17 Awesome Benefits of Reading Books

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Have you ever been accused of being a bookworm? That’s not a bad thing, is it?

What great books have you read lately?

What great books have you read lately?

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:

  1. bring you greater awareness
  2. communicate principles you can study and apply to your life
  3. enlighten you to alternative thoughts and perspectives
  4. help you enter into new realms of imagination
  5. help you formulate strategic plans
  6. help you relax
  7. improve your analytical and critical thinking skills
  8. improve the quality of your life
  9. increase your rate of literacy
  10. increase your vocabulary
  11. inform and influence your thinking on many subjects
  12. instruct the life experience of others
  13. make you more knowledgeable and understanding
  14. offer words of healing, encouragement and spiritual refreshment
  15. reinforce your memory
  16. shape and influence your thinking
  17. 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.
Kierkegaard said,

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!

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About Bill Butler
William A. Butler is a John C.Maxwell certified coach. He loves to add value to others and aspiring to be a great humanitarian, lives by four words: BE LOVE TO OTHERS. William often goes by "Bill" and is a poet, a songwriter and has an upcoming novel.

30 thoughts on “17 Awesome Benefits of Reading Books

  1. Hi Bill,
    One thing I know is, knowledge brings power. Then, interestingly, books are the easiest of all methods of accumulating knowledge, isn’t it?

    That itself is a sufficient reason why everybody should read books everyday. But you always willing to go one extra mile to add some extra value and here you are with 17 awesome reasons for it 🙂

    And thank you for sharing these books. I think I need to pickup some of them for my own reading pipeline.


    • Hi Kumar,
      In many ways, I think direct experience beats reading a book, but I do agree that they easily facilitate learning.
      Books are also great for when you cannot obtain direct experience, so you are able to learn vicariously from the experiences of others.

      17 ways… there are likely many, many more, but yes, I put some thought into this. 🙂

      I know you’ll especially enjoy a great number, if not all of these books Kumar.

      All the best,

  2. Hello Bill,

    Like Kumar above, I must mention that knowledge brings power – but only applied knowledge!

    What books teach one remains classical and what you shared, I’ve just got one thing to add: make money! Heavens knows I’ve made more money from the knowledge books ensure than any other source.

    Sadly, I have not read any of the books you mentioned. However, of late, I’ve read The Prince by Machiavelli and all the series by both Dan Brown and Robert Green. These guys are sure the best!


    • Hello Terungwa,
      I’ve also advocated your same position; knowledge is potential power – until applied. Yes, thank you for the added point. With the proper financial books, the proper implementation of principles, one can also benefit by by making money. It’s interesting to learn from something from a book like “The Prince,” written in the 15th century and translated, so we can still benefit from it. I have read a couple of books by Dan Brown, but none of Robert Green’s so far.

      Thank you for adding the financial benefit to book reading and for sharing your experience. It is so appreciated! 🙂

  3. Hi Bill,

    Sorry I haven’t been by in a while, it’s been an unusually crazy month for me but hoping with the new one approaching tomorrow I’ll be on a much better schedule.

    I use to read a lot but since coming online and building my own business I haven’t had the time. The first several years I was on this computer day and night trying to figure things out. I’m getting to the point now that I need to give myself more “me” time and with my new addition of a Kindle I hope to be able to read much more.

    I have read a lot of books that have taught me some amazing things and then read a lot that were just darn enjoyable. I think one of my favorites is “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews. I even let my Mom read it last year and she loved it too.

    I’ve only heard of one of the books you have on your list and if there were more hours in the day I would get back to reading at least a chapter a night. That’s what I use to try and do and I hope to pick that back up this year.

    Great share and thanks for your list of books.

    Enjoy your weekend.


    • Hi Adrienne,
      No worries at all. Thank you for taking time to express your thoughts. 🙂 I understand crazy busy. That’s been a constant for me for quite a while, and even more so lately. I view book reading as something that I owe myself to do because it is so richly rewarding. I, too, enjoyed the Traveler’s Gift. If you’ve not read them you will likely also enjoy The Noticer, The Lost Choice and Island of Saints by Andy Andrews. The latter is a very fascinating World War II story. I certainly understand the wish for more hours in the day. I also need ten lifetimes for all my interests 😉

      Thanks again. I appreciate you!
      Have a nice weekend too!

  4. Hi Bill,

    Thank you for this great collection of books. I’ve always been a big reader, but nowadays the only books I read are personal development books. But in the old days I used to loved to read mysteries as well, but I’ve never been a fan of novels. They just don’t interest me at all 🙂

    Today I need to learn something when I read because my time is limited and I need to take advantage of my reading as much as possible.

    Thanks for this great share.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…Is The French Wine Industry In Crisis?My Profile

    • Hi Sylviane,
      You’re very welcome. I read a lot of personal development books too, but I enjoy novels too because, as a writer, you are able to learn plenty from various styles of writing. I understand completely about limited time. I guess I’ve just been the habit of reading for so long now, I set aside regular reading time as part of my day. I appreciate your thoughts on this. 🙂

      Have a terrific weekend!

  5. Hey Bill,
    Thanks for coming over to my blog and engaging 😉

    I used to be very sluggish in reading (both printed and ebooks) but starting blogging later in 2012 has really changed a lot about me. I read more than before 😉 While I read more online, I’m gradually developing an interest too in reading printed books.

    Thanks for adding more to my interest through this post.

    • Welcome Enstine,
      You’re very welcome and I appreciate you taking time to visit here. Thank you for adding your valued comments.
      What kind of book material interests you? Do you resonate with the benefits of reading books?

      All the best!

  6. Well, what can I say…you seem to have summed up all the advantages of reading a book 😀

    For me, it’s about learning new things. Books give me an opportunity to learn outside of school. I hate the existing school system because it doesn’t particularly encourage kids to innovate…and it limits the things we learn.

    That is perhaps the primary reason why I started putting more effort into reading books (I only started reading – for fun – recently…before that, I wasn’t reading actively. I did read, but most of them were associated with school work).

    Non-fiction is my favorite genre (I also love fiction….especially, detective and mystery stories, like Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot series) I still haven’t started reading any books (this year)…I am starting it next week.

    I am also planning to have a books reviews section on my new blog, so that will serve as an extra motive to keep reading.

    Thank you for the post, Bill 🙂 Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

    • Greetings Jeevan,
      Just returning after a break for a week. I agree with you; the education is more of an indoctrination system and is restricted to what the educators deem to be important. But what of creativity, innovation, important life lessons? … all of which you find inside the world of books.

      I’m also a writer, and for me part of the challenge is writing fiction and thinking several surprising and unexpected twists and turns ahead. I think a book review added to your blog is an excellent idea.

      I would like to recommend “The Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is one of the most important books I’ve read and purchased lately.

      You’re very welcome Jeevan. I will catch up with you this week. Have a great one! 🙂

  7. Hi, Bill 😉

    Books is a great topic:)! I read a lot myself, 2 books a month is a minimum for me and this is one of the most important habits I’ve recently developed. All my life I hated to read, but about 3 years ago I discovered the literature that I love. So the problem was not that I hated to read, the problem was that at school they told us to read wrong literature. It’s difficult to explain all the benefits what reading can give. One day I will write a post on that as well 🙂 But what I can say in shortly is that reading can really change your life (don’t take me word by word, reading alone won’t help you much, but reading will improve you to be better in life and to do greater things)

    Thank for sharing, Bill ;)!

    • Hi Aistis,
      My apologies for the late replies as I have been away for a week. Book reading is an excellent habit because it keeps you well versed and grounded in so many areas of life. Pick any subject you’re interested in, and there is always more to learn, and from fresh perspectives and latest findings. A few more benefits. 🙂

      Hope your week ahead is terrific!

  8. Hey Bill,

    What a great post about the importance of reading! I read some pretty scary facts the other day about how many people in the world actually cease all reading after the conclusion off their former education! I’m working on reading much more often – I’m doing a big goal of 24 this year which is 2/month!

    Also loved some of the recommendations, I def want to get my hands on the 6 thinking hats.

    Great post and keep reading AND writing!


    • Hey Zach,
      I appreciate you taking time to comment. I was glad to have had a break for a week, so am just catching up now.
      I love that you are not only goal oriented, but that you know the importance of follow through. Nothing spells success as much as that kind of determination. The Six Thinking Hats outlines 6 styles of thinking and clearly shows how to communicate with others, according to the hat (thinking style) they are currently using.

      I would also like to recommend a powerful book, “The Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz. I can’t say enough about this gem!

      Thank you Zach. I’ll catch up with your blog this week.
      Kind Regards,

  9. Hey Bill,

    Reading books is awesome because they open up a new horizon for the reader. It is like a breathe of fresh air for the mind. It makes us imagine like never before. We can visualize things and experience what the writer wants to convey. We become more receptive to the various anomalies of life.

    It changes the way we think. We break through the archaic beliefs and start to adopt a broader outlook. In addition to all these, it can be the best bed time buddy when the world sleeps and you are experiencing insomnia. I just love reading books and the benefits that you have mentioned are so true.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this.

    • Welcome Alan,
      Apologies for the late response. I was away for a week and am just getting settled back in. I appreciate you taking time to comment.

      You’re right, the freshness of other’s thoughts is also what I find so stimulating. Books open pathways and doors to the imagination, challenging what we think we know and they invite us to explore other avenues of ideas.

      Likewise, I always read before bed. It’s such a comfort.

      You’re so very welcome Alan. I look forward to seeing you back here.
      Have a great week ahead!

  10. Hi Bill,

    I never did understand people who do not read. Books were my life as a little girl and I still love to read. I even don’t under this Nook thing (although I have one), there is nothing like picking up a good book. Reading has always helped me relax and I was always way ahead of kids with my vocabulary. Always. This is a great article and hopefully helpful to those who have always wanted to read but maybe never started. It is one of my favorite pasttimes.

    Great info. Thanks for reminding me that I love to read.

    • Hi Barbara,
      Wow, playing catch-up after a week off. Thanks so much for your thoughts, which hearken me to when my daughter was a little girl, I used to read her bed time stories, invent stories, and even the play the tape-recorded books with the “Turn the page” signal. Now she’s like a sponge when it comes to book reading.

      Yes… relaxation 😀 … another benefit of book reading, as you are transported to other places.
      I love reading too. I think it keeps you interested and learning all sorts of things.

      Thank you Barbara. You’re welcome, and I too hope it helps encourage others.

      Kind Regards,

  11. Bill,
    I have to confess. When I held a full-time job outside of my house, I was an avid reader. Now that I’m blogging and depending on the Internet as my main source of information, I rarely read a good book. Books are now an indulgence that I allow myself when I’m on vacation. Hopefully, someday, when I have more free time, I’ll go back to reading books. That’s a goal for me.

    Thanks for sharing. By the way, when I do read books, it’s always fiction. I get enough reality online. 🙂
    Sherryl Perry recently posted…6 Specific Reasons You Ought to Blog – Nothing Else Will Do!My Profile

    • Hi Sherryl,
      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Having taken a week off, I understand how busy one can be and not take time for what is important. For me, book reading has always been an important part of my day, especially at bed time. One of the things I enjoy about books is specific information in the areas I’m interested in. It helps broaden my understanding of the world and the way things work.

      Perhaps you could write a book about the reality online 🙂 That would make a fantastic read!
      All the best!

  12. Reading is the really neccesary part in the every bloggers life and it is the way to make new ideas every day t write a new content and the books you mentioned here are really awesome .I am going to read all of these.

    • Welcome Uday!
      I think books are important no matter what walk of life one happens to be on. Fresh, new ideas stir our imagination and stimulate creativity. What book do you plan to read first and what more do you hope to learn?

      Kind Regards,

  13. Hi William,

    Awesome! I’ve been through a transition since I got my computer 🙂 From a bookworm to online reader. Now I rarely read a real book, but started off this year with one though – “Man’s Search for Meaning”. After a long hiatus and really glad I did 🙂

    Unfortunately, I haven’t heard of any titles you shared over here, Will. But the titles “Wisdom: From Philosophy To Neuroscience”, “Eternal Echoes” and “Wisdom: From Philosophy To Neuroscience” got my attention.

    As I’m trying to focus on more offline stuff and hobbies, books gonna come into my agenda while travelling 😉 So I will keep this post as a reference when I hit the book store. Now I can’t promise when I will hit the book store though 😀

    You have a wonderful week mate 🙂


    • Greetings Mayura,
      I’ve just returned from having a week off. Unfortunately, I caught the flu and was ill for a few of those days. Starting to feel better now though. Personally, I enjoy the comforts of books, especially the portability, but I also see value in acquiring knowledge online.

      Man’s Search For Meaning is an excellent read. Talk about guts and determination! I know you’ll enjoy those books when you get to them. I appreciate your input here. Have a great week as well. 🙂

      Kind Regards,

  14. I have been a voracious reader ever since I learned how to read. That’s why I never get bored even being alone for a long time. I have found that reading books is the best medicine to kill boredom.

    • Hi Gene,
      You’re right. Reading books certainly is a boredom killer. It’s also a great way to appreciate the thoughts and creativity of others.
      Book reading opens us up to new worlds, and plenty of learning. What better way to vicariously explore the world?

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have a pleasant week! 🙂

  15. ime ibanga says:

    Indeed: “Reading makes a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.” – Francis Bacon

    • Hi Ime,
      Thanks for the contributing the quotation. I think reading books enhance our life experiences, but, as you know, there are many things that can only be experienced in person.

      All the best,

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