November 2019

I couldn’t read until I was 15

Growing up with a learning disability, or maybe some form of dyslexia, I had a lot of trouble with school. This video is about all the things I went through and explains why I love reading so much.

This situation was a struggle, but my parents helped me a lot along the way. Learning disabilities are a challenge for anyone who goes through them, but they are also invisible to most people. Learning disabilities aren’t as noticed as other types of disabilities and ways of standing out. But they do have a significant effect on peoples lives.

The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick a Book Review

I recently read ‘The Reason You’re Alive’ by Matthew Quick, it was a great quick read, and this video is about what I found interesting about the book. One thing that stands out, is that it is really good at giving you the perspective of someone you’ve likely never taken seriously.

Read Books, Be Amazing!

Reading is amazing, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. Reading is a great habit that will help you build knowledge and help you become a more amazing person.

To start, reading introduces you to new ideas and different ways of thinking and living. Reading teaches you about stories and narratives and provides hours of cheap or free entertainment.

Reading also teaches you about the different ways that people think. Books also show you there are more than two sides to any story.

Before we dive in too deep, let’s be clear about what I mean by “reading”. With some exceptions including myself, 20 years ago, reading is something almost everyone can do. For context, up to grade 7, I couldn’t read at all, due to a learning disability. There are people who have a reason for not reading. These include blind people and people with learning disabilities, but they are a minority rather than the majority.

I have a friend who tells me he can’t read, but when we talk about it, he is a slower reader. But even that isn’t true, instead, he would rather watch videos on YouTube over read a book. So his problem has nothing to do with reading.

Reading Is Accessible

Because reading is generally accessible, it is something you can do right now. And with all the technologies available like eReaders or PDF’s on your cell phone. This means there are so many different ways to consume books.
Audiobooks are great for passive consumption. You can sit back or do almost anything else while listening to a book. eReaders are a game-changer; because they let you carry more books, for less money than ever before.

The problem with some of these technologies is that they are changing the way we consume books. I would argue this change is for the worse as digital formats corrupt the way we consume content.

Listening to audio or reading from a screen is more passive and less engaging, so we get less from the books, though we might read more books. “Passive” may not be the right word, but studies have suggested we are getting less out of the digital text.

When I think of “read books”, I think of reading physical books. Physical books are a superior technology because they don’t need electricity or internet access. They also don’t need a significant financial investment, as they can be bought used for pennies on the dollar. On top of this, it is easy to lend a physical book, but not so much with a digital one.

Sure, books use paper, and that means trees are cut down. But that is better than using electronic devices built with rare metals and shipped across oceans. Physical books also avoid exploited labour in Third World countries. To confirm this, I’ve checked three random paper books; and they were all printed in North America.

Physical books are smell great and generally affordable. You don’t need anything more than a book and some light to read, so you can read anywhere without much issue. Even better, during the day, you only need a place to sit.

Enjoying a book with a nice cup of coffee is a great way to spend an afternoon and dive into insights. And real books are fantastic because you can hold them, smell them, flip through them, and see your progress.
I prefer award-winning books and obscure classics. You could say these books are general ignored by the masses. Yet these books tend to find me, rather than the other way around.

I loved Reading This Book!

One of the best books I’ve ever read was Season of Migration to the North by the Sudanese novelist Tayeb Salih. I discovered this book by chance while riding home on the train. Someone was reading it, and the cover looked interesting, not the same cover as my copy.

Reading the Wikipedia article made it sound like a great choice, so as soon as I got home, I ordered it online. It was only available on Amazon, as its obscurity meant my local bookstores didn’t carry it.

Once you get into reading, you will get a sense of the kinds of books you like. After that, you will start discovering them. In truth, opening your mind to reading seems to bring all sorts of books your way.

In my own opinion, fiction is way better at convincing us of new ideas then textbooks. With novels, we aren’t as critical, so we accept the ideas in them easily. Fiction is also good at showing us different ways of living. In a way, you get knowledge without having to deal with facts and rationality. A weird thing to say, I know, but more valuable than you’d expect.

Fiction helps you learn about the world and the people in it. A book may not appear to be about the author or their culture. But, a book, even science fiction, is a representation of the people and culture of the time it was written. Books are time capsules that don’t need to be dug out of the ground.

Reading Books And Narrative

Narrative is also a crucial factor in fiction. Storytelling has been with humanity for as long as we have been able to speak, so it is part of our nature. Stories teach us in this different way and they engage us deeply without our realization. Narrative is what separates a story from plainly stated facts, so it is necessary.

Short stories are also great, as they take less time to read and get to the point quicker. They also tend to be more engaging, as their brevity makes finishing them more achievable. You can also get through short stories quicker. This means you will gain momentum and want to move on to something new afterwards.

Getting through books quicker helps you get through more books in total. In a way, the motivation you get from completing a book in a short period of time is often enough to get you into another book. For this reason, short stories are great because they are clear, concise, and easier to read.

Books also give you something to talk about. Once you’ve read a few books, you’ll be able to pass on what you’ve learnt. You’ll also have new ideas and topics to bring up in conversation. For myself, when I was younger, dates were often interested in talking about books and reading lists.

If you always have a book on the go, then you can easily take 15 minutes to pick it up and read a little. If you keep doing that for a few weeks, you will be surprised to see how many books you can get through. Think about how much time you waste on your phone, that time would be better spent reading a book instead.

Be amazing, read books!