How do one develop a reading habit? (Read my story).
I remember my first day in the university. I have chosen law as a discipline just to defy my father who wanted me to read medicine or pharmacy.
Like every fresh jambito in class, I really didn’t know what the course was all about; the diction and explanations in class were weird and for the first two weeks I asked myself “What am I doing here?” Back in secondary school, I was used to the teachers writing lengthy notes on the board and that formed the basis of what I will face in the exam as far as I was concerned but here at the university, the highest a lecturer came to writing on the board was the course code ‘LAW 123’ with no course title and so I was in for a shocker.
A day came when a lady answered a question beautifully in class and I joined in applauding her. I was so enthralled by her submissions that I wanted to know how she knew so much. Suddenly, a part of me decided to rebel, how come she knows so much when we all knew so little? It was obvious she had a diploma in law while the majority in the class were rookies.
When I discovered this turn of event, I brought the attention of the lecturer to it and so I became an enemy to all diploma law students in my class. One of them went as far as calling me a ‘blockhead’ and I thanked her profusely with a smile on my face, but for days, I thought about that word ‘blockhead’ to the extent of flipping through the dictionary to get the exact meaning and when the realization dawned on me that she might be right, I bought my first textbook.
Whether in business or academics, it is wise to read as a means of building oneself for challenges which may occur or simply for pleasure. Children are not left out because they will grow up to take over our business empires and lucrative jobs; without the necessary guidance, we are bound to have a generation of youngsters who run on instincts rather than knowledge.
I have encountered a lot of businessmen who don’t know the basic principles of investment and as such, after making a huge fortune, they lose it within the twinkle of an eye and thus, have to start from ‘Point Zero’ again. Even for a person who wants to improve his communication skill or acquire knowledge, it will be impossible to do so without looking into a book.
A sage was posited that “if you want to hide anything from a Blackman, hide it in a book”. While that may sound harsh it is obviously the truth because of the poor reading culture in Africa. However, thanks to technology, everything is now available with the click of a button.
Now let’s look at some of the benefits of a reading habit;
Helps to broaden our knowledge:
To accumulate knowledge, it is necessary to cultivate a reading habit. Generally, we cannot find explanations to many questions in the world by merely looking at each other, it must be gotten by ardent reading in order to find solutions to life’s problems. For kids, research shows that picture-based books can help tremendously to improve their knowledge about things. No wonder a child will easily identify things (objects) because of the knowledge he/she has acquired from a book.
Helps to improve communication skills:
it is not in doubt that a person’s vocabulary and use of words will improve as a result of a reading habit. Psychologist discovered that when a person encounters a new word, he/she is most likely to use that word while communicating with others. Also, use of words becomes easier as a result of constant communication derived from reading. Apart from words they hear you speak, a child learning to communicate will basically start with words he/she saw in a book.
Helps boost confidence:
When a person develops a reading habit, it has the tendency to boost confidence while communicating with others. This is because of everyday usage and the joy derived from freely expressing one’s thoughts due to exposure.
The great philosopher, Socrates once said “employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have laboured hard for.” Develop a reading culture today to illuminate your tomorrow.
Written by: Barrister Chima C.