reading is a necessity

While I was growing up, my favorite bookstore had these beautiful set of bookmarks and they would always give a few of them as complimentary gifts whenever I purchased books from there. Taking in the beautiful smell of new books and collecting these bookmarks filled me with great joy. In fact, I still have all of them to this date. 

One of these bookmarks had a quote on them by Desiderius Erasmus, a scholar form the 16th century, that really fascinated and inspired me:

“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

— Desiderius Erasmus

Over the past few years, I have become a huge critic of hoarding and collecting. But if there’s one area where I hoard and collect without any guilt or shame, it is books. While I have strengthened my muscle with respect to detaching from physical books and letting them go while moving states and countries and on other occasions, I have come to realize that books bring incredible value and joy to my life. In a way, they’re my lifeline, whether it be in my professional or personal pursuits. 

And so, if there’s one thing that I openly encourage you to hoard and collect, and freely spend your money on, even if you’re a natural saver like me, it’s books (and of course any beautiful bookmarks that you come across!). 

Books only give, they don’t take anything away from you. And the best part is that you can buy some of the best books out there, whether it be literature, philosophy, spiritual or business genre, only for pennies or a few dollars on Amazon, Audible, and other book retailers such as Half Price Books. 

Unlike other material things that you crave for, books are essential in your life. They come under your “needs,” not your “wants.” As Ryan Holiday points out, you must forget money entirely when it comes to books. Reading is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Money spent on books is not money splurged, but money invested in yourself, your success and your life.

If there’s a book worth having, a book that you think can make a significant difference in your perspective, your work, your relationships or your life, don’t spend any time thinking. Instead, just buy it — doesn’t matter if it’s digital or physical — and start reading or listening to it right away. Don’t let money, procrastination and indecision come in your way.

If you’re in the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge, and are committed to refining your philosophy and developing yourself, start building your personal library. Start buying books that interest you without thinking twice. Always remember, exceptional leaders are not only avid readers and learners, but they’re also quick decision-makers.