By Gideon Akanbi
“To read with profit, the books must be of a kind calculated to inform the mind, correct the head, and better the heart. These books should be read with attention, understood and remembered, and their precepts put in practice. It depends less on the number than quality. One good book well understood and remembered, is of more use than to have a superficial knowledge of fifty, equally sound.”- Charles Spurgeon
Your destiny needs a solid foundation of knowledge. Someone once asked Benjamin Franklin what sort of person he most pitied. Franklin replied, "A lonesome man on a rainy day who does not know how to read." This statement underscores the power of reading. When you know how to read, you simply have the power within you both to change yourself and the world.
In the last three editions, I have established reasons why you need to read as well as what kind of books you should feed your mind with. In this edition, I want to share with you how you can make the most of every opportunity to enhance your reading. You will especially learn how to set up your personal library and certain factors you should consider when reading.
When to Read
I sometimes hear people complain that they don't have enough time to read, but the fact is that those who are addicted to books make time - in waiting rooms, on a commute, in the backyard.
What do you think? Where do you like to read? Traditionally, the library has been designated as the place where reading takes place. This however may not be applicable all the time depending on individual.
As you grow in your reading habit, you will discover that you can easily convert any place under any circumstance to your own reading room. The rule is reading can be done anytime such that no idle moment is entertained. I need to remark, though, that you need to take charge of yourself and the environment where you are reading to ensure you are not just whiling away time but actually getting the best of the reading.
I want to also encourage you to begin to build your library and set up your own reading room. A personal library is the hallmark of all successful people. Your personal library should contain the following set of materials: your lecture notes; your text books and recommended reference books; your seminar materials; photocopies of relevant materials; inspiring books, tapes, DVDs and CDs; articles, newsletters or magazines; dissertations or theses; print-outs, and all the books you have read and intend to read for the year and beyond.
Ways you need to read
Information demands discipline, as it doesn’t jump on people. It is only available to explorers. It is a product of an intelligent search. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). However, for you to discover the truth, you must employ the weapon of discipline. So, as you read, you should take note of the following rules if you really want to get the best of your reading.
Read Thoughtfully: Give careful thought to the content of the book you are reading.
Read Repeatedly: Sometimes, you need to read more than once to grasp the message in the book.
Read Patiently: Don’t be in a hurry to finish the book; take time to understand what the book is saying to you.
Read Prayerfully: Pray for quick understanding before you start reading any material of your choice.
Read Meditatively: Take time to ruminate on whatever you have gleaned from your reading.
Read Selectively: Don’t just read anything; read materials that will aid you in your journey to fulfilling your destiny.
Read Imaginatively: Think along with the author what he actually has in mind to pass across to you.
Read Purposefully: Don’t be a casual reader; read with the aim of getting something out of your reading.
Read Acquisitively: Read with deep intention to learn something.
Read Telescopically: Try to see beyond the pages of the book you are holding.
Let me conclude with these words from Ben Carson: “If we commit ourselves to reading thus increasing our knowledge, only God limits how far we can go in this world.”
Gideon O. Akanbi
The Godly Brains