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Guest column: The manifold benefits of reading

MUMBAI:“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” —Dr Seuss.

The above quote is so true. I always feel that there are so many books but very little time to read. Well, I am a voracious reader and read over 30books every year. But my heart always asks for more or, as I say, dilmaange more. I love reading non-fiction books mostly, but sometimes fiction entices me too, especially when it’s a recommendationfrom my elder daughter. 

Books for me are not just a way of looking for solutions to problems we face, but also to discover various undefined issues we might be facing. 

I am always intrigued by the way books come to your rescue when you need help. The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb is a great example. It teaches that the first step of fighting the unexpected is to accept it and not feel victimised. 

A few months ago, I read Bridgital Nation: Solving Technology's People Problem by Roopa Purushothaman and N Chandrasekaran. It presents the hard-hitting reality of our nation and also provides pragmatic technology solutions to address it. 

I have read countless books so far, and each one has taught me so much about things, people, places, life, etc. Here are some of the books that have made a pronounced impact on me and my life:

-    The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
-    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (I read this once every 3 years, and every time, it gives me a different perspective of life depending on the life stage I am in)
-    The complete set of Yuval Harari’s Sapiens and the subsequent books (they give a good understanding of how societies were formed and what the future holds)
-    Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy (reiterates the reality of uncertainties in life with a dose of humour)
-    A book worth mentioning is The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz (Gives first-hand information on growing a company, finding the right talent and dealing with tough decisions on your journey)
-    Antifragile by Nassim Taleb (set a strong resilience-building attitude and process, helped a lot at the time of shaping up the organisation) 

Additionally, I also read Blinkist every day on diverse topics, even those that I wouldn’t read otherwise. That simply adds to my capability to be able to connect the dots across different topics.   Well, the list is too long, and my appetite for reading keeps getting bigger and bigger. I am aware many people might not have the time or inclination towards reading and hence, I ensure that I talk about my recent reads and learnings with my family, friends, colleagues, etc. They can always benefit from the new learnings I share with them. I also use Kindle to specifically highlight parts of the books that I like or find helpful and revisit these from time to time.  
As I look back, I have realised that my reading has helped me learn valuable life lessons, find solutions to problems, strike up interesting conversations and has moulded me into a good story-teller. A good vocab, stronger analytical thinking, improved writing and tranquillity arean added bonus.

Here are some of the books that are on my reading list right now:

-    Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From by Tony Joseph
-    Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull
-    Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
-    A Human Algorithm: How Artificial Intelligence Is Redefining Who We Are by Flynn Coleman 
-    Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity by Jamie Metzl

(The writer is founder & CEO of Logicserve Digital. may not subscribe to his views.)

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