Lighting the World…1 Book at a Time

old-books-candleAs an author do you ever wonder why you even bother? Do you sometimes think that no one in the world is ever going to notice your endeavors? Sometimes it’s easy to lose the light of our dreams and end up in the darkness of our own thoughts.

Sometime it’s easy to convince ourselves that because our sales are low (or non-existent) that it must be because no one reads anymore or because no one cares about the written word. But that is simply not true. In fact, some of the most successful, richest, and smartest people in the world today claim that reading is what helped them get to where there are.

In several interviews over the years, Warren Buffett has stated that he spends five to six hours per day reading five newspapers and at least 500 pages of corporate reports.

Bill Gates says he reads 50 books per year. He also blogs about them. He says he enjoys making recommendations about those books he feels can help change view points or bring about insights. And while he says he doesn’t read much fiction, he will if the book is recommended to him by someone he respects. In fact, the last piece of fiction he read (and blogged about) was one that his wife really enjoyed, so he wanted to see what it was all about.

Another avid reader is Mark Zuckerberg. He says he reads at least one book every two weeks. Some are books that others recommend to him, and others are titles that he comes across himself.

Elon Musk grew up reading two books a day, according to his brother, and still tries to find time to read whenever he can. Mr. Musk claims that reading gives him peace of mind and helps him find the answers to stubborn problems by taking his mind off of the issue for a while.

Oprah Winfrey credits books with a great deal of her success. She says, “Books were my pass to personal freedom.” In fact, both Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey have a section on their websites where they recommend books or authors that they like.

Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot, reads two hours day. He’s not particular as to whether he reads fiction or non-fiction as long as what he reads helps him open his mind to new ideas.

Dan Gilbert, self-made billionaire and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, also reads one to two hours a day.

Therefore, while it may seem easier to claim that reading is dead or to believe that no one takes the time to read books anymore, the fact is, books and the printed word are still important and impactful. And who’s to say that the young adult or teenager who reads our books today won’t turn out to be the next Elon Musk, Ellen DeGeneres, or Mark Zuckerberg?

Every book is a little bit of light in the darkness of illiteracy, ignorance, and bias. Books bring different perspectives and insights to others. Whether the book is fiction or non-fiction, it can help others view the world from a different angle. So, take heart and remember: that every reader who finds your books extends that light a little further, and a little further…until soon the whole world will be lit up.

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