a book character is not always imagination. If they can do something impossible and come out on top, why can’t you? If you read books regularly and evaluate yourself, you will be surprised to find out that just a few years before, you were a completely different person and now you don’t recognize the person that you have become.

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You have learned to grow past the insecurities and you have learned to forgive. You have learned to push through and move forward, because books have taught us that even when you face the gravest of situations, there is always another way to perceive it and find a solution for it. Changing your perceptions and transforming your life with books is not such a difficult thing. You don’t have to read thousands of books to change your outlook on life. In this case, reading more to get effective results don’t apply, because there can be just one book that can change how you perceive life. Some have not yet been exposed to the right book that will transform them, while some are lucky enough to find a narrative that speaks to them on a spiritual and personal level, thus changing their perceptions about life. Your view of life changes when you connect to a character in a book. You feel that their life is so similar to yours. Books cannot only help you connect with the character but also with the Zeitgeist, which is a reality that exists between worlds and can be yours one day. A book, written in another language, time, country, or culture, can still speak to your soul and mind. In a book, you can find a friendly existence, because you feel that there is someone, who is willing to share your dreams, pain, insecurities and struggles. Books comfort you into believing that you are part of something bigger and that you belong. With a book you feel like you are on the listening end of someone’s conversation and the author is imparting something personal about himself to you. Having a new story, theory and feelings can give you access into the mind and life of another and getting to know another’s secrets can really flex your empathy and increase your capacity to connect with other human beings.

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Books Can Minimize Stress in No Time There must have been times in your childhood, when you hid under the blanket with a flashlight and read books like Little House under the Prairie and The Great Expectations. As you grew up, nights like these seem to grow rarer and rarer and now you barely get time to have dinner before you sleep. Reading a book before you catch up on your sleep can help you reduce

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the stress of your everyday life, unpaid bills, family problems or even a bad breakup. With a book, you will find that each experience, perspective and every bit of knowledge can shape the way you see a particularly painful situation. Stressing about the unknown is a malady that affects many people. They are constantly worried about how bad a situation can turn in a very

short amount of time. This is one of the reasons why they try to control all the variables, and are unsatisfied if they are unable to do just that. However, if you have spent even a few hours out in the real world, you would know that it is quite difficult to control or even know about all the variables in reality.


Some things are just out of your control and no matter how hard you stress over them you cannot control them. Reading books can teach you and make you realize that there are bigger and more drastic problems plaguing other people and that what you have is more than half of what most of the world population has at their expense. Books like Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles can make you appreciate what you have and value the life that you have been given. While you are reading a book, your attention is undivided and fixed on the particular storyline or character of the book, untainted by the distractions of the real

world. This can help you forget the pain or suffering or even the fatigue of your job. Reading demands energy and concentration and provides the perfect entertaining respite from the menial routine of your daily life. Reading about the Spanish Inquisition or a little girl who was unable to go to school because of Taliban will make you appreciate the story and invest yourself emotionally in it. With a book like The End Game, you can be transported to another place, time or even planet. They allow you to get lost in your imagination or dwell in the twists and turns of the enthralling storyline that requires every bit

of your attention, making you forget about the stress in your life. According to research by University of Sussex, reading a book is much more effective than taking a walk or listening to music, because they let you explore the author’s imagination and his narrative domain, while forgetting all about your own life. Although, it is merely a distraction (and a temporary one), if you engage your imagination and invest your feelings, books cannot only enhance your creativity but even stimulate your altered stage of consciousness. If you feel that the problems in your life are getting way out of your hands, then reading books, like “I Am Malala” by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai, can make you realize that what you are experiencing might just be a little hiccup, and stressing over it is not going to make that bad situation pass any faster. Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson can help you coach your stress and help you train your brain to find positivity in every situation. What I'd Say to the Martians: And Other Veiled Threats by Jack Handey is another great humorous book that reduces stress through the remedy of laughter.

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Books Can Help You Be More Successful

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You may be wondering how books can teach you to be successful, as success is mainly attributed to hard work and determination. Books can teach you to be successful and sometimes push you towards your goal. Things that you were too afraid to try a few months ago are now possible because a book gave you the courage to try it. There are some things, which you initiate as a personal dare to your own self and they turn out to be your destiny. And no, we are not talking about academic books, although they play an important part in your intellectual development. To be successful, you need to think and learn about things that are diverse in nature. The thought provoking reading material available in the market can help you find the answers that you were looking for.

Books can improve or refresh our memories and train our brain to become attentive to the realities that surround us. Books allow us to approach the mysteries and big questions that plague our minds with curiosity and rigor, rather than believing the core traditions and buying into the supernatural fairytales and myths that surround us in our conventional lifestyles. Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steve Johnson can teach you to be

more innovative, which can set you up for success. The author suggests how you can measure the value of an innovative idea and create an environment that facilitates such ideas. Some books teach us that success can be a direct result of formulating a systemized structure that promotes innovation and successful ideas, rather than relying on luck or the Eureka moments.

The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins teaches us the seemingly unimportant things that can play a huge part in our personality and career development. We might discount them to be seemingly unimportant, but they prove to be the deciding point in our life. Sometime an interviewer brings up a vague subject during an interview, which has no connection to your area of expertise, to judge your social and conversational skills as well as your general knowledge of subjects unrelated to your field. If you have the treasure chest of literature in your brain, conversing about diverse topics becomes easier with time. Most of us are adept at remembering things that are part of our regular life but are terrible at remembering things that have no connection to us. 24


Books Offer a Glimpse into Other Cultures and Places Books expose you to new cultures, people, and traditions, without leaving the comforts of your own home. Traveling can take you to exotic places, but books can bring the world to you. You can feel closer to things that you have never imagined in your life to be true. Without getting your passport stamped, you can travel the world through the author’s imaginations. In books, you can travel to exotic places like Cairo, Italy, France, Athens and Barcelona. If you find yourself short of vacation money or time, and you still have the urge to travel to distant places, well, books are your ultimate ticket to that. Not only do they introduce the best or worst of every city, town or country, but they do so in a fun and interesting way. 25

The lively local characters make the whole plot of the book more interesting. Books like Chinese Cinderella and In the Time of the Butterflies make you realize that there is much more to the world than what the mainstream media portrays. What you see on the news is much different from what the place is really like. Sometimes you learn that people in other parts of the world are not so different from you. Despite the distance that separates you, you might find that your hearts beat as one. You sense adventure, fun and excitement, and your quest for truth and justice is a constant which prevails in the entire world. With books, you can discover

that humanity is a common factor that unites the world, but what differentiates us is what makes us stronger. Getting to know other people makes us better human beings and gives us strength of character that wasn’t there before. Sometimes other cultures can intrigue you, fascinate you, or satisfy your curiosity and sometimes they might even shock you. Every read is worth it. Getting to know other people and their life story is a journey that you will make repeatedly without any regret. Sometimes you are just amazed by the war strategies of Mongol Khan, while other times you are fascinated by the lifestyle of the Turkish concubines. Every story and character digs deep into your soul and with each book,


you not only learn something new, but you develop a deep respect for people around the globe. Books are the visual and emotional connection that you have with other places and it is so strong that no amount of media controversy can break it. You feel that you have lived among those other people your whole life or rather their whole life and you begin to understand their points of view. The things that appalled you at first, now you seem to accept them in stride, because you start to understand their perspective and see things in a new light. When you read Exodus by Leon Uris, you will be dying to

visit the deserts of Israel and live on Kibbutz. Or you might want to move to the cold and frigid land of Norway after reading Pengemannen (Fear Not) by Anne Hol. Or, you might be teary-eyed by the end of the book Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and might want to applaud him for his life journey and his determination to fight for women’s rights. Whether it is Bringing Up Bebe, The Namesake, Memoirs Of A Geisha, The Kite Runner, or A Thousand Splendid Suns, you will find yourself in the heart of another culture. New colors will coat your entire being, until you will feel that you are covered by the knowledge of a foreign culture and that is an exciting feeling, much like the first time you sky dive.

Getting to know other people and their life story is a journey that you will make repeatedly without any regret."

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Books Make You a Better Host and Entertainer Who doesn’t love a home library? I mean come on! A whole room filled with leather chairs and wooden bookcases, filled with books of all genres. It is a dream-come-true for any book lover, but if we have to be practical, then a small bookcase would suffice as well. As a book reader, you would know the importance of having books in your home. Sure, you can go to the library or borrow books from your friends, but there is a certain charm and comfort in knowing that you have your favorite books nearby, and whenever you feel the need to read them again, they will be right where you need them. However, books are not just for your own comfort and peace of mind. Having books at home means that you will automatically be promoted from an okay host to an amazing host. And no, we are not talking about how you can entertain your guests with the exciting tale or story of the latest book that you are reading. Hosting a book club at your home, or a book launch party will not only make you the center of 27

attraction for all those who adore books, but you will also be able to interact with people who are as crazy about them as you are. Sounds like a win-win situation, doesn’t it? The advantages of books don’t end just there! Books can make you a better host and an entertainer. Relegating the exciting tales of the King Killer Chronicles will leave your guests at the last inch of their chairs, hanging at your every word, scooting forward to hear every juicy bit of information that you are telling. Inviting guests over and cooking delicious food isn’t the only thing that you need to worry about when you are thinking about throwing the party of the season. Not only do you have to make sure that your guests are served at all times, you also have to make sure that they have a cracker of a time,

while they are at your home. What better way to ensure that than facilitating a conversation that will not bore them.

“Books are not just for your own comfort and peace of mind.”


Sure, talking about the weather and sports is alright if you want them to fall asleep even before the appetizers are served. But, if you want the mood to be lively and buzzing, start a conversation with whatever book you have read and encourage the guests to share their views on the subject. Discussing the Mines of Moria and if Gandalf was really a Maier, is a topic of conversation which is much better than “if it’s going to snow much this year”. Not only that, if you aren’t really interested in discussing fictional stories with your guests, then who wouldn’t want to know what the Black Matter really is. Reading informative books and discussing a mind-blowing piece of information is what will get the evening started. Before you know it, people will be arranging to swap books that they haven’t read yet. Talking about books is not the only thing that you can do though. Arrange a book club gathering, a book swap party or a book reading session. Bring all the book lovers together and prepare to be crowned as the King or Queen of the Nerds. Whether you decide to read Andre Dubus III's House of Sand and Fog, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Sara Maitland's Ancestral Truths, Frederick Busch's Girls, or James Buchan's The Persian Bride, you will be remembered as a memorable host, who broke free from the norms of boring diner conversations and canapés, and introduced the new book culture.

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Books Make You More Creative Books have the ability to uncover the worlds that we never knew of. Books can expand our minds until we accept the full extent of reality. It does not matter if the book actually talks about expanding your horizons or sparking a fuse of creativity within your soul. Books offer the perfect blend of imagination, inspiration, creativity and motivation. Books show you that there is nothing wrong with viewing the world differently or just being plain different from the rest of the world. It doesn’t matter if your ideas are too crazy. Your spark of creativity can be ignited by books like Allison Arden’s The Book of Doing or by mainstream books like Jonas Jonasson’s The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden.

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Books can teach you, that in order for you to be great, you have to do something that will seem weird or even stupid to the world. Facebook, Apple and many great organizations were the brainchild of people who didn’t care what people said about them. They were called dreamers, but they didn’t give up and used their creativity to be the personification of greatness itself. Books can teach you to unlock your true potential, your creativity, and help you to get out

of your comfort zone. Sometimes, while reading a book, you might even compare yourself to the characters and find out that they share many traits with you that you might not have noticed before. Books can make you aware of the possibilities, the potential failures and victories. Moreover, books assist us in acknowledging the fact that the path to success is seldom a straight and smooth one. It’s rather like a bumpy ride on a


rocky road, which will test not only your patience but your faith in your ambition and yourself at every turn.

thing is holding you back. Books can help you identify the things that are holding you back and help you generate ideas.

According to John Lehrer, “Nevertheless, every mental talent comes with a tradeoff. Once we learn to inhibit our impulses, we also inhibit our ability to improvise. And this is why it’s so important to practice letting ourselves go.� According to him, achieving your goal and unlocking the characteristic of creativity inside a human mind takes determination, and if you follow a detailed process, revealing your imagination will be as easy as breathing. Sometimes, you realize that you can do more, but you feel that some

Problem solving, lateral thinking, concept-connection, and decision-making skills can all be attained by reading the right books. If you know what to look for, finding it will become easy. Looking in all the right places will make you realize that if you seize the moment at the right time, you can have many doors open for you. All of those creative juices flowing through your brain will make the whole process of achieving your ambitions worth it. Not only that, but books can teach you how others before you got to the point of

greatness and what mistakes they made. They also teach you what they did right, to be the leader in their industry. Finding the truth about world philosophy and the secret to success can be the deciding factor between success and failure.

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Books Can Change the Way You Think Sometimes it’s a lecture by your professor, or your mom, that changes you. Sometimes it is a friend’s casual banter or even a lesson from your partner that can change your perception of life. Life gives us several opportunities to mull over what is possible and what is not. And when you come to think of it, books can do and have done that for many people. They say, if you live and don’t read, you haven’t lived at all. It’s a half-life, a cursed life. Although you get to live a little and hang by a thin thread to the precipice of life, what you get is an incomplete, unfulfilled life. To live is to learn, and to learn is to

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read. Reading the experiences of other people, whether they are fictional or real, is what teaches us valuable lessons about certain crucial things in life. We read books and extract the concepts that best appeal to us. Sometimes two people who have read the same books deduce different meanings and lessons from them individually, because every book seems different to every human being. If you believe that your friend is going to be excited about the same points in a novel as you are, you might be wrong. Every book speaks to different readers on a different dimension or plane.


Since you started reading books, they changed you and helped you grow. The things that you didn’t understand about life gradually became clear and transformed your vision. If you thought that random coincidences were just coincidences, books taught you that this could just be the beginning of a greater destiny. If you are underestimat

ing your skills and determination, books will teach you that you can discount nothing when powers of destiny are at play and each of them will play a critical role in shaping you. Books can whip the veil of worldly nonsense from your eyes, thus making life easily discernible and clear. Enlightening the world and its properties and making us realize that life is not fair and gentle; books have always played a positive role in defining your life. Books have taught you that thinking with a crowd can sometimes be dangerous and steering clear of mob mentality is the smartest thing to do. However, sometimes books teach us that the wisdom of crowds can be used to our advantage if we think about the combined brilliance and intelligence. Books teach us that in order to change the way you think, all you need is a credible and concrete way of life. All you have to do is stick to your ideas and beliefs and let the right aptitude bring you forward. In your life, you must have been taught to think analytically. Although serious thinking is important, it is not enough. Being creative, empathetic, emotional and innovative is what makes you outshine the crowd and achieve professional and personal wellbeing. Books take us on a journey filled with empathy and humor, and in the process help us find ourselves. Books have often been the proponent of the belief “Be yourself�, and they have allowed thousands of people to embrace their extrovert and introvert nature. People like these have achieved stunning levels of success, without letting their social orientation stand in their way, because books have given them the courage to come forward with their forward-thinking ideas and to present them to the world, without fearing failure. When we are little, we often develop a fixed mindset, of who we are, what we are capable of and what we can achieve. But books are the amazing tools that shatter all our pre-conceived notions and help us form new, greater ones, that help us become more than what we ever dreamed of becoming.

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Books Can Help You Think Analytically If you are in search of answers to questions pertaining to the existential crisis you are going through, you are almost there, because my friend, books have the insane ability to do just that. Not all of them though. Some of them are written for pure entertainment and for satisfying our need for insane drama and unimaginable scenarios. Nevertheless, some of them satisfy our curiosity and make us look at things in a different way. The minute you read about how most of the species got extinct, you will start to value the animals around you more, wouldn’t you? However, some thought provoking books could pick your brain and make that light bulb (at the top of your head) go crazy. Some people might find them boring and too dry, but for some

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they are just their cup of tea. Books that target your analytical thinking focus more on the deeper values of life. What we think, how we think, what we believe, and why. These are the main precipices that make us‌ well, us. Books emphasize that the modern generation’s virtues and failures force us to rethink the balancing scales, the properties of external success, and the core beliefs of our society like honesty, faithfulness, love, courage, and kindness. Books preserve the finest points in our memory and tell us that even during the darkest times, our brain has the ability to persevere and defeat the onset of the crushing darkness that is slowly devouring it. Books make us realize that what we see might


just be a mirage. A reality, larger than we have ever imagined, might be waiting for us, only if we have the courage to take that step into the unknown, trusting that on the other side our curiosities will be met with satisfaction. If you have ever wondered about the origin of our universe, and how it came to be, books have a collection of theories that will let you critically analyze the cosmological events and who knows you might even deduce the meaning of life! Books will take you into the unexplored territory of war, poverty and injustice. Feelings that you have not yet experienced, but are curious about. Feeling alien emotions on behalf of the characters in the books will let you critically analyze important issues, that prevail in our society and that demands our action and attention. Books can teach us that some problems need eradication while others need reform and they teach us the solution to differentiate between each one of them. If you somehow believe that you have “made it” in this world, you can’t be much further away from the truth. If you were a character in a book series, you might still have at least three more books to go. Think about how you can move forward to set new goals and achieve so much more than what you have previously. Books always teach us to never give up and if you are thinking of giving up because your mind is in a rut and your thought process is going off in continuous loops, then you need a fresh startliterature wise. Reading a new perspective from another author can primp up your thinking and let you refresh your imagination and creativity as well as analytical thinking. Thinking analytically might not be an easy feat if you decide to do that on your own, but with the help of a book, you will not only sail through but will emerge a victor.

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Books Can Turn You into a Badass Women Books have taught women to be fearless, sassy, sexy, and adventurous. Books made women believe that they can be whoever they want, and whenever they want. Books made them realize that their sexuality is not going to shackle their dreams to the hearth of their homes. Books made women realize that there is nothing women can’t do and some things women can do better than a man. Heroines like Katniss Everdeen have taught young girls that they can save the world and they don’t need a knight in shining armor to save them. Girls like Malala taught the world that no amount of terrorists could stop young girls from going to school and getting the education that they deserve. And on a lighter note, heroines, like Scarlett O’Hara and Jo March, have taught women all over the globe to be sassy and saucy and be themselves really! Books have taught women to dress fearlessly, shut down haters in a single tweet and flirt with men in style. Sometimes, you can learn valuable lessons from women of the past generations, who had to deal with the woes of patriarchy in their everyday lives, but still managed to produce great works of fiction and non-fiction, thus inspiring women everywhere. Books have taught women to be badass and to teach them that this world is not just for men anymore. Nothing is reserved for men anymore. Everything is within women’s reach, if they just reach out and work hard for it.

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Or A Man

If you ever feared that your actions might create a domino effect that might ruin your reputation of goodwill, well you clearly haven’t read about the fearless heroes, who don’t have a care in the world and work towards the greater good without fearing for their own safety and wondering if they will ever come back alive from a mission. Whether its Agent 007 or Indiana Jones, men throughout history have made quite an impact in literature and this is due to the fact that they

are portrayed by the authors as individuals, who are larger than life. Teenagers like Percy Jackson and Eragon Shadeslayer were able to defeat the odds and you can too, because books have taught us that no matter how much disadvantage we are at, we can use our courage and fearlessness to overcome any hurdle in our path. Books have taught men that they can be whatever they want. They can be dancers and cooks, and they can be fashion editors and racecar

drivers. The chains of social expectations have bound men for far too long and have imprisoned their ambitions for hundreds of years. But books have made us realize that men can be whoever they want. They shouldn’t be afraid of the world and shouldn’t lead their lives in accordance to the norms. Because they are their own men and don’t need pre-defined principles to define them.

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Books Will Make You Interesting Everybody out there can become a little more interesting and yes, even if you are an astrophysicist that has discovered plasma rays! Reading is the best way to achieve that. However, if you were already a little interesting you would know that, wouldn’t you? Although books can automatically make you a little more interesting than you originally are, certain books have the capacity to raise the bar even higher. For people in this world, there is that one special book that spoke to them on a different plane or dimension, opening before them the gate of learning. Some books are just humorous; some will make you smarter while others will introduce you to the deep truths of

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reality. Reading books will take you to another place and introduce you to emotions like cruelty, poverty, love and beauty. Books have the power to investigate traditions and heritages in the form of spectacular prose. If you mention even a hint of an enthralling tale that you are currently reading, people would be gunning to have a detailed discussion about it. Books like Being and Time by Martin Heidegger and Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, will make those awkward college introductory meetings smooth. If you sweat at the mention of a conversation with grownups, having these books in your


reading list can help you ace any conversation with flying colors. Although, some people have the innate ability to be interesting, having the power of literature behind you is an added perquisite and who would say no to that? Oswald Spengler’s The Decline Of The West and Das Capital by Karl Marx teaches us that politics and knowledge

about history can make us interesting and seem smarter than we actually are. Authors like Vladimir Nabokov, J.D. Salinger, Franz Kafka and William Shakespeare will open your mind to newer horizons. The experience of being introduced to the profound knowledge that has been hidden from you will illuminate the dark corners of your mind, developing within you a relentless thirst for more. The process of learning is endless and books add so much to your personality, making you smarter and more interesting, not only in the eyes of your friends but also your own self. You will start appreciating yourself and depending on your powers of intellect to maneuver difficult situations in life. Books can teach you how memory works and you will be able to talk about time, life, feelings and even the nature of existing within this world. We believe that reading through an author’s point of view will make you interesting; regardless of the genre or topic they cover. A good book can hook you from the start, and this is a profoundly transformative moment in which you realize that your life will be changed forever. The insatiable hunger and the macabre sense of achieving the goal of consuming every piece of literature ever written or at least within your favorite genre are likely to make you more appealing in the eyes of your peers. Whether you are relegating tales of war, or romantic conquests of lands far away, your audience will be as invested in your conversation as much as you are in the author’s narration.

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Books Can Help You Make More Money Everyone wants to be rich, even those who say money is not important. If they got a chance to win a million dollar, they would gladly take it. Although money can’t buy happiness, it can buy books, which is basically the same thing. If you love to read books just for fun, you have been missing out. There are books that will not only make you smarter and learned, but also richer. Yes, that’s right, books can point you in the right direction and will appeal to your creative side until you find the realization moment of your destiny. Most people struggle to find their destiny or purpose in this world. “What am I supposed to do?” This is a question that plagues the mind of most readers, but what they don’t know is that the answer to that question is not in Tarot card predictions, but in books. Books hold the key to infinite knowledge, which can be used to understand your individuality and for using that piece of information to be richer. Earning money is not an art, rather a responsibility you have towards yourself or your family to 39

simply survive. But to live a luxurious and lush life, where you won’t have to worry about missing a day’s work because of a reduced paycheck, is a dream for most. Books like The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries teach their readers that in order to be rich and successful; you need a sound plan and a backup plan. With books, you will be able to devise your plans accordingly, learn from other people’s mistakes and design a prescription for building your empire from the roots up. Think TED talks, but more

detailed and defined. Books can impart precious knowledge about self-determination and smart living. Furthermore, books will also teach us that sometimes riches are what we desire most and while we are pining for the monetary rewards, there are far greater rewards waiting for us, which are far more satisfying. However, if you are after money, books will efficiently guide you towards the most convenient path and illuminate the way for you to become rich and successful at what you do best, because what is even the point in being second best, when you can be the best.


Books Make You a Great Leader There is a great saying that all leaders are readers, and that is true. If you have ever heard an interview or a speech from a great leader or have ever heard them answer the question that how they were inspired to do what they did, or what is the secret to their success as an entrepreneur, author or even a great leader, the most common answer is that they read. That’s right. They love books and label them as the secret behind their success. Books can surely contribute to a person’s ability to be great and they make your brain muscles work harder. Not only that, but by reading books you are able to get

precious insights into the minds of great leaders and strategists that lived before your time. Sun Tzu’s war strategy is something which inspires the leaders of today, even after the death of the master centuries before. Being a boss and a leader are two very different things and a reader explicitly knows the difference between the two.

creating a dominating and influen tial personality at the workplace. The depths with which the book describes the science of leadership is incredible, and the detailed outline of the personality and work ethic traits will help you lead others.

A leader inspires within his people the ambition to do more and be more. He makes efforts and is involved with his subordinates every step of the way. He owns the success as well as the failures of his team. Books can make you a better leader, one that not only inspires loyalty but love within his team and subordinates. In Primal Leadership, the author Daniel Goodman educates you about the finer points of emotional intelligence. Furthermore, empathy and cordial understanding play a crucial role in

Of course, luck can define a person’s success, but a person cannot be a great leader by luck. For that, you have to develop within you certain qualities and this is where books can be the ultimate masters of training for you. Books teach us that shouting at someone or instilling fear might not be the way to go. Understanding the needs of others and applying counter effective measures for solving complex problems will help you achieve an optimal and successful place in the market as well as allow you to achieve a primal place in life.

"A leader inspires within his people the ambition to do more and be more"

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The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma lays down the facts that when you are dealing with the topic of leadership, the topics of empathy, understanding and modesty are often omitted from the literature. However, what most people don’t realize is that they prove to be the foundation of being a successful leader. A point in life when you won’t even need a title to lead people. A point in life where you will influence people, and generate the feelings of compliance and respect wherever you go. Those are the signs of a true leader. L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! and Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek teach their readers that you can be a leader that can inspire their followers to feel that they are trusted and applauded for their efforts and that they are indispensible. When you get to a point where those working with you or for you are on their way towards achieving their idealistic beliefs and aims, you have achieved your goal of being an inspiring leader.

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Books Make You Grow Several mind-blowing books out there change you after you read them, and stay with you for a very long time. While some of them might make you mad over something, others will make you cry at the injustice and unfairness of life. Then there are books that will help you grow as a person. You might not be the same person you were all those years ago and while events and people might have played an important role in changing you and helping you get to where you are now, what you read also defines you. Every part of your personality has a little bit of infusion of literature in it. Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet is a classic example of a book that will let you realize that the essence of life flows from a deep emotional crevice within your soul. Kappus defines life by stating,

“Dig into yourself for a deep answer, and if this answer rights out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity.’

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is an enchanting read, which will dazzle you, and within its simplicity and inspiring emotions, you will know that it is much more satisfying to find the treasures within your soul rather than all the worldly riches combined.

Books like The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein dictate that unforgettable perceptions about reality will change us and help us grow into a better person. Stories that explain sadness, grief and the concepts of consolation are parables that create an effective interpretation of the choice of giving by a person and the capacity of another person to accept. Lars Andersson’s The Force of the Universe teaches us that despite all the troubles and threats in this world, we can still hope to live in harmony and strive to use our full force and vitality to realize our dreams. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins transforms the way you perceive the concepts of human evolution and behavior. Books can open 42


your mind to new and incomparable fantasies and realities. What you deemed impossible a few years ago and what you labeled as infinite disparities now seem quite probable. While reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you began to contemplate that the answer to life, universe and the complexities of existence is not as easy and single dimensional as you might think. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari will make you realize that in order to grow as a person you will need to let go of many things as well as negative people in your life. What you thought was necessary for yourself was slowly draining your energy, but it might be the only solution to help you move forward in life and to get out of that mind numbing static.

“Books can open your mind to new and incomparable fantasies and realities.�

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Books Will Make You More Empathetic Some books are just sad or have disappointing endings, while there are some that tear our hearts from our bosoms and crush them into a thousand pieces. As a reader, there must have been dozens of times when you might have folded yourself into a fetal position and cried your heart out over a book you are reading. The death of Rudy in The Book Thief and devastation of the 2004 Tsunami, which ruined several lives and tore families apart in Sonali Deraniyagala’s Wave, will awaken within you empathy and the feelings of kindness toward your fellow beings. Sometimes we feel that our life is the worst. What we have is never enough and everything that happens to us is so unfair. However, reading books teaches us that what we have makes us better than thousands and we have things that people only dream about having. We might take common medical facilities for granted, but for a child in Somalia that might be the difference between life and death. We might get offended by our teachers or even make fun of them, but for a native Bengali Villager, a teacher might be

equal to God, someone who is worthy of being worshipped. Books narrate stories that resonate with us and while they may be unsettling and uncomforting at times, they still manage to make a powerful impact on us. Sometimes you might want to fade away into the voids of society, with the sole purpose of disappearing among the folds of the crowds, but books teach us that in trying to prove your worth to yourself, you will need to tear apart the juxtaposition of grief and happiness that you might have experienced in life. Some tales wriggle their way into your heart and stay there for a very long time. They might even guide your actions in future and change the way you treat a potential disastrous situation. You might not consider the power you have over someone’s destruction. Each person has the power to destroy or mend the heart of someone closer to them and humans take that responsibility lightly. Books teach you to be empathetic and kind and to know that even when you think you have lost everything and everyone, your pain will help you persevere. The Art of Racing in the

Rain is a book, which might be deceptive at first. I mean you might think that hey, it will be fun because it is the life story of a dog! Little would you know that the tale is told from the dog’s imagination and the emotions of love, loss and grief are as powerful as a ton of water, submerging you beneath the powerful crush of waves. Some books will let you shed tears, while some will uplift your mood and make you believe in humanity once more. Bewitching tales of loss might want you to reach inside the tale and help the characters somehow, but all you will feel is the drenching sorrow of a tragic end that will devastate you, but help you to emerge as a better person and a changed one after reading it. Some books will get your hopes up like Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and some will let your emotions churn throughout the read. Overall, you might think that staying away from all of the heart wrenching tales might do you some good, but you can’t stop yourself from reading them because in truth you are a little addicted to the bare truth of humanity and the emotions that these books interpret in a precise manner.

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Books Will Help You Avoid Boredom Books can act as a great entertainer and why would you ever want to put down a book, which has so much to offer you. Thrill, fight scenes and epic romantic interludes between two headstrong protagonists! Yes please! Some books are written solely to appeal to the minds of the readers who not only enjoy the pure entertainment side of the books, but also revel in them. Books like The Passage by Justin Croninand and What Was She Thinking? by ZoĂŤ Heller are the perfect examples of narratives that are difficult to put down once you have started them, and if you started these books for just light night reading, well say goodbye to your sleep because you are not getting any, not by a long shot. The interludes and enthralling dialogues and introduction of characters will make your heartbeat soar and you will be forced to read until your eyes bleed. If you ever need to break your boring routine, choosing a book might be your best option to chase the blues away. When the internet seems pointless, there is nothing good on TV, and your friends are just too lazy to plan a day out, books can be an amazing way to spend a peaceful day 45

at home, when no one will distract you from the book you were aiming to read. Books can be the answer to all your problems and if boredom is ailing you then reading is the most obvious solution, isn’t it? Not only will it save you any physical efforts, but you can also experience a

whole new world, just by sitting in a cozy little setting at your home. Boredom can destroy you emotionally and sometimes the feelings of desperation are so strong that you want to pull your hair out. You might even consider rearranging your closet! Thank the mighty heavens that there


are books in this world that will prevent you from going mad with anxiety and boredom. Some books are thrilling, while others can be just humorous and entertaining. Some might be sad, pulling you in emotionally, until you feel like you know the characters intimately and you are unable to pull away from the emotional turmoil. Sometimes books can make you forget that you were bored in the first place, because they are just that powerful. When you are immersed in a great book, you are shocked to find that so many hours have passed and the drastic and

desperate feeling of boredom is nonexistent. All you feel now is the surreal and peaceful feeling of being a book nerd, who is happy in an imaginary world. If you have books in your life, be assured you will never be bored. You will never be one of those people who say that they have nothing to do, because you always have books reserved for reading. In fact, you plan your free time around that book and you count the hours until you will have it in your hands, and quench the thirst of curiosity and calm those nagging worrying thoughts about the characters, so you can put them to rest.

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Books Will Teach You Fictional Languages For most people the idea of speaking foreign languages is enough. Differentiating between pronouns and complex nouns and the art of using “they’re” or “their” can be a little daunting for some, while others seem to take the art of languages in stride and excel at not only the conventional languages, but the fictional ones as well. How many times have you spoken to your best friend in Klingon so that your secret might remain safe? Books not only teach you about the different and unique cultures and traditions and way of life in the fictional worlds, they also introduce you to fictional languages that roll on your tongues like an alien thing, but are delightful nonetheless.

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Many authors have been successful in designing a whole language around that world and book nerds pride themselves on not only reading them, but also learning them to an extent that they can communicate in these exotic alien languages and parade around in their Comic-Con outfits, spouting eloquent verses in their preferred fictional language. Although, some authors just use other language to sometimes hide the true meaning of a sentence or a part of a story or even the intention of a character, other times they are just the tools to add another

level of depth to the story. What makes it interesting is that reading can introduce you to languages that other non-readers might never have heard of. They are lacking this wonderful amenity in their life. Throughout history, authors have invented their own languages and while some might not be as well known as others, each has made an impact on the mind of the readers. Who doesn’t want to be fluent in Parseltongue, which is the rare language that allows the speaker


to command and communicate with the snakes of all species? Being one of the rare individuals, who can speak Parseltongue and having Salazar Slytherine as your ancestor, is indeed a unique ability and while some might find it tasteless, others will jump at the opportunity to have the ability to command snakes.

“Books introduce you to fictional languages that roll on your tongues like an alien thing, but are delightful nonetheless.” J.K Rowling is not the only author who introduced a completely different language in her novels. Other authors like Arthur Machen, H.P. Lovecraft and Alan Moore used Aklo in their stories, which is an alien language and according to popular belief, the key to unlocking the true potential and the screts of the human mind. The language most probably draws its influence from several languages and doesn’t

have any definitive vocabulary and grammar, but that doesn’t make it any less popular among the fans and the widespread use of Aklo in stories throughout the last decade proves that it was liked by authors as well. Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan novels featured Mangani, which is the language of the apes, which is much more complex than any human language and mostly consists of guttural sounds and derives its influence from African languages. Esperanto and Klingonese are other famous languages, but they can’t compare to the languages of Arda, which were invented by J.R.R. Tolkien for his famous Lord Of The Rings books. Middle Earth languages made quite an impact on the audiences when the books came out and continue to delight readers even today. Two of the most influential languages of Arda are Quenya, which is High Elvish language comparable to

Latin and used in Middle Earth as an official language, and Sindarin which contains words from both Finnish and Welsh. Diving into the complexities of a language can seem difficult at first but as a reader, you will find that after a while, it will seem enjoyable and you will look forward to the excerpts in the book where fictional languages are used. The sheer brilliance of the author and his ability to create another language, just for the sake of a book, is amazing and readers applaud authors for their imagination. The offshoots and different dialects of these fictional languages can make for an interesting conversation and truly inspire you to learn it in the earnest just so you could have an interesting word play with another fan of the same book. Having your own secret language to pass secrets in is a wonderful thing, especially if you are in school and if the teacher catches you passing notes in class to your friend, you wouldn’t have to care, because who would understand Klingonese?

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Books Can Help You Get Your Life in Order “While you might have the desire for an organized life, you secretly want little minions to be at your service and clean up after you.” Getting your life in order and being organized is not an easy thing. Parents might find it easy to say, “Clean your room”, but they don’t know for most of you it is as difficult as being called for a crusade by the Pope himself. Sleeping and waking up on time, completing your homework, getting your chores done efficiently (without whining about them) and being surrounded by a clean and tidy space is tough for many. There are some who survive and even thrive in scattered and disorganized environments, but there are some who secretly want to abandon their spirit of rebellion and want to be surrounded by a clean and organized environment in which they don’t have to spend two hours finding their secret stash of chocolate. While you might have the desire for an organized life, you secretly want little minions to be at your service and clean up after you. However, that’s quite impossible. Even if you have a doting mother who picks up after you, you still have to organize your life and get it 49

in order, if you want to have a taste of success by the time you hit your thirties. A scattered life is a sign of a scattered and confused mind or rather a delusional and immature one. Readers are often more organized than their counterparts are. Mostly because they don’t want to spend days trying to find their books under a heap of clothes from last week, but also because all the people they admire and the suave and chicest characters in the books are seldom disorganized. Book nerds take their inspiration from the graceful characters of the books, who are perfectly groomed and organized in their lives, no matter how many demons they fight in a day or if Athena (the

goddess of war) herself is on their tails. If they can be organized, in between the constant turmoil in their lives, why can’t you? Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman, The Martian by Andrew Weir Abraham Lincoln, A Life by Michale Burlingame and Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China by Jung Chan are some of the excellent books, which will inspire you to be more attentive to the cogs of your routine and the elements of your life. Books can sometimes help you to be greatly intuitive about what is preventing you from achieving the true potential in your life and what you can do to achieve the perfect state of harmony and organization, which will help you soar the skies of success and tranquility.


Books Will Tell You That Not All Fairytales Have a Happy Ending Life is not a fairytale and events seldom turn out to be how we expect them to. Clichés that are abounding in fictional stories and novels (people falling in love on email, seriously?) seldom happen in real life. We are not saying that they never happen, they do, but that is a one in a thousand chance. Books can be your champion, teaching you that life might not be a bed of roses. No matter how hard you try, you might not be rewarded for all your troubles, and after a hard day of work, you might be

cheated out of your deserved remuneration. No matter how kind hearted you are you might bepassed over for a prettier girl when love is concerned. Books also teach us that your self-worth is the most important thing in the world. No matter how the world treats you, you can prevent the balance of your self-esteem from tipping dangerously. You can be independent, courageous and kind and even if life throws you a curve ball, you can persevere. Books teach us that falling down in your couture gown doesn’t mean that you can’t brush the dust away and stand up with renewed spirit. Books that have been adapted by Disney don’t always tell the truth. Twisting the stories to suit the younger audiences is not really being authentic is it? Books remain faithful and true to the darker adaptations of fairy tales who teach us that a perfect life can turn into a nightmare. Books teach us that in this world, emotions like love, kindness and chivalry exist, but in the same world concepts like rape, cannibalism, torture, cruelty, infanticide and incest also prevail. To close

your eyes to these unseemly issues, praying that they will go away, is not the right perspective, and books teach us that no matter how unseemly or forsaken a matter might be, you must have the courage to face and survive anything, even in today’s sterilized society. Books teach us that life is not a series of love songs and characters with sunny dispositions and impressionable minds. Behind every story, a lesson is hidden. Whether it’s the sexual implication of the Little Red Riding Hood, or the eventual suicide of Ariel in The Little Mermaid; there are countless examples that depict, no matter how the media tries to render these fairytales into child friendly versions, we will always have the books that will clearly and honestly tell the real story behind each fairytale. Books like The Myrtle Tree, Biancabella, The Snake, Sun, Moon, and Talia, and The Juniper Tree are some of the most notable fairytales that have been transformed into completely different stories to render them suitable for children, but if adult readers are interested in their real versions, these books will deliver the dark and disturbed version faithfully. 50


Books Boost Your Self Esteem

Sometimes you feel that your heart and soul ache, and you strive to feel a calm feeling in your bones and in the depths of your mind. The absence of pain and anxiety is what you crave the most and for some that might be what is called normal, for you it’s an achievement in itself. If you crave a life, where you won’t have to gather your courage to believe in yourself, or demand something because you know you deserve it, then reading books can help you do that. If you have discounted the importance of effectiveness of self-help books that are displayed at the front of every bookshop, maybe you haven’t found the right one yet. The first thing to admit is you need help and that you need external help from books to resolve your self-esteem issues. Sometimes a simple sentence can help you realize your worth as a human being or as an individual. You are unique and you are worthy, you just have to believe in yourself, that’s all. Books will only help you if you think that you need help and that you can be helped. Opening your mind to the possibility and looking into the deep dark abyss of your mind, to let the light seep through from the cracks, illuminating your purpose in life, can help you know yourself better. Books can sometimes be casual and humorous and a simple sentence might change you or affect you in a way that not even a TED talk has. Sometimes the life of a character is similar to yours and you relate to them and make your decisions depending on the narrative. A story can bring you to tears, make you courageous or make you do something unexpected. What you thought to be impossible is now within your reach and a book has made that happen. Sometimes you read about a character like Percy Jackson, an awkward kid and a dyslexic, who turned out to be a demi-god who went on to defeat Kronos and bring the Roman and Greek gods together to fight for a common cause. Books teach us that what seems hopeless can be a blessing in disguise, and even if it’s not, you can get out of a tough situation without giving up. You might have some scratches and burns, but you will be alive and breathing and that is 51


what matters most. Depending on no one but yourself, and believing that what you consider a drawback is your greatest strength, is a compelling notion, one that can be taught by books. Books have inspired thousands of readers and have improved their self-esteem though words. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson,

“Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which flows into you as life, place yourself in the full center of that flood, then you are without effort impelled to truth, to right, and a perfect contentment.�

Reading The Book Thief and the Life of Pi will teach you that when you have lost everything, you can find yourself and even in the darkest times, you can rely on the strength of your arms to get you through the hardest times in your life. Eleanor & Park will teach you that even when society deems you unfit and awkward you can find true love and belong to someone completely. The Help will make you see the world in a completely different way and let you imagine a world where people were humiliated and looked down upon every day in their lives and they still found the courage to survive and fight back for their humility, respect and self worth. Books can help you find the lost courage. You might have lost your faith, fighting through the battles of life, but books can make you believe in hope again.

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Books Make You Leave Your Comfort Zone Do you remember the time you balked your friend’s suggestion to go paragliding, because you actually wanted to live and not fall down to your death? There was a time when trying out a new ice-cream flavor brought you closer to hysterics and getting your hair done by another hair stylist gave you anxiety. Leaving the calm and peaceful realm of normalcy and routine is not convenient. In fact, it can be quite disorienting and frightening. Who in their right mind would want to experiment with their life or take a carefree approach when it comes to indulging in choosing an adventurous sport? Books have taught you that you find yourself when you take a leap of faith. What you were afraid to do might not scare you anymore, because if Ronald Weasley can overcome his fear of spiders and accompany Harry to the cave of Aragog then why can’t you try a blueberry donut instead of a chocolate one? Okay, we might not be giving you such a hard challenge, but whether the task is as simple as taking the subway instead of a taxi to work or going to India to scale the peaks of Himalayas, books can give you the courage to attempt them. The first time you read about Frodo leaving his peaceful home in Shire, diving into the hand of Sauron’s 53

Wraiths, and ending up being the ring bearer, going camping with your friends might have seemed quite normal and harmless in comparison. At least you won’t have the responsibility of saving the whole of Middle Earth! Since you were a child, books have been your supporter through every crazy thing that you have done. Whether you were inspired by Jim Hawkins’s life in The Treasure Island, or wanted to survive a shipwreck like in Swiss Family Robinson, books pushed you towards things that may have frightened or appalled you once. What society deems unnecessary or abnormal, might turn out to be your passion. Books

dissipate your fear of trying out the impossible, and help you find out that the social standards were holding you back from something you truly enjoy doing. Books like, King Solomon’s Mines, The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and The Lord Of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, will awaken within you a desire for adventure and for leaving your comfort zone. These powerful narratives will make you feel like you are capable of accomplishing any feat and that you can break through the chains of expectations to do what you desire the most, to achieve a state of true happiness and achievement.


Books Enhance Your Focus and Concentration Do you ever find yourself staring at the wall, when you know you should be preparing for the test the next day? Or, do you suddenly find painting your nails more interesting than doing that assignment that can prove to be a difference between failing or passing the term. If you are guilty of procrastinating and ignoring the important things in life, then books can be a lifesaver. They can literally save your life and avoid you from being a failure. That might sound harsh, but they can help you not fail at tests and exams by improving your ability to focus and concentrate. Many people are so distracted by digital media and internet that their focus and attention goes astray. Most adults have the power of concentration similar to those of 14 years old and that is because we have grown up in a fast-paced world where everything is changing so rapidly. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is books. Our dear old faithful books that are similar to what they were thousands of years before, except that they have gotten more interesting and exciting. Reading about the Norman Conquest might be fun for some, but most people crave the dystopian romances that have everything in them. Books can teach you to focus your emotions at the task. When you are reading, you are completely invested in the story and feel a personal connection with the characters of the books. You are completely absorbed in the narrative to an extent that you sometimes forget that you have to eat or sleep. If you can maintain focus and attention while reading a book for such long hours, you can use the same level of concentration to excel at other tasks too. Moreover, books are often complicated and are made up of several fictional characters that are

as crucial to the story as the protagonist. Remembering each of their role and their importance can be critical and as a reader, you know that. Therefore, you focus each time a new character is mentioned and give them an individual slot in your memory, for the time they make another cameo in the book. Another thing, which points to the fact that books really improve our focus andattention, is complex story lines. Sometimes, in a single chapter, the author decides to expose the readers to different timelines, characters and other dimensional planes. Trying to keep up with the intensity of the plot, and navigating through characters and timelines will equally improve your focus in other fields of your daily routine and force you to concentrate on every little detail, for it might come in handy at some part of the story. Mimadamos by Chadi B. Ghaith, Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman and Io Deceneus - Journal of a Time Traveler are some of the books that will test your concentration and will help you to improve focus in other areas of life as well. This might even come in handy when you are icing a cupcake or trying to design a study schedule for yourself.

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Books Can Increase Your Knowledge

People, who are not yet in love with the habit of reading, might even run the other way when reading is mentioned, because they associate reading with studying, which is fortunately not the same thing. Although, studying for your academia is important for being successful at life and its arenas, reading for your soul and for feeding your mind and fulfilling your heart is what drives most nerds to indulge in books, filled with emotions and thrills and adventure. Forgetting about your own life and completely letting the story wash over you like huge waves, until the realities of your life wash away and all that is left is a nimble part of you that just desires the reveling excitement of adventure and the imaginative action that you have been reading. Reading nourishes the soul and makes you see world in a different way and not just because of the wonderful fictional and non-fictional stories. Books are the greatest source of knowledge and they contain the secrets of the universe in them. Whether it’s Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawking or Randall Munroe, several authors have made contributions to the field of literature and have compiled amazingly informative books on subjects that you cannot even begin to understand. Since your childhood, you must have experienced awe and shock at several things in life. When you were a child, even the volcano for the school’s science project baffled you and inspired you to take more interest in science. Or you 55

might just simply want to bandage the paws of your cat, and played doctor until she grew tired of your shenanigans and that was the time when you decided that you wanted to be a doctor. Our childhood and the awe-inspiring time spent with books shape us for our whole life ahead, and it is a proven fact that books can clarify many scientific and general knowledge mysteries. Many parents rely on books when they get tired of answering the never-ending stream of questions from their children. “How earthquakes are formed’ and “how many types of dinosaurs are there” are some of the questions that prick our minds when we are little and as we grow up our inquisitive mind and curiosity grows with us. The questions grow more sophisticated and complicated and books are your only ally in this situation. A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking offers profound knowledge of the origin of the universe and touches several complicated subjects like how the Big Bang came to be and how the universe is supposed to end, in addition to information like what is the difference between a Nova Sat and a Black Star. However, if you find it too dry for your taste, books like XKCD: What If, Little Black Classics and Thinking, Fast and Slow are some of the books that target the most inquisitive part of our brains, and in the process of satisfying our curiosity, make us ready for more.


Books Will Help You Avoid Grave Mistakes Do you ever put yourself in a character’s shoes and think about what you would have done if you were in their place? And does it happen that what you think you would do if you were ever in their place is exactly the opposite of what actually happens in the book? If that is so, then you need to pay more attention to how the protagonists use their sense of chivalry, intelligence and courage to make the most out of worse situations and avoid being in grave dangers just depending on their wits. Avoiding grave mistakes in real life is not easy or cannot be avoided at times. Sometimes you don’t even realize that you are walking into a trap until you are already halfway through it and then you just want to kill yourself before the villain does because that was so stupid. Books can be perfect teachers in such circumstances. Not only that, books can also teach us that you should not only try to avoid making mistakes in your life, but you should learn from them as well. When you are reading a book, you should pay attention if a character makes a grave mistake and observe how his decision affects his or her life. Every decision we make and every mistake we make, can define the rest of our life or relationship with an individual or an institution. A simple decision of not taking the bus might mar the chance of meeting a potential new best friend. Each action has consequences and to make sure that these consequences are positive, we need to make sure that we turn to our trusted advisors, that is books. Although you might have made mistakes in the past and might even be in the habit of repeating them, remember that you are not a slave to your past and you can break free from your bad habits to evolve your personality. Books teach us that we only learn through our mistakes and blunders and an individual is defined by his success as well as his failures in equal respect. Books teach us to learn from our mistakes and believe that we can be a better human being in the future and can do better. When you accept that failures and mistakes are part of your life, you can use the lessons extracted from books, their characters and their numerous adventures, for the betterment of your own ability to correct your mistakes in life. 56


Books Will Make You More Adept at Handling Surprising Situations Handling surprising situations is not a piece of cake and no we are not talking about acting happily surprised when your family whips out a birthday cake on the eve of your birthday, but more like you are being handled unceremoniously by a bully and what you should do in such situations. Not many people can think on their feet and this is what leads to disastrous situations and decisions. Remember, when you were forced to choose a major for your studies and you did that on a whim, thinking that you will be able to deal with it afterwards, but you couldn’t? Well, think before you talk or think carefully before you leap are some of the lessons that can be extracted from many stories, but have you ever paid any heed to them? Most of the time people just ignore that you have to be tactful, while dealing with an uncomfortable situation. Not only that but you have to use every power at your disposal to make sure that the end

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results are in your favor and you don’t end up being in the belly of the beast (figuratively). Our fearless and tactful heroes and heroines have taught us that in order to persevere and sail through a bad situation or even a surprisingly good one, you have to use your brain and your wits to make sure that you are one of the least awkward persons in your life’s story. Dreaming about a perfect solution is not going to cut it. Exercising your brain for finding the ideal solution to every dilemma is what you should be focusing on and books teach us exactly that. Do you ever applaud the author for working out a difficult situation in the story? Do you feel awe-inspired by the author’s ability to extract the protagonist from the antagonists’ clutches, and

are victorious in all the battles they fight? But have you also noticed that the characters in the books use all their abilities to the fullest to get out of a seemingly bad situation. If you haven’t yet read the Mortal Instruments, and been inspired by how Clary Fairchild (who hadn’t even been raised in the fashion of shadow hunters) was able to defeat her father Valentine Morgenstern, then you need to read that ASAP. She did what no member of the Clave or the Circle was ever able to do and she did that by methodically eliminating hurdles in her path and making the right decisions throughout the amazing book series. All you need to do is to learn from famous book characters and although your life might not be as exciting as the books and you might not have an evil villain in your pursuit or the responsibility to save the world, you still have the duty to save yourself and that is a sacred duty. So, be vigilant, make wise decisions and stay out of trouble by using the wisdom of authors and their inspiring characters.

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Books Make You More Disciplined You must have come across so many book lists that you must read before you die, or turn 30 or 40 and the list goes on really. Nevertheless, to reach that part of your life and to be happy requires that you lead your life with discipline. It’s alright to have fun once in a while, but if your life is a series of parties and outings and you don’t spend enough time taking care of yourself and your health and nurturing your ambitions, then you might as well say goodbye to them, because they are never getting realized without proper discipline and planning. The distractions of adulthood and the menial tasks of life can overthrow you and make you forget about your life’s purpose.

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Books can help with that. When you think about books that will keep you disciplined and make you remember your life’s goal at all times, you must have a book to relate to. It might be about a chef from a small town that made it big or it might be about a ballet dancer who rose to fame and her “rags to riches” story inspires you. Whatever you want to be in your life and wherever you aim to be after 10 years or so, books can help you clarify the objective on your mind thus opening a window of possibilities before you. Sometimes these possibilities might be hidden inside you, but a good book can help you find the inner capabilities that make you unique and better than others.

Some people are hardworking and intelligent, have an amazing IQ, but still don’t make it big in their lives. The reason for that is the lack of proper guidance. They might have teachers that are not invested in their careers or parents who are too busy with their own lives to bother with their children. Whatever the reason, you cannot have other people’s disinterest hinder you from realizing your true potential and being discipline is the first step to success. All teens are encouraged to read inspiring books, because they might think that the future is bleak and filled with student loans and boring jobs that will kill them slowly. But if they pay enough attention to the finer points in books, and


how the characters were able to follow their dreams and passions, they can use that knowledge to follow in their heart’s desire too. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, will teach you that no matter how hard your goal might seem, with proper clues and discipline, you can be where you truly belong. No matter how many twists and turns are in your way, you can overcome any struggle by being faithful to the task and trusting that the Universe will lead you towards your destiny. Animal Farm by George Orwell is another powerful book that teaches how vigilant you must be. The poignant novel demonstrates that discipline and vigilance are essential at all times to make sure that you are free from oppression and are able to demand equal rights that you deserve.

“Books can help you clarify the objective on your mind.”

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Books Improve Your Reasoning Skills Life can make or break you and books have taught us that whether you are wrongfully blamed for a murder you didn’t commit or are the victim of a sexual encounter, how you manage to interpret a situation and move forward with your life is what matters the most. Surviving on your basic skills and reasoning with difficult people is what will get you far. Everyone comes across difficult people in their lives, who are not only entrenched in their own ways, but also don’t want anyone else to surpass them. Sometimes you will meet people who will be hypocrites and sometimes you will get your heart broken by liars and cheaters. The trick to surviving is to make sure that you interpret each situation clearly and carefully and understand that it wasn’t your fault and you can take the good out of a bad situation by using your reasoning skills and inner strength. Outsiders are not the only ones who test our resilience and strength, friends and family can sometimes lose their trust in you and cut you out of their lives. Does it mean that you lose hope too and give up all your ambitions to go wallow in the dark? No that’s what books are there for! They teach us to seek justice and to reason with difficult minds. Books teach us that our minds are powerful enough to move mountains and losing control over your life and your identity is not an option. The only option is to use sound reasoning skills to get back on your feet and take back the control of your life. Books teach us that the key to serenity and peace is self-reflection and in a culture where nothing is ever good enough, we can change our destiny. We have the power to look in the face of danger unflinch 61

ingly and to wade through the muddy and murky waters of desperation and hopelessness, into sunshine and clear blue waters, where everything seems pure and free of discontent. Reasoning with yourself is the first thing that will let the power of hope bloom within your heart. Books like Push explain that no matter how heart wrenching your life story might be, you can seek redemption and can overcome the impossible odds. As a reader you might not understand why people act unreasonably cruel and selfish, but books will give you an insight into other people’s emotions and you might even begin to understand the twisted way some people think. Books have taught you to deal with the unspoken ugliness of the society, without it affecting your purity and sunny disposition and outlook on life. and this is the greatest treasure and the most precious gift that books have to offer. In a world where no one is happy with anyone, you can at least understand that if you employ reasoning and try to understand other people, you can deal with the dilemmas of faith in humanity on a daily basis.


Books Can Help You Avoid Digital Menial Attractions Wherever you swerve your eyes, you see teenagers, adults, even children on iPads and their smart devices. This generation is thoroughly immersed in the digital attraction of the technological world and has somewhat deviated from the path of reading that dominated the lives of people a few decades ago. These digital attractions can hold your focus for a short time, but very soon, they become boring, menial, and monotonous. Books, however, offer a new story and a new world every time we pick one. Whether it’s the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Lilliput

from Gulliver’s Travels, each world is different from another and no matter how many movie adaptations take place, books will never cease to be a source of amazement and authenticity. Books are always better than their movie counterparts, because every character and event is so detailed that translating their concepts on digital streams is not the same experience and hardcore readers have often expressed their displeasure on poor movie adaptations of wonderful books such as Percy Jackson, the Mortal Instruments

and the City Of Embers. Books can offer you a quiet world where you can be alone with the story and the characters and no loud noises or advertisements are going to break your concentration and your interest in the story. This is why books are so much better and why they make us better, because unlike digital media, they actually contribute to our intellect and vocabulary, thus making us smarter and brighter.

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Books Improve Your Memory When you were reading Cloud Atlas, you might have felt that your ears are bleeding and that your brain was about to explode, because the story was way too complex to keep track of, but you still didn’t give up and reached the climax. Weren’t you glad that you did because it was one of the greatest stories of all times. Authors like Jean-Dominique Bauby and Gabriel Garcia Marquez are well versed in the art of producing literature with complex storylines and elaborate character relationships, which might confuse a reader, but for nerds, it is what they live for. Treating a book like a masterpiece is what gets a reader through the complex story line and the plot of the book. If you think that remembering the name of the stepbrother of the Duchess is not important, think again, because he might be playing a strong role in the chapters ahead and then you would have no idea about who he is and why is he saving the protagonist of the novel. When you read books, you get used to remembering even the vaguest information. You might even end up remembering what type of gown a character was wearing at one point in the story, because the imagery is so strong and the author details everything in such 63

a vivid and epic way, that there is no way that you wouldn’t imagine every little detail perfectly. Books can help your brain exercise because you are constantly trying to get the storyline together and join different facts with each other so that they would start making sense. This allows our mind to become accustomed to remembering information,

even if it’s just the number of the pizza delivery service (because Hey! That’s important too). While you are reading you might delve into the amazing world of the main character, and you revel in the magical and realistic allegories that are highlighted by the author. Sometimes


when you are reading a memoir of a person, you might be affected by the events of someone else’s life, and before you realize, you would be paying attention to the people in your life. You will make sure that you enjoy every precious moment in your life. Books will not only make you value each moment but will help you record them in your mind securely so that whenever you feel nostalgic you can access that part of your memory to re-live that happy memory again. Overall, these are some of the reasons, why books make us better and brighter. People who

read books live a thousand lives. Every book they read is an adventure in itself and they delve deep into the story, thus living every aspect of the tale. A reader can be a knight in shining armor or a teenage girl who has to save the world, they can be an orphan who is the chosen one or the orphan who learns to read amid World War II. A reader can be a hero or a villain. Books teach us that we can be anything and that we must not be afraid to embrace our true self, no matter how bleak the future looks. Books teach us to be brave in the face of treacherous and dangerous situations and choose

the right path, even when it is hard, because in order to persevere, we must learn to find light in even the darkest of times.

“People who read books live a thousand lives.”

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SE R I O U S R E A D I N G http://SeriousReading.com/magazine

Serious Reading Magazine: 40 Reasons Why Reading Makes You Better and Brighter  

Reading books is like having access to the greatest minds that the world of literature has ever produced. You can read their thoughts and be...

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