World Book Day is always a reminder that You are a Reader. As much as authors are celebrated, readers are too. There is little you can achieve productively if you do not engage in books.
Treasures are hidden in books, you have the responsibility to search them, find them, use them, and create value with them. Good books will not leave you the same. Your focus will be more sharpened, your knowledge and performance increased, your vocabulary bolstered and your exposure widened.
Books take you on a journey without moving your feet. Are you still confused, ask Jhumpa Lahiri?
Books are media of information written or illustrated to convey a particular message. The messages could be a compilation of statements, pictures, or even poetry. They are further bound together to make chapters on different pages, given a name or title, and protected by a cover.
The value of good books is not measured by quantity, but by the relevance of their content.
While you can not judge a good book by its cover alone, the value you get from reading; either pleasure, knowledge, creativity, exposure, adventure, etc. determines the real worth. Hence, the definition of a good book can be relative but a good book will surely leave you better than you are.
So what are you waiting for? Are you still wondering how you can engage books as a professional? Start with these 4 ways:
You are as good as the books you have read. Sounds cliche? Well, realistically what you know is what equips you for now and the future. Getting a degree or certificate in Engineering is never enough for your life’s journey.
Financial Intelligence was not part of your course curriculum, how do you wade into the financial and economic without sinking? Reading a book on Financial management might be the only rescue from an impending financial disaster.
Reading books will not only broadens your knowledge and work performance but may also earn you a seat in the realms of the elites because you are more likely to speak and act professionally. Both verbal and written communication skills are sharpened when you spend time reading.
There is always something new to learn in economics, engineering, social responsibility, communication, mathematics, robotics, medicine, and across all works of life. Whether it’s a comic, fiction, thriller, or career book; your creativity, intelligence, and vocabulary will be activated. Commit to a lifestyle of reading, make a goal to read at least a book monthly, and be disciplined to follow through and take notes of new vocabularies, terms, and action points. To stand out, knowledge is key, and this knowledge is embedded in a treasure known as books. Get it!
If you have exceptional knowledge in your field or have lived the realities of life and learned from experiences, why not document these pieces on the pages of a book? Your book can pass for your business card. It’s the reference you recommend to others. It is a privilege to be an author, sharing your wealth of imagination, experimentation, research, or general knowledge. This makes you an authority, gives knowledge to others, and earns you additional revenue (royalty).
If you think you can’t author a book yet, you could start a blog by writing reviews on books you have read, or write summaries to help your visitors who can read the full length gather salient information.
You can also transcribe audiobooks or messages. If you can send an email, write reports, write captions for your social media pages, or tell a story, then you can write. Line upon line, chapter upon chapter, and voila! A manuscript is borne. Every professional should write. Whether it’s an eBook, hardcover, paperback, or even audiobook, this is one beautiful way to engage books intellectually.
Build a library
According to Cicero, ‘A room without books is like a body without a soul.’ Have a personal collection of books, whether purchased or gifted. A book does not make a library, though it starts from there. Hence it is important to invest in buying good books for your enjoyment and self-development.
Having a personal library will motivate you to keep reading and growing. It is advisable to have your library stuck with varieties of books. This avails you the opportunity to find references when you need to navigate a particular situation or problem across any sphere of life.
You can also donate books, that way you build libraries for others.
Another way is to give books as gifts to individuals, friends, employees, and colleagues. Building a library also involves donating books to schools, prisons, and even public libraries.
Book donations help to empower children, keep them from idleness, boost their creativity and prepare them to make a better life and career choices. Prisoners get engaged, self-developed, and better transformed while they serve their terms, and this may help shape them into better citizens if they return to society.
If you take pride in the knowledge you have acquired alone, it is selfish. For knowledge to increase, you must share. Asides from sharing verbally, let others know what you know by recommending your book plugs to them. True leaders build the capacity of others.
If you will like to see your employees with developed skills and expertise, share your secret with them. If you want your team to be like-minded, more efficient, and effective on projects and have more landmark wins, sharing your knowledge and tools; which include the right books can make this happen. If you would be proud to see a better equipped younger generation and be confident that they will thrive well and surpass your expectations and solve more problems across all sectors, will you not rather pass the baton by recommending the books they need to run with. That alone is a good legacy.
For every professional who wants to be productive, or boost both professional and soft skills, engage books today!
Books deliver good value for your time and money. If you want to know more, learn more and go far, engage books in these four ways as a professional, and watch something magical happen to your life and career.