What book are you reading?

Ever heard of the phrase, “If you want to hide knowledge from an African, put it in a book?”
Maria Kaitesi
Maria Kaitesi

Ever heard of the phrase, “If you want to hide knowledge from an African, put it in a book?”

Well, the first time I heard this statement, I was taken aback; I wondered whether the person who came up with this was a frustrated writer who failed to make book sales on African soil. After deeply contemplating this phrase, I realised that it was a harsh reality to certain extent.

Just think about your school days and remember how teachers used to plead and fight with students to read. Even when they knew that at the end of the day, it was for their own good, for they understood the dire consequences of not reading but just didn’t care.

It’s now close to two years since I finished higher education, but I still remember that even during my University days, students would rather party throughout the semester and get reading when the examination timetable was officially out.

Someone else recently told me that, “students are the only consumers who are forced to take what they have paid for.” This statement was even more painful that the first one as it came as a big blow and made me feel guilty for all the times I decided to fake allergies and other sicknesses simply because I didn’t want to go for morning preps.

I come to the realisation that depending on one’s poor or good reading habits are developed and groomed while in school.

Developing the habit of reading has immense benefits. If you have ever dined with people who love to discuss ideas and not people, then you know what I am talking about.

They may refer to use a quote that was in the famous ‘Animal Farm’ book and it would feel a little embarrassing if you aren’t on the same page with them, yet they assume that everyone has read it.

Reading equips people with the necessary knowledge to live life the best way possible. Additionally, there is no better sense of pride you could get from reading a fantastic book than when people are discussing about a certain topic or issue you are so conversant with simply because you have had the honour of reading about it.

Developing the reading habit is great but what you read also matters. If you are past your high school years and you are still reading the naughty ‘Mills & Boons’ novels, then there is a problem. Seriously who reads those books after high school? Why on earth would you be reading such material at a point in life you need to be reading books that build you?

As individuals mature, they need to do so not only physically but intellectually too. Consider books with more twisted plots and quality writing styles that challenge your brain’s imagination and critical thinking skills. For example, a John Grisham collection would give you knowledge about the legal world, which is could one time come handy in a conversation that points at legal terminologies.

Besides reading, watching real life documentaries are a great source of information. Forget the silly Mexican soaps that are so addictive with a lot of nothing to offer, besides building romantic castles in the air—this is a completely different topic of its own. Nonetheless I will vie for a great documentary or a talk show that gives insight on daily life challenges around the world. If finding a great documentary is hard enough, consider watching TV channels that are education such as, Discovery World, National Geographic.

At the end of the day, your knowledge base depends on how much you read. It all goes back to what book you are reading; if reading is a thorn on your side, for starters consider getting one good book to read once a month—the experience is thrilling and never a regrettable.


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