Knowledge does not come out of nowhere. The right knowledge doesn’t anyways. Obviously, humans cannot help but learn. If I miss my train, because I have left my apartment too late, I have learned to leave earlier next time, if I hear about a new town, I have learned a new geographical fact.
But when we follow certain values as feminism, it is important to stay informed and gain knowledge in more than those areas, which we just encounter by chance.
Reading is one of the most important things one can do. Actually, I am not even only speaking about feminism, but also of every other area of self-improvement, success or personal development.
I am happy to see that more and more people start reading again. I spend much of my time in trains and I am very content to see that at least 50% do not stare into their smartphones, but have a book in their hands (I’ll let E-books pass as real books for the moment).
However, reading alone isn’t enough. It depends on what you read to make the difference to you and to the world.
So this is my Sunday motivation for you: can the crap.
Can free newspapers, bad magazines and even worse trivial literature. No, no, don’t misunderstand me, not everything that is so harshly defined “trivial” is bad. There are many fictional books, fantasy books, science-fiction books, that are greatly written, display a lot of wisdom, let you identify with one of the characters and learn by that. There are great works of that sort that contribute to your imagination and creativity. You gotta be careful what you call trivial!
What I mean, when I say that, are for example many of the books “written for women”. Yes, here we go again. The social narrative par- excellence with the sulky, non-communicative woman, who has never learned to open her mouth and fight for what she wants, but is pitied and “uuh”-d and “ooh”-d throughout the book just to miraculously get the “perfect man of her dreams” in the end.
It’s nice to read that every once in a while when you really aren’t in the mood to think (and you don’t have to think, because you can tell after the first 3 lines who is the “bad” guy – career oriented; the”bad” girl – career oriented, sexy and, mostly, in shape; the “good” guy – adorable, superhandsome, superprotective, guy that turns up out of the blue; and the “good” girl – mostly a bit overweight, timid, no ambitions, but SO lovely with SUCH a good heart). – I’m having a bit of a problem with those stereotypes. As you may have noticed.
HOWEVER. Back to the point. If you are a reading person (and I sincerely hope you are) do not let yourself be discouraged by the not so great books out there, but keep on reading.
It doesn’t have to be self-improvement books, neither philosophical, not philosophical theory, no manuals, no lessons. Every book that is written well and by an intelligent author will provide you with helpful knowledge. The more you read the more you can store. You never know when what will come in handy. You never know which role-models you might find in one of these next books you’re reading. You’ll never know which inspirations and motivations you can gain.
Don’t stop reading.
Some of my suggestions of many different genres :
- One of the 4 books of the “Books that get you going – series”
- Tintenherz – Cornelia Funke
- The Alchemist – Paul Coelho
- Und sagte kein einziges Wort – Heinrich Böll
- Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of piligrimage – Haruki Murakami
- Die Physiker – Dürrenmatt
Reading isn’t dying out, despite of what many people proclaimed some years ago. To develop, it is in fact more important than ever. Don’t be fooled by the incredible amount of books that is out there – unfortunately, many of them are crap (at least, if you want to learn from them). But there are some wonderful stars. Enjoy every minute you get to spend reading and it will be spent well. Your time is valueable – make the books you read valueable too!