The Power Of Daily Reading Toward Making Positive Change

Before I was a writer, I was a reader. I read a lot. Throughout my 30s and 40s I probably read more than 2000 books: Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, self-help, Christian, biography, and more. Like writing, daily reading can lead to positive change in your life.

The power of daily reading toward positive change: Photo of a personal library.

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you build a personal library. I used to own about as many books as there are in this photo. Now I’m down to a couple of shelves between home and work. We have so many options: ebooks, audio books, blogs, libraries, and more.

Daily Reading Is Self-Improvement

Just as writing can lead to positive change in your life, so can reading. Reading books takes you on a journey. You can go to far-away places. You can learn a new art or craft. There are no boundaries. From spiritual enlightenment to how to build a tiny house, reading opens up vast possibilities.

But like writing, reading takes time and commitment. The biggest excuse that people make for not reading is not having enough time. Some of the same people have time for:

  • Watching hours of TV per week
  • Spending time on Facebook and social media
  • Playing video games
  • Watching movies on Netflix

You can always squeeze in a short block of time for reading. I usually read for 20-30 minutes before I go to bed. Even so, I admit to being a slacker lately when it comes to daily reading.

Daily Reading Takes Discipline

If I read 2000 books in my 30s and 40s, I’m lucky to have read 100 since entering my 50s almost five years ago. My writing has taken a big chunk out of my daily reading habit. But I discovered a couple of ways to encourage myself to read more:

  1. Join a reading group: Last year, I joined a reading group. We read 6-8 books a year. Then we meet to discuss our thoughts and feelings about the books. A few of the books I’ve really enjoyed include: The Rosie Project, The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Frye, and The Financial Lives Of The Poets.  
  2. Spend more time in libraries: I work at a college. I’ve really got no excuse to not visit libraries. Public libraries are good options, too. I’m going to make a point to visit a library at least once a month. 
  3. Read blogs that peak your interest: I know blogs and news sites are not the same as reading books. But if your time is limited, a blog post is a quick way to squeeze in some daily reading.

Start Reading And Enjoy The Outcomes

Reading can help you to relax. You can find hours of enjoyment in reading. If you’re a writer, you can learn more about your craft: story, character, and plot. If you want to start a business, you can learn the process through books and blogs. The positive possibilities are endless.

I encourage you to take 30 minutes a day for reading. I think you’ll be glad you did. 

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6 Comments

  1. Dear Dan,
    Enjoying your work.
    This article struck a nerve with me and sparked an interest (dusting off some unread books right now), so thanks for that.
    Have you read the Quran or about Zen?

    1. I’ve read several books on Zen and Eastern philosophies. I have not read the Quran. That might be an interesting read from a Christian background.

      1. I’ve read some of it and the stories are different, but don’t understand the later, short chapters. Chapter 19 is interesting, mentioning silence, duty, withdrawal, seclusion, refuge, abstention and heedlessness. From what little I’ve read, there are similar concepts in Zen – would you recommend a few books as I find Zen concepts fascinating. Thanks.

        1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a classic. I recently read a book called, The Old Tea Seller, and a book on bicycling as meditation with a Zen perspective. Taoism is another Eastern philosophy that is interesting. You can find som of the classics free online: http://www.sacred-texts.com.

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