The perks of reading are infinite. It changes the way you look at the world and your perception of life and happiness. Each one of us has admired that one friend who carried a Sidney Sheldon in his bag during his college days. But somewhere between the admiration and our failed reading journey comes a bunch of Romantic fiction and Mystery novels. Biographies and autobiographies almost always lose out on beginning readers simply because of the size of the book. It is one such genre which a lot of people refrain from simply because they are of the opinion that it would be mundane. But as someone who is still new to reading, Biographies opened my mind to multiple dimensions and reading became something I started looking forward to, rather than something that suits a resume.
So here is my attempt to make you pick a biography the next time you want a companion with your coffee on an evening. Here are my 8 Reasons on why your next book should be a biography.
Helps build a reading habit.
If you are someone who believes that biographies are only for the pros then the next few lines are definitely going to bust that myth. In fact reading a biography could kick start your reading and take it to places where you can finally add the “Voracious” ahead of it.
When you read about a renowned person you often end up discussing him or her to the people around you. This joy of bringing new information into conversations will involuntarily turn you to books. In addition, you will start googling a lot of articles on this eminent personality which in itself are signs that reading is not as hard as you suppose it to be.
Your areas of interest grow.
As you read about an individual you will inevitably read about the people they have come across and the equation of their relationships. With Google to help you out, you now know a lot more than just the success story of one individual. Biographies have changed my perception about leaving technology to the geeks. With a few books on artificial intelligence and technology in my wish list today, these topics are something I keenly look forward to reading about in the future.
The topics which were too esoteric could suddenly become your mainstream.
Motivation is probably the most predictable one on this list simply because it can get you out of your bed every single day. But biographies give you motivation not just as a single spike but as something which helps you set realistic goals in life and accept your shortcomings.
Every good biography gives you a backdrop of the economic and social scenario of the country your protagonist resides in. History as a subject which seemed so boring back in your school days now starts firing a few neurons in your brain when you recall the incidents that shaped the world. You will start figuring out why countries are the way they are and how life has been different in various parts of the world at different times. Don’t be surprised if Youtube now starts recommending “World war” or “The economic crisis”.
You will start figuring out how success happens.
As someone who has watched Biopics and read Biographies of the same individual, it would be fair to say that Biopics generally look to glorify and inspire rather than present reality as it is. The journey is tinkered to keep the screenplay lively and engaging, leaving the audience misinformed or “partially” informed.
Success is a lot more than an individual thinking out of the box. The surroundings and opportunities that present itself play a vital cog in that individual’s vision. Just to cite an example, Internet and its opportunities started to reveal itself in the US way back in 1994 and Jeff Bezos was in fact anointed to spearhead its potential by his then employer. It was this exercise that led to the e-commerce revolution and the powerhouse that Amazon is today.
On the other hand, it can be safely assumed that even a fair majority of us millennials, even from the metropolitan cities of India, got our first PC’s in the first decade of the 20th century. It is for this simple reason that expecting revolutionary innovations from a country that is still finding its feet with technology would be a tad unfair.
Also, this is one of the many reasons why even Indian Cinema hasn’t still moved on from love stories. An Alien invasion or Robot Apocalypse is simply not relatable to a young Indian who is still figuring out how to get married to the one he or she loves.
Your perception of success changes.
After reading success stories of people from different walks of life you will observe how different success can mean to two different individuals. How success is impossible to fit into a box. How success is so similar but yet so different.
You will see the price these individuals pay to stay at the top of their game and the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of how success happens.
You get to live the life of a highly successful man.
One of the reasons a book is called a “Man’s best friend” is because it takes you on a journey of your own creation.
The opportunity to have this same journey through the life of another successful individual is another blissful experience in itself.
You marvel at the changing world.
At the end of every biography, you sit back and admire how much one man’s vision can actually change the world. The pessimism to technology gets replaced with an enthusiasm to change. You would even sit back and wonder how the next set of Zuckerbergs and Buffets might be slowly finding their in feet in some part of the globe.
Leaving you with my recommendation for your first biography.