It’s not what you read, it’s that you’re reading at all.

Bentley Gallo from Bookbastion.net first wrote this quote, ‘It’s not what you read, it’s that you’re reading at all’ in his post ‘8 Reasons Why Adults Should Read Young Adult Fiction’. It blew me away when I read the post and came across this quote in bold. Hence the inspiration for this post.

I personally believe in the power that books have over developing a successful life. It truly does make me happy to see people reading books but I don’t think reading just any old book will benefit you in a positive way completely.


Fictional books are completely fun, and I read them myself still until today but you can only get so much out of a fictional book. Whereas nonfiction books are filled with secrets you can almost only learn if you read them. Books are packed with things schools or even some parents don’t teach you.


What’s my point about what you read?

My point in this video and on my blog post is that it is great that you’re reading but I think if you’re just reading fictional books you’re not going to be gaining enough essential skills to improve your life drastically. Life is an ongoing learning process and if you stop learning after you finish school you’re pretty much going to be just living a mediocre life.


When you start reading books that matter you CAN improve your life drastically. I am an example of someone who has been changed by books and if you don’t believe me then look at the successful entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk who couldn’t put a book down when he was a kid or Warren Buffet who reads a book a day. Bill Gates is a huge advocate of books. All these inspirational people have become successful at what they do partly because they read books.


The proof is there yet the people in the United States who graduated from university will unlikely ever read a book again after graduating.


Let’s say that number was 90% who actually picked up books on a regular basis after graduation. How much better would the world be?


The Facts

It really does make me excited to see people reading since unfortunately according to Statistic Brain and Pew Research only 58% of Americans who have graduated from university will ever pick up a book again in any format the rest of their life. It’s even less for people who never went to university.


No wonder book lovers around the world get excited when they see other people reading since it seems like such a rare occasion.

Does it matter what you read?

‘It’s not what you read, it’s that you’re reading at all’Now, like I said before, I do really get excited and have hope for the world when I see people relaxing or even better studying a book. I’m not going to put this point down and give it a bad name because the fact is, you, who ARE reading are better than 42% of the people out there who don’t.


You can definitely still learn from reading fictional books. In fact, one of the best lines I’ve ever read and remember is from my favorite fantasy series. ‘All Knowledge is worth having.’ from Kushiel’s Dart. This quote has helped shape how I view searching for knowledge. I absolutely love science fiction and fantasy books. But there’s only so much you can learn from these types of books.


It does matter what you read.

Just picking something, anything up and reading it doesn’t mean much if you don’t use what you’ve learned or if it’s not even applicable. You will truly gain much more from what you read if you apply the lessons in your life.


I recently had a conversation about this with Craig Herd on Facebook after posting ‘It’s not what you read, it’s that you’re reading at all’. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: We could argue that it does matter what you read since in my opinion it does but the reality is not enough people do read. so for me, it’s quite exciting to see someone with a book or kindle in their hands. Thoughts?

Craig: My point would be Who is to say what is “good” to read?

Me: I guess that’s up to the personal preference of the people but we could say potentially that there are basic skills everyone can improve upon such as speaking with people or influencing others. There are tons of books to help improve one’s behavior. I’d say those are essential for everyone. A fictional or historical book here and there wouldn’t hurt and as for specific skill sets I guess that’s where it’s up to the people to choose what they read.

Craig: Like your point.

 I’ll say it again. Some books are essential for every human being to read. You may not like reading nonfiction, but believe me, you won’t regret reading these essential life skill books after you’ve devoured them.


Why should you read nonfiction books?

The choice is ultimately up to you whether you pick up a nonfiction book or not. I’m not kidding you though, reading these types of books will help to change your perspective on life. You’ll be able to learn the stuff schools or even most parents don’t teach you in these books.


The essential life skills you need which can be improved by what you read.

-Focus and Self-control

-Perspective Taking


-Making Connections

-Critical Thinking

-Taking on Challenges

-Self-Directed Engaged Learning


All of these are courtesy of one of the books I’m reading now called ‘Mind in the Making’ which is actually about children’s development but can be applied to adults as well.


What would the world be like if everyone could and did read?

As this is just a hypothetical question my answer is just as hypothetical I’ll just give it a go. Since reading has changed my life for the better, I assume that if everyone else were to read something similar would happen. Here’s a list of the first 10 things that came to my mind.

  1. People would be more optimistic
  2. People would be more understanding of others.
  3. People would be smarter.
  4. People would be more inventive.
  5. People would solve more problems rather than causing them.
  6. Economies around the world would improve.
  7. More jobs would be created.
  8. The world would be more peaceful.
  9. People would take better care of their health.
  10. The environment would be cleaner.


Reading may not be the solution to all our worldly problems but I do believe it’ll bring us closer to peace. The cause of big problems is usually solved by small adjustments in society.


It IS what you read.

There’s much more to the story than what I’ve written in this short post but I implore you to join me in my mission to spread the importance of gaining knowledge through reading so that you can empower other people to make impactful changes in their lives.


How can you help?

  • Subscribe to this blog
  • Share this post
  • Read books every day
  • Implement what you’ve learned
  • Encourage others to read by example


My nonfiction book recommendations:

Turn Right by Inez Natalia

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan

Einstein Never Used Flashcards by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Find Your Why by Simon Sinek


Check out Bentley’s Blog BookBastion.


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As always, thank you so much for reading! Always remember to share what you’ve learned with the people you care most about.