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?
I recently tried this and was amazed at the outcome. Here are some things that I learned from picking up a book that I thought went against what I believe in.
- 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 so 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.
- I was stagnate. 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 doing. As I read this book that went against my beliefs my mind was stimulated. Even though I might not agree with everything the author says, I did agree with aspects of what they said. I found a common ground I could stand on with the author. I felt challenged which is key to my learning new things.
- My reading ability needed to be challenged. We need to read books once in a while that challenge us, make us look up words, and re think things. Questions are good for us. They make us think through our lives, and dig deep to find out why we believe and do 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.
- A way to develop myself and 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 me, and has been an activity that helps me mature, grow and develop. Reading let’s me slip into a new world and discover new things about people. Reading can challenge my status quo and gives me something meaty to think about. Something that only a good book can provide, not a social media update.
In the future I plan on ensuring that I am reading at least one book that challenges me. When I am on my book hunt I am going to look for books that go against my grain. At the same time I can be reading for entertainment, and books that support my beliefs and way of thinking. I believe that a person who reads well will be a person that lives well.
May you enter into a good book today, and when you exit may you be ready to live your amazing life.