Have you ever been accused of being a bookworm? That’s not a bad thing, is it?
Reading books is amongst the best things we can do for ourselves. Clarence Day said,
“The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again and yet live on. Still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts, of the hearts of men centuries dead.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes said,
“The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.“
Even as a writer, I was surprised to find that the word book has 54 synonyms.
17 Awesome Benefits of Reading Books
There are so many great benefits to reading books, it’s difficult to enumerate them all. For sure, the following benefits can change your life. A book has the ability to:
- bring you greater awareness
- communicate principles you can study and apply to your life
- enlighten you to alternative thoughts and perspectives
- help you enter into new realms of imagination
- help you formulate strategic plans
- help you relax
- improve your analytical and critical thinking skills
- improve the quality of your life
- increase your rate of literacy
- increase your vocabulary
- inform and influence your thinking on many subjects
- instruct the life experience of others
- make you more knowledgeable and understanding
- offer words of healing, encouragement and spiritual refreshment
- reinforce your memory
- shape and influence your thinking
- teach you many things about yourself
11 of my Favorite Books
I love digesting books that can only be described as a sumptuous meal. Don’t you? These are the books that I have found to be spiritually satisfying, and if you have not done so, am sure you will benefit from reading them too.
1. Eternal Echoes by the late John O’Donohue. John was a deep and very thoughtful thinker, and one whose writings have had a profound influence on my understanding of others. I was so thrilled with this book, that I bought every hardcover and paperback copy in a local bookstore to give to family and friends. In it, John explores the most basic of human desires, that of belonging; a desire that continually propels us to discover new possibilities. The book is a journey that leads us to live the one life we are given with compassion, creativity and honor. He wrote:
"A life's journey is made up of continual daily choices. But there are moments of profound choosing, when a partner, a life-direction. or a new way of being in the world is chosen. This can be a wonderful time of focus and re-direction. When such a moment of choosing is genuine, it is usually preceded by a time of gestation and gathering. Many different strands of your past experience weave together until gradually the new direction announces itself. It's voice is sure with the inevitability of the truth. When your life decisions emerge in this way from the matrix of your experience, they warrant your trust and commitment. When you can choose this way, you move gracefully within the deeper rhythm of your soul."
2. Love by Leo F. Buscaglia is about life’s largest experience. This book is a collection of his notes when he taught and facilitated a non-credit course called “Love 1A” at the University of Southern California. It is a book about what love is, what love is not, and about reaching out to the heart of others. In the book, he quotes Ashley Montagu, who said, “Scientists are discovering at this very moment that to live as if to live and love were one is the only way of life for human beings, because, indeed, this is the way of life which the innate nature of man demands.” I couldn’t agree more, and one of the many reasons for my motto BE LOVE TO OTHERS.
“To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity.“
3. Amongst my favorite books are those involving animals. One such book is written by Andy Merrifield entitled, “The Wisdom of Donkeys: finding tranquility in a chaotic world.” Here is a brief excerpt. “Time slows down amid donkeys. In their company things happen quietly and methodically. It’s hard to forget their innocent gaze. It’s a calm that instills calm. Your mind wanders, you dream, you go elsewhere, yet somehow you remain very present.” The book serves to remind us of:
- being observant
- being present in the moment
- the importance of being mindful
… traits essential to living a fulfilled life. And, you might just learn that donkeys are not as stubborn as many people think. They are wise protectors, and in stopping, they are protecting themselves or someone from danger.
4. Another of my favorite books is “Lessons From A Sheep Dog“, one of several books I own by the late W. Phillip W. Keller. This is a story about patience, trust, faithfulness, discipline and obedience. Moreover, it is a true story of the transformative power of love. Here’s a small excerpt from the book:
"I drove up and down our country road in hope of finding her. I called at neighboring ranches. I combed our fields and ocean edge. But no sign of Lass. In the anguish of my search, I began to understand a little of the sorrow God endures, amid all His endeavors to draw us to Him. Again and again we refuse His benefits offered to us. Belligerently we rebuff His love and concern. Yet, in spite of her indifference and unyielding resistance, I had an enormous empathy for the dog. I longed to redeem her. I was consumed with a desire to make her into a loving, loyal companion. I yearned to see her rise to the potential that lay dormant within her."
5. “Benjamin Alexander Sheep” by Bob Friedman is an endearing story of a mischievous, rebellious sheep. When my daughter Laura recommended this rare book, I eagerly awaited its arrival. I earnestly dove into this very delightful book and thoroughly enjoyed every page. There is plenty of wonderful humor in this story. 🙂
6. “Wisdom: From Philosophy To Neuroscience” by Stephen S. Hall outlines the sudden emergence of wisdom in 5th century B.C. to modern times. He helps us to understand how wisdom has been a consistent catalyst for social change, its role in religion and philosophy. Stephen delves into the neural mechanisms for wise decisions and reveals 8 neural pillars of wisdom.
7. Sacred Geometry by Stephen Skinner is not only a deeply fascinating book, it is a visual delight. The title does not infer that this has anything to do with gematria. Stephen shows how certain types of geometry and numbers are deemed sacred because the codify the hidden order behind creation. (For me, an endless fascination.) Euclid saw the perfection of this math as a reflection of the Creator’s mind. The author delves into mathematical patterns found in nature, in astronomy, and in the manmade world; the cultural influences found in ancient and modern structures and art.
8. The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce H. Lipton For over 20 years, Bruce taught what he had been taught, that if you are genetically predisposed to disease, you have no say in the matter. But what he discovered as a cell biologist had him venture far from conventional thinking on the matter and into a whole new arena called epigenetics. This book is wise on so many levels, but probably most importantly because it brings readers up-to-date on the latest brain science that dispels myths and misunderstandings about our beliefs.
9. Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer In this book, Wayne Dyer goes into great detail about what it means to live an inspired life. Some of the benefits he outlines are:
- becoming a source of inspiration to others
- discovering new sources of personal inspiration
- expanding consciousness
- greater self-discovery
- know your purpose, without doubt
- transcending limitations
He also includes 12 ways to simplify your life.
10. Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono. This book opens with this question: “Can you really change the effectiveness of your thinking? The book goes into great detail of six different thinking styles, what Dr. de Bono refers to as hats:
- White – Neutral
- Red Hat – Emotional
- Black Hat – Substantive
- Yellow – Positivity
- Green – Lateral
- Blue – Controlled thinking
I will be writing a future post to expand on the teachings of this book.
11. Modern Man In Search of a Soul by Carl G. Jung is the basic introduction to Jung’s thoughts. For example, the book covers such topics as:
- analytical psychology
- dream analysis
- the primitive unconscious
- the relationship between psychology and religion
The book also outlines distinct differences between Sigmund Freud’s theories and those of Jung. In this regard, Jung questioned,
“Can I be credited with sufficient impartiality to rise above my own ideas? Can any man do this? I doubt it.“
A really great website that offers book reviews is Good Reads. It’s a great place to find out before making a purchase. I’m currently reading The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. You may have noticed that I’ve included books on a wide variety of topics. I can think of no better way to expand knowledge, but by reading books. Can you?
While we’re on the topic of books, I invite you to SUBSCRIBE to my website, if you’ve not done so already. You will receive an e-book, The Treasury of Jim Rohn Quotations, at no charge. 🙂
Over To YOU Now… Have Your Say…
What great books have you read lately? Any favorites?
What are the most important things you have learned from them?
What benefits do you derive from book reading?
I love to hear what you have to say and look forward to reading your comments here.
Thank you very much!