12 Reasons I Started Reading 35 Books Per Year (From 5 Books Per Year)

Up until 2014, I hated reading. I was reading only a handful of books. I think in my best years I read maybe five. Last year, however, I read 25 of them. This year, I want to read 35 books. A few of my friends asked me why — what made me start.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
  • Borrow someone else’s brain — I would be really happy if I could plug Einstein’s brain to mine. But until the technology advances, I’m happy with reading his views of some of the hardest problems in the world.
  • Think when I’m not supposed to — There’s only two places where one is supposed to learn — school and work. But I really want to be learning all the time. Books are a great way of doing that. So are documentaries, but that’s for another post.
  • Learn things I otherwise don’t — Being in Computer Science means that my knowledge is restricted to the concepts in the field. But I don’t want that. I want to know about economics, finance, philosophy, history and more. Books allow me to consume the knowledge in a pace that’s convenient to me.
  • Increase worldview — This ties the three points above. There is so much knowledge out there that I don’t even know exists. Think about all the things we take for granted — time, gravity, light. How do they work? I don’t know. I hope to read about these in books some day.
  • Expand my network — The higher the breadth of my knowledge, the higher my chances of conversing with more people. I can always have something meaningful to add to a conversation, and hence connect with others.
  • Articulate better — When an author has to explain hard concepts to a wider audience, it really helps me understand, and hence articulate, it better.
  • Find problems to solve — Our schools and jobs create a bubble around us. We should fully immerse in what we are supposed to be doing. Being in technology, I’m hungry to find problems to solve. Reading about subjects outside of technology is a great way to set a foundation for discovering those problems.
  • Learn to think for myself — Recently, I started investing. Because my own money was on the time, I wanted to make my own well-educated decisions. Books helped me (and continue to help me) understand the basis of investing, different philosophies and some intricacies.
  • Always be current — I hate to say this, but most of what I’ve learned in school is just the foundation, and not really practical knowledge. Technology keeps changing every few months, and school curriculum cannot keep up. Books do.
  • Write better — I like writing. I’ve found that reading more helped me increase my capacity for writing, and allow me to share well-researched arguments.
  • Pass time — Sometimes, it’s just about doing something while I wait an hour before my flight boards. I find reading books better for me than playing video games. But that is just me.

So now I ask you — why do YOU read?

Thoughts? Leave a response! And if you liked this article, please hit the recommend button below. Would mean a lot to me. :)

Originally published at goel.io on January 9, 2016.