Curated Leadership for Today's World

How to Read

Posted on 08 April 2010

Statistics show that the number of people who read has dropped considerably in recent decades. It’s easier to fill our time and minds with other input such as TV, the Internet, or movies. Since you are reading this blog, you are a “reader”. And there is one thing I know about you… that you are probably a “leader”. Anyone who reads to learn, grow and ultimately share is, by my definition, a leader.

 My father, Charles “T.” Jones, was a big proponent of reading. He used to tell me:

Don’t read to be big, read to be down to earth.

Don’t read to be smart, read to be wise.

Don’t read to memorize, read to realize.

Don’t read to just learn, read to sometimes unlearn.

Don’t read a lot, read just enough to keep yourself curious and hungry, to learn more, to keep getting younger as you grow older.

But still the age old question, why don’t folks like to read? Joseph Addison said that, “Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation, as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.” So who doesn’t want amazing gifts filled with timeless insights?

 To read like my father told me, in the quote above, takes work. Frederick Harrison said that reading “is a faculty to be acquired, not a natural gift”. It takes work to read in order to grow. Just as a pre-law student reads countless case studies in order to develop their analytical mind, or a salesman in training reads countless books on how to deal with various personalities so they negotiate to a ‘yes’, it takes work.

 Those who study words, whether they hear them on audio, download them electronically, or thumb through them on paper, are my heroes. They are doing the work required to grow. They are learning about things, events and people they will never physically see. Yet, they still have the desire to learn about them. These heroes will also be moved to share what they’ve uncovered. 

 This blog really isn’t for folks who are already hooked on reading and make it a part of their daily routines. This is for folks like me that were on the fence and tending to fill their time with other forms of non-value-added input. If you really want a great little booklet on the amazing power of reading and books, and what it can do for you personally, please check out this little pamphlet called Books Are Tremendous by Charles “T” Jones. It is filled with quotes and input from some of the wisest people throughout the ages and what the power of the word did for them.  Trust me. Coming from someone so full from digesting the amazing wit and wisdom of others, this little gem made me hungry for more!!

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  • theesuite: February 20, 2016

    I was one of those on the fence (Heck, I was playing golf no where near the fence), but you hooked me. I have read more this year than I have in the past 10. It becomes addictive. Once you begin to learn, you want to continue. Books I have read in the past month or 2:

    “Drive” – Daniel Pink
    “It’s not what your sell, It’s what you stand for” – Roy Spence
    “Life is tremendous” – Charlie Jones
    “Rework” – Founders of 37 Signals
    Lincoln on Leadership" – Donald Phillips

    and I am currently reading “The go Giver” by Bob Burg.

    Each book has brought something into my being that was not there before. As Charlie T. Jones says, you will be the same 5 years from now except for the people you meet and the books you read. Truer words were never spoken.

  • Austin: February 20, 2016

    When I was a law enforcement officer in Arizona, there was this Juvenile Detention Triage Officer that reminds me of your Dad. I still remember him telling the kids being processed in…“read everything you get your hand on in here, even the toothpaste tube.” He was great man he turned a few around.

  • traceyjones: February 20, 2016

    I hear you Dennis. I have read more in the past year than I have in the past decades. And it just makes you hungry for more. Thanks for including you reading list. There’s a couple on there that I need to add to my pile:-)Thanks for your comment!

  • traceyjones: February 20, 2016

    I like that Austin, that’s a good one. He was a wise man indeed:-) Hopefully some heeded his input!

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