There is a saying that, “No information, no knowledge; no knowledge, no understanding; no understanding, no wisdom; no wisdom, no power; no power, no solution; no solution, no promotion.” I remember when I was a student at Wits University in Johannesburg, one of the foremost motivational speakers in South Africa, Dr. David Molapo, came to speak to us on campus. He said that, “If you are not growing, you are dying.” To add to what he said then, I have also come to realize that, “If you are not reading, you are dying”. Really, reading is to the brain what food is to the body. We can only be sustained by knowledge here on earth. No wonder a popular scriptural verse in the bible said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). We are created to grow in knowledge. And knowledge chiefly comes by reading, exposure, and the kind of association that we keep. Someone once said that, “Your position in five years from now will be determined by two things: the books you read, and the friends you keep.
In this article, we will be dealing on the subject of “Reading”. What is reading? And why does it matter? And in what ways can we read effectively? Reading is a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency, and motivation that is intended to expand one’s knowledge from one level to another. You will never remain the same whenever you read. You add to your knowledge each time you open a page of book to read. If you look closely to the spelling of the word, “Know-Ledge”, you will notice that, you “Know” to have an “Edge”. There is a popular saying that, if you want to hide a thing from a black man, put it in a book. Why? Africans, don’t read. We are occupied with so many things that we shun reading at all cost. Even to read for a leisure is a problem, we rather watch movies.
In few months’ time my last book on reviving the reading culture in our nation will be out. Really, two incidences occurred around my life that motivated me to start writing a book about “Reading”.
First, a friend called and told me he would love to have me organize training for the book sellers’ organization which he belongs to. He was one of the executive members of the Association of book sellers of Nigeria. The last time I was invited to deliver a training for them was on “Effective Customer Service”. But this time, they said they saddened and want something different that will motivate and spur members of the book sellers’ association to read, as majority of them don’t read, and yet they are asking people to buy books to read. What an irony!
Secondly, President Goodluck, launched a campaign in 2011, titled: “Bring Back the Book”. I believe some of you were aware about it. He made a statement: “I want Nigerians reading again because when they “read” they “know” and it is not possible to mislead a people who know.”
It was at this time I began to put thoughts together to write a book that will motivate students, teachers, parents, corporate executives, leaders, and everyone who care to start buying and reading books. Indeed, information is the key, ignorance is a disease. You are ignorant if you don’t know, and you don’t know because you don’t read, and you don’t read because you chose not to. It’s a choice! There is no excuse for being ignorant. The price tag for ignorance is expensive. As someone said, “No book is too expensive. If you doubt, try ignorance.” Never begin a week without a book. Make it a lifestyle! See you at the top.
Dr. Elvis UKPAKA
Author. Trainer. Coach. Consultant
Lead Consultant @ VISIONDRIVERS