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Bite size rules. But tome size gives you the smarts

Barack Obama
Barack Obama - "books gave me the ability to slow down and get perspective"

SIMON DAVIDSON

PORT MORESBY - In the age of Facebook, tens of millions of people favour the habit of reading bite size information rather than to plough through dense tomes.

To read tomes requires time, intense concentration and mental agility. Literature that is dense and lofty taxes the mind, stretches mental barriers and breaks mental molds.

Such readers become deep readers and deep thinkers because reading shapes mental contours and fuels original and imaginative thinking.

But today’s generation prefers the less taxing and easier route of bite size information.

In one Facebook survey, the greatest engagements (likes, comments and shares) came from short posts, while longer information was ignored. In another survey, photos received thousands of likes and longer articles were snubbed.

These scenarios reflect a dangerous habit in today’s readers. The titans of social media have created algorithms that promote bite size and the masses devour these without regard to the impact such content has on their mental landscape.

According to the CEO Library, all high achievers have one thing in common - they read books, and enjoy it. Inventor Elon Musk learned to build rockets from reading books.

Barack Obama was fundamentally shaped by reading and talks about the indispensable role it played throughout his life. Reading gave him the ability to “slow down and get perspective” and “get in somebody else’s shoes”.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett credits his success to books and reads five to six hours a day. When asked how to prepare for an investing career, Buffett pointed to a stack of manuals and papers and said: “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest”.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates takes vacations with the explicit purpose of reading and learning, and afterwards reviews the best books on his blog.

Innovators read tomes! Among high performers, reading is the one habit that links them all. They prioritise time to dedicate to reading.

The tomes we read today will make us innovative power houses. If you want to be an innovator, read with unwavering consistency.

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Bernard Corden

"Men of power have no time to read, yet men who do not read are unfit for power" - Michael Foot

The late Michael Foot was an acolyte of Montaigne, Swift and Hazlitt and would be turning in his grave with the current crop of malaperts including Scomo the Swedish Chef, Mutton Dutton, Count Xerox Birmingham, Virgil Tracy Pyne, Dan Beckham Tehan and Frank Spencer, aka Christian Porter.

PS. Dan Tehan, our current education minister is incapable of reading without moving his lips.

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