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Averse to reading? Make books your best friend and you'll never regret it

Most people don’t realise that a good book costs the same as a meal in a good restaurant. [iStockphoto]

Imagine you had an opportunity to spend a week with former US President Barack Obama. He has agreed to spend the whole week speaking to you about his dreams, ideas and the challenges that he has faced and how he has dealt with them.

He has promised to open his heart and mind to you.

In exchange, you have to buy him lunch for one day – and obviously, you would want to take him to a nice fancy restaurant in Nairobi and that will set you back at least Sh5,000. Would you agree? I would.

Now, I want you to realise that for the price of Sh3,500 you can buy his book, A Promised Land, and for the next two weeks he would open his mind and his heart in the book as you read it. That is the value of a good book.

Most people don’t realise that a good book costs the same as a meal in a good restaurant. The food disappears in a few minutes never to be seen again, yet the book lasts for years and could impact your life in a very meaningful way.

There is much more in a good book. For a small amount, a writer will share with you years of research and effort.

Students who must write a research paper know how much time it takes to do a good paper, let alone a book.

Most books require editing and re-editing many times before the final draft is published. Some books take years before they are published, and you get all this effort for the price of a meal.

Powerful books change and mature with time. Holy books like the Bible or Quran evolve as you mature. What they mean to you at the age of 10, 20, 30 and onwards changes dramatically. 

Your understanding, appreciation and connection are deeper. Yet it is the same book. Some books have the capacity to change you over time.

I have often heard people say, “I don’t like reading”. I feel so sad because they are missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures. It's never too late to start reading, but you will need a little discipline to start.

Find a book on a topic that you enjoy and start reading a few pages a day. You will find that you have opened a stream. Reading grows in you.

Teach your children to read at an early age, but read with them and encourage them to tell you the stories in their own words. Let the book come to life. I credit my mother for my life-long love for books.

In my corporate life, I have always found that people who read extensively have an edge over those who don’t. They are more informed and have the capacity to see more solutions to issues.

I have a large library at home filled with books that I have read and finished. Some are unfinished with many chapters yet to be read and some are untouched.

Every time I walk past my books I see them like boxes of chocolates; some empty, some boring and some still full of uneaten chocolates. I keep going back for more.

The library is alive and keeps calling me. I hope you will start reading again.