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Reading – It’s How Humans Install New Software to their Brains

Close up of an open book's spine and pages

As a father to two young school aged daughters, I’m amazed at how kids go from sounding out words, to piecing bits of sentences together, then suddenly, almost as though a switch gets turned on inside their heads, reading becomes possible… and they begin to devour books.

“Daddy, did you know that Australia is the only place you get marsupials?”

“Daddy, I’m now reading ‘chapter books’”

“Daddy, did you know that Harry Potter was a book before it was a movie?”

They just love reading, and I remember being similarly voracious as a reader when I was young. Then there was a period where the last thing I wanted to do was read. From my late teens through to my twenties I wasn’t too fussed about picking up a book. It was only in the last 10 or so years that I’ve realised how much I’d been missing.

I don’t recall what book it was, and I’m pretty sure I was told to read it by a superior at work, but the book mentioned reading 3 self-improvement or non-fiction books for every 1 fiction, and for some reason that kicked me off on a quest to see if I could do this.

These days I don’t read much fiction, because there is so much to be gleaned from the non-fiction that I can’t imagine a world without reading.

I understand that in this age of instant gratification and short attention spans it’s much easier to wait for a TEDTalk or a YouTube version or, God forbid, an online ICYMI synopsis, but I glean so much from every book I read, and often re-read, that surely the power lies in the journey, not just the destination.

So read. Read widely and read lots. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much it soothes the soul, retains sanity and often, reveals the answers.

Comic teacher telling student the definition of reading is how people install new software into their brains

And in case you feel like you don’t know where to start, here are some great books to get you started:

  • Start with the Why, Simon Sinek

  • Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek

  • It’s Not About You, Bob Burg and John David Mann

  • Legacy 15 Lessons in Leadership, James Kerr

Go on, pick up a book!

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