Years ago I was on a flight from Minneapolis to New York when a businessman sitting next to me reached in his briefcase and pulled out my first book, “Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.”
I was going crazy inside and blurted out, “How do you like that book?”
“Well,” he said, “My boss gave me a choice of three business books to read. I picked this one because it was the shortest.”
Talk about a letdown, but at least he was reading. And I sincerely hope that the short chapters and many business lessons gave him plenty of take-home value.
In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March is designated as National Reading Month — a month to motivate Americans of all ages to read every day. Reading is fun and has many benefits, regardless of your age. It’s a key component of education and professional development. Books illuminate your imagination, enhance your vocabulary, build confidence, and improve memory, writing and communication skills. Reading also has immediate and long-lasting health benefits such as increased cognitive function, empathy and decreased levels of stress.
I love this quote from famed speaker Charlie “Tremendous” Jones: “Don’t read to be big, read to be down to earth. Don’t read to be smart, read to be wise. Don’t read to memorize, read to realize. Don’t read to just learn, read to sometimes unlearn. Don’t read a lot, read just enough to keep yourself curious and hungry, to learn more, to keep getting younger as you grow older.”
People’s lives change in two ways — the people they meet and the books they read.