The opportunity to read and the ready access to books is a tremendous gift. There was a time in my life when you would have been hard pressed to convince me of this, but the fact remains that books are a vital source of knowledge, information, and inspiration.
As you read these words on the page of a newspaper, magazine, or the screen of your computer, I am embarrassed to say that there was a time in my life when I couldn’t have stated emphatically that I had ever read an entire book, cover to cover. Ironically, I did not discover the gift of reading until after losing my sight. Now, as a blind person—thanks to high speed digitally-recorded books—I am able to read an entire book virtually every day. Exposure to these literally thousands of books has given me knowledge, wisdom, perspective, and virtually everything I have ever wanted in my life.
Recent news reports might lead you to believe that people are not reading as much as they once were. In reality, even in the midst of movies, TV, and the online bombardment of information, statistics show that since 2008, net unit sales of print books are up 3.5 percent. The amazing statistic indicates that during the same period of time, digital book sales are up over 1,000 percent.
The ability to download books and read them from your computer or portable device screen has made the process faster, simpler, and easier. But the process of reading a book and the treasures that it offers hasn’t changed in hundreds of years.
I remember studying an insightful report done after interviewing the top executives from the Fortune 500 companies. The study was conducted to see what these successful business leaders had in common. The thought was if you could discover what the most successful people did to get to the top of their field, you could follow in their footsteps. A long and exhaustive study of these top executives revealed that they have a variety of lifestyles, hobbies, interests, political and religious beliefs, and ideas on how they became successful. The one thing they seem to have in common was that these top performing professionals read or listened to motivational, inspirational, or educational material on a daily basis.
If you want to judge a person’s potential for success, one of the most accurate indicators would be the number of books they read on an annual, monthly, or weekly basis. It is not as important what you read as it is important that you do read.
I have learned a great deal from people I disagree with or books that contain ideas and philosophies that I totally reject. Many times, studying what you don’t believe helps you to clarify and confirm what you do believe. The most wise and successful people who have ever populated our world are ready, willing, and able to share their greatest secrets with you between the covers of a book.
As you go through your day today, do what the most successful people do, and read a book.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by e-mail at Jim@JimStovall.com; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor.