The Reader’s Journey

The Reader’s Journey by Alex Wieckowski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes it can be easy to think of actions as binary, either you do it or you don’t.

Either you drive a car or you don’t, either you can juggle an elephant on the tip of your nose or your cant.

But some actions simply aren’t as black and white as that. That’s where this book comes in.

Alex Wieckowski has done a wonderful job encapsulating much of what it means to be a reader and how indeed we can start the journey to become one. After all, it isn’t always so easy to ‘become’ a reader by just picking up a book.

He interestingly mentions how many of us grew up reading books that we were both captivated and enthralled by, but when it came to reading for academic purposes, we were then forced to read books that didn’t resonate with us in any fashion. At this point, it was all but inevitable for the love of reading to be clouded with feelings of immense boredom and dread. Sadly, this permeated into adulthood and we find many people who don’t read at all.

This is why this book does its job well. We need to unlearn these feelings of dread and assumed boredom to understand that reading is by far the ultimate ‘power up’ we can utilise in our lives. Within the pages of books lie knowledge and information that the internet can only dream of, and depriving ourselves of this source is a tragedy in of itself. Reading books means taking the most efficient and meaningful means to better and educate yourself, and the first step is to understand why you might be averse to reading in the first place.

Each chapter has subsequent quotes from famous Authors relating to the topics discussed, I found these incredibly insightful and they reinforced the message in the chapter well. Practical advices are also given to the Reader on how to maintain a routine, how to select books and how to treat your books as well as recommendations on building your own library (and an anti-library!). What I especially found refreshing was to understand that there are no ‘book police’ for us to fear knocking at our doors telling us that we are reading a book wrong. Everyone has their own preferences and routine, make it personal and it will become satisfying.

This is a fantastic short book which plays to its strengths as the key unlocking the door to a future of reading. If you need some inspiration to start reading again or even to pick it up as an entirely new habit, this is a brilliant way to start.

As I end my review, I will quote Alex Wieckowski himself from the book:

“It’s important to remember that books are a tool. Don’t simply read to read, but read to acquire information and apply it to improve your life. And if all you do is read books, perhaps you’re trying to run or escape from something. Don’t let reading turn into a form of justified procrastination. It’s tempting to live to read, but as the French novelist Gustave Flaubert said, “Read in order to live.””

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