Sunday, July 02, 2006

Are Books Overrated? Do You Need To Enjoy Reading Books To Be Rich?

I'll be honest. I've never enjoyed reading books as a past time, but I've noticed many folks enjoy reading books, especially "wealthier" folks. I've tried to get into it, but each attempt has failed miserably. I've never been able to stay interested...my mind wanders off so easily. Maybe I have A.D.D.? Before you jump on me for even asking such a question, at least hear me out--reading is really, really good, but do you really need to enjoy reading books to be successful? Reading in general is essential, but if you are an avid reader of newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, do you even need books anymore? And honestly, how many of you actually sit down and read books on a regular basis? Or do you pick up an occassional book once a year and read it? I'm just curious, because it seems like a lot of people are into books. Thank [put higher power here] for the Internet! (Just trying to be inclusive)

7 comments:

mapgirl said...

I think the argument you're trying to make is a little specious.

I would say that reading the right kind of books might make a person richer if it helps edify them and make better financial choices.

Books are free if you get them at the library. They are also timeless, more so than a periodical. They don't require electricity if you read them in daylight. They generally don't cost you $2K to replace if lost or stolen.

I love reading. I love re-reading my old books. If I didn't do that, I'd probably spend even more money on books and take more trips to the library. I probably re-read at least 5 books a year that I already own. I probably purchase 5-10 new ones, and borrow about the same number from the library.

FWIW, two of the richest kids I knew in San Francisco hated reading due to mild dyslexia. Reading has nothing to do with wealth. It probably is just a hobby that high-income earners enjoy, since most of them leveraged reading into higher paying careers through advanced education.

I'm curious to hear what other people think though.

Anonymous said...

I am actually kind of surprised when I read this post. Maybe I am the odd one out, but I must read 10-15 books a month...I love to read anything. Mystery, financial, etc..And my family is a polar opposite of the money line. I would actually think people with less money are more prone to read because they are not able to do other things such as go on the expensive vacations or drive the expensive cars. So instead they read the books that have those vacations and cars in them. Sorry for the long post.

freedumb said...

Mapgirl, I don't think it's an argument...just an observation.

Anon, That's true...For some reason, I was just looking at blogs and noticed everyone was into reading...Unfortunately, I never was...so the question popped into my head...I should change my post a bit...to be less specific...maybe something like, "Do You Need to Enjoy Reading Books To Be Successful?"

Mervi said...

I guess it depends on how you define success. If all that you look for is material goods then no, you don't have to read books to be successful. I guess all you really have to read is work related stuff.

To me reading is like listening music: my life would be pretty miserable without books or music.

If you want to give books another chance you could experiment with different kinds of genres and writers. We all like different things. You could also try books on tape or CD.

freedumb said...

Mervi, I'm beginning to think that book reading is like a hobby...A great hobby at that. But I guess what really pushed me to write this is the question if that many people really love to read books? I a fair bunch of my friends love books...but a fair amount don't. In general though, it seems like a lot of pf bloggers love books. So that lead to the question...I was beginning to think maybe book reading is like golf. All wealthy people play golf or tennis...or polo. Hah...no, I don't stereotype. :) But you know what I mean right? People associate certain sports with income levels...

Mervi said...

Reading is a hobby to me, sure. But since we have libraries, second-hand bookstores and even free on-line books it doesn't have to be an expensive hobby. I'd say that collecting books is a more expensive hobby particulary if you collect old, expensive books or only first editions or something like that. Of course, you don't have to read the books you collect. Some collectors keep their books in glass cases much like some comicbook collectors keep the issues in plastic bags.

I don't collect books because it doesn't matter if I read from a first, second or twentythird edition, paperback or hardcover. To me it's the story that matters, not how expensive the covers are.

Books are also somewhat safer things to discuss on-line or off than, say, religions or politics. :)

freedumb said...

Mervi, That's true...books are waaaay safer than religion or politics...unless the book is a bout religion or politics :) Thanks for all the feedback!