Life lessons from a bookworm

“I am first a bookworm. When my nose is not stuck between the pages of a book….wait that is yet to happen. I’ll keep you posted”, reads my Facebook Profile. The truest introduction of me is my addiction to reading.

I am of the firm belief (I’d like to think like that of Hermoine Granger) that any problem has a solution in the pages of the right book. The library therefore has always been my favorite place. I have fond childhood memories of playing pretend where I’d get lost in a huge library and live there forever.

Unfortunately to many, the pages of a book much like Lewis Carroll’s Alice, hold no interest without pictures or conversation. In today’s world the rabbit’s hole is well and truly down the various social networks we bury ourselves into.

When a book like ‘how to read a book’ sells millions of copies, bookworms like me are the minority and often thought of as shy with slightly skewed minds. So therefore this post is a distilled thought of all that I have gained being a bookworm.

Builds thinking abilities

Books are not a collection of mere words. They are learnings, life experiences and visions of the writers. Every word is a pull to live in that profound moment within the pages of a book. It does not matter if that place is Hogwarts through Rowling’s eyes or Walmart through Sam Walton’s book. I have learnt as much from Dumbeldore, Howard Roark, Neitzche’s Zarathustra as from words of Simon Sinek, Steve Jobs or the omniscient Kotler during my MBA days. According to Harvard Business Review: “Evidence suggests reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight. Some studies have shown, for example, that reading makes you smarter through “a larger vocabulary and more world knowledge in addition to the abstract reasoning skills.”

Reading beats meditation

Reading a good book and I am not a biased reader, I am a garbage dump for any written word is a journey. Sometimes it is for the sheer pleasure of the read. The words weave within our minds untold beauty, unimagined worlds and push us to the Shakespearean ‘undreamed shores’.

There are yet other times when I am particularly sifting through the variety of books for a particular knowledge. Like a gold miner looking for his nuggets, I am an intellectual ragpicker looking for answers in my pages.

It is at once an escape, a leap into an yet unknown realm simultaneously holds the razor’s edge in power and a laser like focus in molding my thinking. For me being in this thriving moment albeit within the pages of a book is meditation itself.

Reading betters conversation skills

Much though has been said that the typical bookworm is a bespectacled person, more comfortable in the silence of the library than the life of the party, I have always found books to come to my aid during a conversation. Apart from finding similar tastes in books as a conversation starter, real stories written about real times are better general knowledge than a bunch of facts. And yes if the last book I’ve read before a party is by some of my favourite writers like Mark Twain, P G Wodehouse or Sashi Tharoor then yes the vocabulary tends to improve that evening.

Front row seats

Imagine if your business partner was Elon Musk, your personal trainer were Rituja Divakar or you got daily inspiration from the Dalai Lama himself. Downloading their consciousness, their mindset. That is what my library does to me. It is like having front row seats to all the best mentorship in the world. At such times, these few books are like long time friends. I visit them frequently, we have the same conversation as I am reading again the same pages but overtime I read, something shifts inside me. I understand something more.

In the age of texting and emojis where the written word is mutilated and emotions are often times underplayed, a good book restores that balance in the distracted world. Technology has its benefits…. My kindle stands proud.

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