4 Benefits of a Book-Based Education

4 Benefits of a Book-Based Education

“Formal education gets you a job. Self-education makes you rich.” ~ Jim Rohn

There are countless success stories told by millionaires, icons, leaders, athletes, entrepreneurs, celebrities, influencers, professionals, and authors who gained their education from books. Whether they didn’t succeed in a formal teaching environment or didn’t have access to, or the luxury of, traditional scholastic upbringing, they taught themselves through books. To be clear, I’m not touting the notion of quitting school to read.

Listen, I like to have fun and laugh and enjoy my free time reading books I enjoy. And the last thing I want to do is get schooled by a blog, nor is that my intent here. Rather, it’s to gently remind you that you should always supplement your formal schooling (or lack thereof) with a book-based education. The reasons are too numerous to outline. But for the sake of this piece, here are four benefits of book-based education and why you should make reading a daily habit.

Books Make You Smart. Period! From poetry to philosophy, science to success, books birth brilliance. Just like the current online videos, you can learn how to do anything from books. But book-learning is like “giving your brain a good workout” while improving your language comprehension and overall intelligence. According to Healthline, there is a significant enhancement in intelligence (IQ) when you choose reading over watching in three specific areas:

  • Fluid intelligence—the capacity to reason, make connections, solve problems, and consider abstract concepts.
  • Crystallized intelligence—the overall knowledge, including vocabulary and acquired skills.
  • Emotional intelligence—the ability to identify emotions, in the self and others and appropriately regulate these emotions.

Books Build Critical Skillsets. As you can see, the impact reading has on intelligence is unbeatable. Think about taking a class, any class. From cooking to chemistry, or mathematics to history—teachers and facilitators will ask you to read books. Books have evolved from storytelling and are often the go-to way to build knowledge and expertise on any subject. Analytical thinking, creativity, ingenuity, language, empathy, and verbal communication are just some of the skills gained through reading. Tactical knowledge and applied learning also come from books. Those who’ve mastered financial freedom attribute much of their success and bank accounts to what they’ve learned through books. Of course, all this learning should be applied in order to gain greater measurable outcomes in designated skill areas. And if you need the motivation to practice or formulate good habits, yup, there are books for that too.

Books Keep You Sharp. And interesting. You know the adage, “You’re never too old to learn.” Well, it’s spot on. There are countless studies and research supporting the positive impact reading has on aging. Improved levels of happiness, relaxation and health, language retention, and overall cognitive and memory functioning to name a few.  But it’s not only about mental acuity—though science proves it combats Alzheimer’s—it’s also about overall health. Reading for pleasure reduces stress, and of course, you know how lessoning anxiety and worry, which tends to increase as one ages, can go a long way in improving one’s disposition, mental resilience, immune defenses, and physical well-being.

Let’s not forget all that’s learned from books and over a lifetime, that wisdom wields power. Many older adults are being tapped for their professional and personal expertise and continued reading helps keep them sharp and on top of current trends. Of course, it’s always nice to be someone with something worth saying and books provide great conversation fodder. And yes, books provide tons of interesting talking points for coffee clutches and cocktail parties.

Books Are Available to Everyone. Whether you’re a fan of Benjamin Franklin or not, you’ve got to give it to the man for starting the public library system. Coupling that with Free Little Libraries and book exchanges, everyone has access to books. Remember how exciting it was to get your first library card? Or if you were lucky enough to participate in a Scholastic Book Club in grade school or attend a community book fair, the joy and anticipation of owning your very own book was empowering! Books represent freedom to learn and apply what has been learned and change one’s current situation. You can be anything thanks to books.

And of course, books transport you anywhere. While it’s certainly nice to visit Italy, if it’s not physically or financially possible, turn to a book. They will take you to the moon and Mars and even to galaxies far, far, away. There probably isn’t a household that doesn’t house at least one book. They are there for a reason. We know the power of books. They are readily available, and we’ll always love them.

Far from being an expert on the power of books but one of the first in line to tout the benefits, I’m always eager to learn from my kindred writing and reading spirits. There are so many talented individuals out there that teach me new things every day.

More Proof A Book-Based Education Does a Human Good:

So, dear readers, writers, authors, parents, experts, and friends, I truly welcome your insights here. Let’s keep the conversation going. How have you benefitted from a book-based education?

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