Stop Spending Money and Start Reading Instead
Anne Herbert, the author of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, is known for her exquisite penmanship and more so, two distinct phrases. Here’s the one that can be related to today:
“Libraries will get you through times of no money, better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”
The notion of reading might be an unusual one to some. However, if you were to approach a random stranger who’s reading a book and ask him why he reads, you’d most likely receive the following answers:
Reading improves my vocabulary. I like reading because it keeps me occupied. I feel like I’m stepping into a different time and place when I read a book. Reading doesn’t bore me.
How does reading help you as a person? Can it reduce your chances of spending money? Let’s delve into these right away.
You’re Visually Grounded
We mean that in every sense of the word. If you’re engrossed in the pages of a book, you’re less likely to reach out for your phone and browse at the dozens of apps that’s selling you hundreds of things you don’t really need for a fraction of its usual price.
Also, you’d enjoy sitting at a café with a hot mug of tea and a good book to pair with it. An hour spent this way is much more beneficial than walking around a mall, especially when the Great Singapore Sale is up and running.
Reading Reduces Your Stress Levels
A study by the University of Sussex in 2009 noted that the act of reading could reduce stress by as much as 68 per cent. Reading calms a person down faster compared to music or a hot beverage.
How is this even possible? Well, your mind is drawn away to a literary world, one that eliminates the existing stress factors of your daily routine.
It could be a memoir, a literature masterpiece or even an illustrated graphics book. What matters most is that the content within connects with you, and that you feel alive, but in a different way!
Expand Your Horizons
Learn a language, pick up a pan and a cookbook, or get to know a culture that’s completely different from good old Singapore. It could prove handy at some point, and even so you’re exploring what is otherwise an unchartered territory to you.
How To Pick A Book
Stepping foot into a bookstore can be overwhelming. You see so many books in front of you, and you don’t know where to start. Even when you pick a title you like, you’re not really sure if it’s the one for you.
Thank heavens for Goodreads. This site is the place to go for honest reviews on books. Each book is rated from 1 – 5 stars, with 5 being the best.
What genre would you want to read? If you want to go in heavy, pick a Nobel Prize winner. Another selection of great books can be found under Penguin Classics. One can never go wrong with them.
Still scratching your head? Why not ask the staff at the bookstore for some help? Chances are they’d be able to pinpoint you to a book that’s justifiably good, and you can begin there. One page at a time.
Books Can Be Cheap Or Even Free!
If you don’t have a novel at home to pick up and digest, head over to Burlington Square. GOHD Books has a delicious collection of second-hand philosophy, historical and language books, among others. Their bargain books go for as low as 3 for a dollar.
Another worthy bookstore to step into is Bras Basah Complex’s Knowledge Book Centre. The store has been in operation for more than 40 years. You could even sell your books to them, provided that they are in good condition (and subject to their terms too).
If you prefer e-reads, check out this page by the National Library Board. There is an extensive selection of online books which you can read using the NLB Mobile app. All you have to do is register, and you’re pretty much set!
Improve On Your Finance Knowledge
Now, if you want to get in-depth knowledge on personal (or even business!) finance, there’s only one way to do that, and it’s through a book. For starters, here are five financial books that will challenge the way you think about money.
If investment’s your game, you will want to take a peek at the book Warren Buffett refers to as his investment bible.
The Benefits Are Endless
A study by London’s Kingston University showed that reading could make a person empathize more. A novel, especially if it’s a literary one, could show you how to decipher the emotional jigsaw of a person.
The words and sentences you encounter help enrich your communication and written skills. Your verbal articulation is to the point and potent, and we mean that in a positive way. Finally, you learn how to handle challenges in a methodical manner. A skill that showcases your capability for logical and critical thinking.
Skills like these are certainly favourable, and will never go to waste. On your hindsight in making time to read, you are unconsciously elevating yourself, so much so that it makes you favourable as a person and even an employee at work.
So yes, do keep your iPhone aside and step out of its rectangle into another rectangle of sorts. A rectangular page, which can bring to your life enchanted stories, snickers and even a tinge of sadness when you’re done.
In the words of the King himself:
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”