Developing our reading repertoire can be the key to unlocking our potential.

My reading bias makes me prone to read books that only line up with my personal and religious beliefs.  I have a strong desire to grow in life and figure if I read more of what I already support or believe in then I will grow.  As I have matured as a woman and as a reader I have wondered if the opposite is happening?  I began to wonder if what I need to develop myself is to read books that I don’t agree with?

Reading new genre’s, new topics, and about subjects that we don’t agree with can help us develop and grow.  If what we believe is solid than reading the opposite of that will sharpen our arguments.

If you want to grow, learn, and stimulate ideas try developing your reading repertoire.  Here is what happened when I did:

  1. I learned that each book provides an opportunity to grow and learn.  If you have a discerning eye, and take the time to study what the author is saying, you can learn many things.  A statement they make might give you an idea or inspiration to try something new, or a new way of looking at things.  It may help you confirm what you already believe, or make you question it.  It may show you what not to do, or how to do something better.  There is so much opportunity if we give things a chance.
  2. Provides a shock to stagnation.  I learned that by confining myself to a specific set of books, topics, and ways of thinking that I had caused myself to become idle in my thinking and subsequent actions.  As I read books that go against my beliefs my mind is stimulated.  Even though I might not agree with everything the author says, I do agree with aspects of what they say.  I find a common ground to stand on with the author.  I feel challenged which is key to learning new things.
  3. It challenges our reading ability.  We need to read books that challenge us, make us look up words and their definitions.  Questions are good for us. They make us think through our lives and dig deep to find out why we believe what we do.  When I read a book that challenges me I enter a world of new possibilities and learning.  For me there is nothing better.
  4. A way to develop our knowledge base.  I naively thought, I don’t agree with you because…..  You know how could I possibly know I didn’t agree with the author’s way of thinking unless I listen to what the author has to say?  I can’t.  It is a prejudice to disagree with people when we haven’t heard them.  Even if we don’t agree we can find a common ground.  I mean we are humans.

Reading is important to developing ourselves, sparking creativity, coming up with new ideas and solutions.  Blog posts and articles can gives us quick pointers and how-to’s, but they can’t replace the depth of what a book can bring.  Reading can challenge our status quo and gives us something worthwhile to think and talk about.

Good reading gets in the depth of your soul and lingers there.  It moves around and works things up a bit.  It weighs on you.  Asking you questions and demanding change.  Reading can heal the daily ails of our mind as it provides solace and rest.

Perhaps the answers you need to moving your idea and life forward can be found in a book.  Perhaps an old book.  Maybe it’s tucked away in a genre you have yet to discover.  Maybe it’s buried deep in a pile of 100 year old books at an estate sale.  You never know where your next epiphany will come from.

Find a good book.  Let it help you grow and develop and plant ideas for how you can succeed in your life.

Marcy Pedersen

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