Reading Books Is a Good Habit

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The importance of reading good books is highlighted in this passage. Good books contain eternal truths that can instruct and comfort us throughout our lives. Reading makes us full, ready, and exact, as Francis Bacon said. It is a valuable characteristic that should be acquired early in life and should be limited to selecting books that are already known to be good and on subjects that interest us. Books impart precious knowledge that cannot be stolen and can only be gained through reading. Knowledge is power, and reading is the key to gaining it.

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Good books record the wisdom, observations, thoughts, and discoveries of wise individuals. They contain timeless truths and serve as guides throughout our lives. As Francis Bacon famously said, “Reading make a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man”. Having a habit of reading is a valuable characteristic that stays with us. Books are often considered our best companions as they not only provide knowledge but also offer life experiences and insights into eternal truths.

Acquiring the taste for reading at an early age is important as it can guide one’s life journey and provide immense pleasure. However, it is crucial to select good books instead of reading anything that comes near at hand, as worthless books do not provide knowledge. Good books offer innocent joy and pure wisdom that one desires. R.W. Emerson suggests three practical rules: 1. Only read books that are at least a year old. 2. Read only famous books. 3. Read only what you like. These rules emphasize the importance of selecting books that are known to be good and align with the reader’s preferences. When choosing a book, the subject should also match the reader’s interest. By reading books on topics of interest, readers can expect new and substantial material. Thus, it is necessary to limit one’s reading habit to derive maximum benefit from it. Books provide valuable knowledge that empowers individuals, as famously stated by Francis Bacon: “Knowledge is power.”

Sterne compares the desire for knowledge to the thirst for wealth, noting that both grow with acquisition. Unlike wealth, however, knowledge cannot be stolen; in fact, sharing it with others only leads to its increase within oneself. In this world, there is no substitute for knowledge and reading good books is the only way to obtain it. Jeremy Collier underscores this point by stating that just as a man cannot expect physical strength from constant eating alone, he cannot expect wisdom from continuous reading alone. While good food can strengthen the body, reading good books can cultivate wisdom in the mind. Therefore, developing a habit of reading is vital for acquiring wisdom in life.

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Reading Books Is a Good Habit. (2017, Jan 31). Retrieved from

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