Why bother reading?

Reflecting back at my journey till date one thing I wish I could have started early on would be to read as much as possible (and mostly non-fiction), but it never occurred to me until my late undergraduate years, the intuition was missing. Ignorance and especially ignorance towards access to information draws my attention whenever I glance back. I believe that many people are/were stagnant in their life because they are/were deprived [1] of the information which they were in need to move forward.

Access to internet and smart devices has made information much more accessible nowadays. Till my 10th internet was a rare thing (at-least for me) and whenever got access I would jump right at the entertainment domains (jump right into Facebook from Nokia keypad, I forgot the model). I got my first smartphone at 11th class, but the major task of it was for communication, surfing and entertainment purpose (YouTube, movies, documentary etc). At undergraduate level the internet became much more accessible and having a personal laptop was a gateway to explore wide domains that was out there.

Where would anyone (for some reason lacked access to information) be if they had intuition and access to information like we can access)? How could we leverage the information that we have? I sometimes think of it. Everything could have been different for them and possibilities for us are endless. Whenever parents stress the need for education [2] they are trying to make us realize that the information are powerful (Its up-to us weather we leverage it or not).

Schools & university has some structure built around what content to teach student and the syllabus are rigid and test after test, the pattern repeats with varying syllabus complexity. The materials there are essential but are also incomplete, they teach us domain specific information (science, math, law etc), but we are left to figure other stuffs ourselves. We are left with voids created by missing information.

The way we can fill-up these gaps would be to search for missing information ourselves and the first step in this process would be to read [3] as much as possible. Whenever one feels stagnating or something is irritating, good question to ask oneself would be ‘What am I missing here?”

To unfreeze, maybe all that was required/requires is one book, one blog post, one essay, maybe even one line.


[1] Deprivation can occur in many ways, self imposed, state imposed, family imposed, abstracted educational content, deviated educational content, radicalized educational content or any form of other censorship.

[2] My parents and my friends parents(not all, but mostly) had limited access to the education which was reason due to the country had limited educational hub, it was not easily accessible, resources were not paltry and intuition was missing. It led to a chain effect in many domain from job to living standard and so on. Those who got access to education and advanced with higher education had plenty of compounding opportunity and the returns were super linear compared to those who lacked.

[3] Reading is not just about going through content and downloading them into our brain. The challenge when starting out is that whenever one is exposed to the various domain of information its gets hard to filter out and sometimes information can engulf individuals (radicalizing them into ideology, conspiracy etc). The essential skill here is to read the content in isolation without letting it have a solid imprints in you before you access it from all directions. But for that you need more information, which means more reading.

May 2024 - Rishav Dhungel