Photo Credit: nkzs,

“One must always be careful of books," said Tessa, "and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

As a teenager, my free time is the one thing I always sought. Even though I'm interested in getting good grades, I'm not in-love in doing school work all day. I have responsibilities at home but they are not demanding so I can still have much time to spend on my own leisure, that's the time I can't wait to have.

Why I wanted free time that much? Video games.

I can't wait to get my hands on any game console and enter a digital reality playing other characters. There’s a unique feeling whenever I play games, the real world fades to the background, and I ‘became’ the protagonist I’m controlling with the joystick.

"You can't learn anything on that," my father used to say, though I don't speak a word, my mind was objecting. I know I'm learning something, better thinking and problem solving.

One night, during my break on playing, I entered the room of my older brother and saw something in his hand.

“What is that?”

He was immersed in reading that he didn’t even look at me as he replied, “It’s a novel.”

It’s obvious that I’m not welcome to disturb him so I quietly left his room. And I can remember that I questioned myself, “How can he love doing that? Reading a novel?”

I’m not interested in reading. It’s boring and it’s only for people who didn’t discover the fun in other modern activities like video games or internet.

I’m wrong. I’ve never imagined that I’ll eventually love reading.

I entered a Christian college with a hard twist in its rules. I have to stay in the campus, vacations are the only way out. And what kind of school will prohibit using gadgets? A monastery? ASHTEC do.

How can I cure my boredom without any video games?

I have no choice, I need to find a new hobby to do in my leisure time. Since I’m not a Christian then, I don’t want to join the not required ‘Christian holy meetings’ in the school.

With my stereotype about them swallowed, I try to open a book titled ‘Jurassic Park’. I’ve chosen a fiction because I thought that I’ll fall asleep in reading a nonfiction.

One, two, three and four pages after, my head was complaining. I can’t concentrate! This is boring. I threw it in the bed. Minutes after, the boredom is stronger, I don’t have anything to do but stare at the ceiling. I looked at the book and said,

“Okay, one more try.”

I’ve finished five more pages, my head was still aching but a realization struck me – the story was starting to make sense. I’m tasting a small dose of enjoyment out of reading for the first time.

Time passed quickly and I’ve finished the first chapter. I looked at the mirror, there’s redness in my eyes and I thought that I needed a paracetamol to relieve the ache in my head. But there’s a feeling in me that is the same when I’m holding a joystick and staring at the flickering TV screen.

I’ve rested for a while then plunged again in reading. I’ve finished the second chapter and the third after one hour. Wow, nobody said to me that reading was not that boring and torture, happiness is possible doing it.

For the next days in my free time, I’ve read two to three chapters in one sitting. I can’t wait to read the next chapter so I can know what will happen to the story.

One Saturday, with excitement and concentration, I immersed myself in the final chapter of the book until I’m done with the last paragraph. For the first time in my life, I’ve finished a whole book.

I looked at the cover of the book again and I can’t believe that I’ve read all the words inside.

I’ve asked my brother to bring me more fiction books on their next visit. I found myself counting the days when I’ll get the next books. When they are finally on my hands, I picked the novel titled ‘Riptide’ and positioned myself in the corner of the dormitory so nobody would attempt to disturb me.

My focus are sharper now in reading printed words. Because of the enjoyment, I didn’t noticed that hours are passing quickly. I’ve finished the novel in three days.

“I’m now a reader.” I said to myself.

Other students are now calling me ‘bookworm’ with giggles. I’m not offended. I just love what I’m doing.

Our teacher in programming always send us to the library to research some weird computer concepts. One section consists of approximately thirty students, so if you’re a minute late in the library, the books that covers the assign topic are now in the hands of others. I looked at the availability of computers for internet, no more seats.

I’ve waited for my classmates to finished copying the assignment from the book. My eyes wandered on the shelves, there’s a lot of categories but nothing interesting except one – the personal development category.

I picked some books from the category and began reading the book description, all sounds positive and encouraging. I looked at my classmates again, they are not yet finished. Maybe I can spend my time reading a little bit of this kind of book. I can read novels, sure I can also understand this kind of book.

I began reading the book ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’ by John C. Maxwell. Few paragraphs after, I’m hooked! It never crossed my mind that a book can be this awesome and helpful.

Since I’m a child, I’ve always thought that maturity can only be acquired by getting older and getting more experience in life. And here in this book, a man more than twice my age is sharing his life experiences and of other people about personal mastery and leadership.

I leave the library with a feeling that there’s pure gold in that room. And every day, I have the chance to enter in it again and receive the wisdom of people who already achieve the mysterious thing called success and significance.

So I became a regular reader at the library. I can’t wait for the class to finish so I can run to my beloved room. Just the sight of shelves of books make me quiver with delight.

I’ve finished the book in one week and headed for the next title by John C. Maxwell. One book lead to another then to another until I’m more familiar with book authors more than TV celebrities.

Books became a sure source of encouragement and wisdom for me. Every time I open one, it feels like I’m in one on one conversation with its author.

They are there waiting for anyone who will commit a time and attention in discovering life’s most important lessons.

I believe that everyone should read at least one book per month on their religion, philosophy or field. A good book often consist the expertise and wisdom of the author and you can have it if you’re willing to pay a little amount of money and time.

Jim Rohn says that all millionaire and highly influential people have a private library in their homes. Why is that?

All the people I’m admiring are all readers: C.S. Lewis, Bo Sanchez, Andy Stanley, Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy, Robert Kiyosaki, John Maxwell and the other giants in influence. Why?

I’m challenging to discover it yourself. Pick a book, consume a gold.

Read a book for a fuller and richer life.

I've written my book recommendations in this post:
Recommended Books


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