To What Extent do Books that You Read Affect Your Life?


“Books are good enough in their own way but they are a poor substitute for life.”- Robert Louis Stevenson

Back in 2011, I met a young man at an entrepreneurship-themed event. He was an entrepreneur then and I guess he is still and will be, considering how much he poured his passion and hardwork to his entrepreneurial undertakings. Megain Widjaja, so they called him, ditched his comfortable life and challenged himself to really rely on his own self capability. He seemed to be an offspring from an affluent family. I found it out after he told the entire audience, saying he obtained the first funding from his own father. He of course managed to grab the money somewhat effortlessly but with a catch: he had to pay the investor back no matter what. He intended to do it as best as he could, just like a pro.
As Megain sat and talked eloquently on the stage, he told his failure and success story. With the thick-framed glasses and fancy, casual yet costly attire, he looked so erudite, as erudite as a Harvard University librarian perhaps. No one would say,”I don’t believe you read a lot.”
And along came the question from the audience on what they (the keynote speakers) including him read at the beginning of the day to learn what the world is up to. Anyone could guess he read those marketing books, this best selling motivational self-improvement book. But what he read was apparently beside the most significant point.
I really wished I had the shameless courage to give a standing ovation after he spoke,”Reading books a lot is just not enough. You have to discuss their contents, argue with your friends around the ideas you just read in a book or any reading materials, and learn what impacts the books may have on you after done with the reading.” Are we improving ourselves or staying just the same? It is time to ponder.

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