That’s probably true. It’s also probably true it’s too short to watch the 124th episode of Game of Thrones, yet you keep on watching, don’t you? As with anything in life it’s about prioritising. Now, clearly you knew that. If you didn’t, then start here (immediately). The real question is, why would you prioritise reading over checking Instagram for the 52nd time? Let’s try and answer that.
1- Reading makes you smarter.
No scientific referral, this is not that kind of blog (meaning I am lazy to dig up some arbitrary numbers based on some fake research I’ll find on the internet). I am also not referring to improving your IQ here. For that please have a chat with your parents and based on how that conversation goes, maybe a therapist. I am talking about getting better at understanding the world around you, developing different perspectives, developing new mental models to interpret your experience, discovering new tactics to improve your finances and countless other benefits.
2- It’s an amazing investment.
I ordered a pizza, 4 chicken wings and a can of Coke that I paid about 15 quid for. It temporarily made me full and gave me some stomach pain later on. A book costs about 5-10 quids. If you get the right one, it can literally change your life in a really positive and tangible way.
3- It’s hard to get mentors, easy to get books.
Pretty much every success advice recommends finding mentors and modelling highly successful people to learn from them. Clearly, do that if you can. However it’s not easy to a) locate b) convince a really successful people to spend time with you. They rather hang out with other successful people or catch-up on that last Game of Thrones episode. Books are accessible to everyone and some (a lot) of them are written by highly successful people who talk about how they got to where they did.
4- Reading makes you more interesting.
There are other things in life to talk about than football and tv series. If you don’t know them books could give you a couple of ideas to help you escape from your inverse intellectual prison.
5- Last but not least Instagram makes you sad.
According to this famous study (what kind of person writes a blog about books, without sprinkling some science? Ridiculous) people who spend x hours on Instagram are more likely to be depressed than people who don’t. Do you want to be unhappy? No? Great. You just saved yourself about an hour a day (possibly more). What are you going to do with that extra hour? Of course you are going to watch Game of Thrones. Well don’t. See above.
Bonus tip: I got this from Naval Ravikant’s podcast with Farnam Street (well worth a listen in its entirety by the way). Don’t feel guilty about leaving a book unread. A lot of people get stuck because they want to finish the book they have at hand but they don’t enjoy the said book so they get stuck. It’s a classic Catch 22 situation (which happens to be a brilliant book, a good one to revitalise your reading habit). Drop that book, move on to the next one, and the next one if necessary. Until you find the book that really grips you and keeps you going.
Good luck, you’ll need it!
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