Benefit of reading - Deepstash

Benefit of reading

A random sampling of the world's most successful people will show one common trait: a love of reading. Reading is the easiest way to continue the learning process , increase empathy , boost creativity , and even just unwind from a long day . But books can also change the way we think and live.

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As author and avid reader Ryan Holiday explains : "Whatever problem you're struggling with is probably addressed in some book somewhere written by someone a lot smarter than you."

Every story has been experienced, recorded, and published by someone at some point in time. Beyond just stories, books provide life lessons-a set of proven theories and anecdotes that you can apply to your own life.

So there's the why of reading, but what about the how ? Too often we get through a book, flip the last page, sit back, and think, "What the hell did I just read?" Reading and being able to use what you've read are completely different things.

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Warren Buffett, who says he spends 80% of his time reading and writing, attributes a huge amount of his success to a single book: The Intelligent Investor , by his mentor Benjamin Graham. For Malcolm Gladwell, it was Richard Nisbett's The Person and the Situation that inspired his string of New York Times bestselling books. These are what economist Tyler Cowen calls " quake books "-pieces of writing that are so powerful they shake up your entire worldview.

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Understanding how to get the most out of your time reading starts with understanding why we remember things at all, and then figuring out the best way to use that information.

Without purpose and intention, the ideas sparked while reading easily slip away. Learning to hold onto them means understanding how our memory works. For the purposes of reading retention, we can think of our memory as being basically made up of three components :

When you're impressed by something, there's a much higher probability that you'll remember it. This could mean a phrase or quote that catches you off guard or changes the way you think about a certain topic. Or an interesting fact that you'll want to teach someone later on.

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Just like a teacher is able to master a subject because they know they'll be teaching it later on, attacking a book with the same level of purpose means you'll be able to recall information a lot quicker.

A recent study in the journal Memory & Cognition showed the effect that reading with intention and purpose can have. Two groups were given the same material to read-one was told they'd have a test at the end, while the others were told they'd have to teach someone the material.

In the end, both groups were given the same test. Surprisingly, the group that was told they'd have to teach the material (rather than be tested on it) performed much better:

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Having a clear question in mind or a topic you're focusing on can make all the difference in helping you to remember and recall information. While this can be as easy as defining a subject to look into beforehand, if time is no object here's how to effectively "hack" your brain into being impressed with the subject matter:

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Successful people stick to their reading habit

A random sampling of the world’s most successful people will show one common trait: a love of reading. Because reading is the easiest way to continue the learning process. 

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Meta-Learning

It's knowing how to learn. Learning itself is a skill, and knowing how to do it well is an incredibly valuable advantage.

Merely acquiring information is not learning. People need the ability to make sense of complexity and to combine many bits of data into a broad picture of the world, especially in today's high-information world.

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Reading Books Is Like Changing Your Past
  • Gaining knowledge isn’t the only reason we have to read books.
  • A good book read with curiosity and an open mind can change our life.
  • Reading books is like updating the software inside your brain, and a good book gives us new ways to interpret our past and present life.
  • It is also a good idea to quit reading books that serve no purpose, as the opportunity cost is high.
  • Life is short and should be spent reading the best books possible.
  • Read the good ones more than once.

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