After 50 books, I felt a major change

Might as well be The Change

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

At least once in a lifetime, we heard somebody saying that books make us smarter. Did anyone explain that more specifically? Probably not.

I grow up in a house with a big library filled with old books and my parents would tell me an infinite amount of time that I should read. They just said that’s how I will become smarter, but I never understood how stories about an old princess are going to accomplish that.

Growing into highschool I kept hearing the same advice everywhere and I gave up. I got curious. I started reading, even enjoying it, and a few years later, I had to admit: They were all right!

I wanted to know after how many books I will become overall smarter, and it turned out that number is around 50.

I realized that one day when I was laying in my bed thinking about a problem I had during that time. I felt the need to define my feelings. Usually, I had problems converting my feeling into something clear, but the problem suddenly vanished. I had words to define and knowledge to understand.

I was so amazed by that change that I even had the time to stop and ask myself: Where is this coming from? The answer came as fast: books.

Now let me try to break down how this -smarter by reading -work.

Starting with the obvious

The educational system it’s based on books. Almost every religion around the world has its own Bible.

The very concept of a book stands around the huge amount of information the can be stored and passed on. Every book you read will either teach you something entirely new or will make you understand better something that you already knew.

And if you don’t know something, if you will read at least 3 books about that subject you will know 90% more about that subject compared to others. This has a statistical basis.

Books are still the best.

Words, vocabulary, and language

This is also an obvious benefactor of reading. The only problem is you must pay attention to it or all those beautiful words will only live in your head for no more than 1 hour.

How to “save’’ become a multi-solution problem.

  • As you read and stumble upon a word that you don’t know, stop and check out its meaning

In some sense, these can be wrong if it is too much of a distraction. If your flow suffers too much, just keep on reading and come back later, and just grasp its meaning out of the context. This depends entirely on your reading capability.

Read with a pen in your hand to underline those words that need a dictionary check. Come back to them when you stop reading.

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  • If you find a quote that you like, don’t stop to write it down somewhere else

If a word can compromise the meaning of a whole phare, it's normal and less disruptive to check for its meaning. That’s because you need to understand. But if you stop to write down a sentence it will take much longer and your focus will move from the book to some stories or memory that are now playing in your head.

At most, underline them and keep reading.

Too much underlining? Well, books are made to be used at maximum, not to decorate a room.

  • If you read without a purpose, every word will vanish

As you read be aware of the fact that you want to improve your vocabulary. If you read without paying attention it’s like going to practice and just train. Every practice has a goal, and so does your readings.

Read diverse

We all have a favorite genre. I like fiction. I would read only fiction if I could, but after about 10 books of it, I realized I wasn’t truly learning that much. There are rarely new words or substantial information about anything in particular.

If you want to step up your game and general knowledge you must read from different genres and subjects. Read History, Medicine, Business, Geography, Arts.

Every profession has its own language and you will be forced to learn it in order to understand it. This kinda works like knowing a different language within your own. You can look at a car like a human, and you will see 4 wheels connected to an engine that makes them spin really fast, or you can look at it as a mechanic and see a marvelous piece of engineering and understand how every piece functions.

Since we got here let’s talk about something that can be referred to as…

Neuroplasticity

What Neuroplasticity is?

Reading in itself is a type of experience. What you read is the result of another human experience. When you read, you learn, and learning means change. The human brain has the unique ability to change itself.

Now think about the huge amount of data that you have stored in your brain during your life. But our brain doesn't just store data in some very clean organized folder. Everything in our brain interacts.

For example: If you read, you read words that are organized in phrases but also have clear meaning by themselves. (you don’t need a phare to understand a word). You can use those phrases just to read them inside your head, but also you convert them into speech. You can further convert that speech into music or poetry.

Get it?

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In other words, reading can boost your creativity, and creativity is needed everywhere, even in math. Einstein had to imagine that time is relative before proving it. It’s has been proven that the most creative people are the ones that possess more information.

Reading helped me to connect different information with another by choice, random, or by the logic of things.

50 was my number and now I am way past that. What’s your number?

And another question that we all have: can we convert all these books into money? Well, people have done it before, so yes, you can. Just find your own way.

Long term memory

The truth is we can’t remember everything from every book we read. That’s too much.

Anyway, that’s why I suggested underlining. Even you won’t remember from your brain a quote or a whole chapter if you know where the books are you can find what you're looking for much faster. And you can have different types of underlining for words, quotes, or whole paragraphs. I do it like this:

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