You are what you read

What we read has a tremendous influence on how we think and behave.

When I was in junior college, my General Paper (English) teacher told us not to reach rubbish magazines like beauty magazines and gossips but to read what she considers to be quality publications like National Geographic, Economist and New Scientist. Reading "quality publications" made me dizzy because I found them incredibly boring so it was disappointing but not surprising that I scored a C.

Nowadays, information can be accessed online on e-zines and blogs. There's an infinite amount of information out there to be read. What do we choose to read?

I noticed that content targeted at men are have drastically different content compared to those targeted at women. Men's magazines typically have a great deal of information about health, fitness and sex while women's magazines contain a mostly beauty-related articles and gossip. When women's magazines mention health and work, the content tends to be amateurish and basic. It's no wonder more man than women are high-achievers at work.

The type of information people read is reflected in conversations with them. From the my school days till now, I observed that men tend to be more informed about current affairs, technology, financial matters while women tend to talk more about TV, movies, gossip and relationships. Perhaps men and women are wired differently, or maybe we have been conditioned differently: the content we read is one of the things that affect how we think and behave.

If you think my assessment is incorrect, go look up some blogs that feature mainly gossip and blogs that feature mainly financial matters. You will find more women on the gossip blogs and more men on the financial blogs.

Reading helps you become more confident. You won't be thinking I don't know what to say or What the person would say will be too complicated for me to understand. Whenever I speak with someone who is great at their work or influential, I'll always find that they read alot in their subject of expertise or read a wide range of topics. Not one - not one - of them would claim to dislike reading. I highly doubt they are lying. (I suppose there might be some who don't read at all but I've not met them).

There are many things we learn though conversation but your circle of friends is limited by time and space. Writers/authors may not have the time to talk to you one-to-one or they may have passed on a hundred years ago but through their writing they are able to communicate their thoughts.

Reading opens your mind to a new point of view. I'm not saying we should believe everything we read, neither would I recommend that you believe everything you see, hear or touch. A reader shared on my Facebook page that a lady insisted that he has too much sex because she read in some Singapore Chinese magazine that not having a pink penis indicates that. So, reading quality publications is important. What you read determines the type of person you become.

Here are the 26 books I read between 1 Sep 2009 and 31 Aug 2010. I didn't read as many books as I did last year because I've been writing more than I read this year. [The 38 books I read last year]

No stars or less than 3 stars: can do without reading them
3 or 4 stars: worth reading if you are interested in the topic
5 stars: must read!!

1. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Malcolm Gladwell) *****
2. The Psychology of Romantic Love: Romantic Love in an Anti-Romantic Age (Nathaniel Branden) *****
3. Financial Infidelity: Seven Steps to Conquering the #1 Relationship Wrecker (Bonnie Eaker Weil) ****
4. Invisible Scars (Catherine Dowda) ****
5. The Lies About Money (Ric Edelman) ***
6. Beat the Market: Invest by Knowing What Stocks to Buy and What Stocks to Sell (Charles D. Kirkpatrick) ****
7. The Tao of Warren Buffett: Warren Buffett's Words of Wisdom: Quotations and I... (Mary Buffett) ***
8. Rich Dad's Retire Young, Retire Rich (Rich Dad) (Robert T. Kiyosaki)
9. Commodities Demystified (Scott Frush) ***
10. Warren Buffet Speaks (Jane Lowe)
11. The Parable of the Pipeline: How Anyone Can Build a Pipeline of Ongoing Resid... (Burke Hedges)
12. Feng Shui for Apartments Buyers - Home Owners (Joey Yap) ****
13. BaZi- The Destiny Code: Your Guide to the Four Pillars of Destiny (Joey Yap) ***
14. Hypnotic Writing: How to Seduce and Persuade Customers with Only Your Words (Joe Vitale) ****
15. The E-Code: 33 Internet Superstars Reveal 43 Ways to Make Money Online Almost... (Joe Vitale)
16. Twitter Power: How to Dominate Your Market One Tweet at a Time (Joel Comm)
17. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (Dalai Lama) ****
18. Boringology: 77 Nerdy, Bizarre and Bewildering Scientific Projects that Just ... (Robert Dobson) ***
19. The Hidden Power of Dreams: A Guide to Understanding Their Meaning (Robin Royston) ***
20. An Introduction to Rock Climbing: From First Steps and Safety to Learning Rop... (Malcolm Creasey)
21. 101 Ways to Have a Great Day at Work (Stephanie Goddard Davidson)
22. Stimulated!: Habits to Spark Your Creative Genius at Work (Andrew Pek) ***
23. Fish! for Life: A Remarkable Way to Achieve Your Dreams (John Christensen)

24. The Pearl (John Steinbeck) *****
25. Cannery Row (John Steinbeck) ***
26. Love in the time of cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)*


Anonymous said...

Have you ever read "The Joy of Sex"?

Or you know it all?!

Anonymous said...

What about "kamar Sutra" or is it too far fletched yoga! Too much contortion and stretching of your body!

Anonymous said...

Do you practice what you read?

E.g. Follow the "Karma Sutra" like a DIY manual?

Anonymous said...

Gosh, you don't read Chinese books at all? Is that right?

When SGers go overseas, White people are amazed to learn that many Singapore born ethic Chinese are very poor and some of them are incapable of speaking, reading, and writing the Chinese language. Even Mormon church preachers ( and you do see lots of them overseas ) can speak better Chinese than SG ethic Chinese.

Whites often ask "Don't you people have any respect for your father's or grand father's culture and language"?

When nowadays even USA looks to China to pull her out of recession by encouraging the Chinese to buy more American goods, when there are more millionaires in China than any other place on earth, when there are more car sales in China than USA, Whites are far more interested to learn the Chinese language than anything! On Youtube you can see many Whites speaking and singing Chinese songs. Money surely talks, and sings too!

Anonymous said...

We thought you are unemployed as you so proclaimed in the past.

Obviously you are not, otherwise you won't be reading "101 Ways to Have a Great Day at Work"!

Anonymous said...

People say Dalai Lama is a hypocrite, he likes to play with small boys and brought misery and slavery to the Tibetan people. Even today, they still depend on CIA for funding, and living in India!

Does his book teach people to attend happiness by regressing into a childish being?

Yu-Kym said...

I've not read The Joy of Sex or Kamasutra, so I've not practised the positions in the Kamasutra. I don't always believe or believe everything that I read. I apply the knowledge and do what works for me.

I can read and write Chinese but not at an advanced level. I do not represent the Singaporean Chinese population. I'm of mixed ethnicity so I only speak English at home. Just because Caucasians are interested in the Chinese language doesn't mean I have to be. There are other things that I would rather spend my time on.

I wrote that I quit my job in Feb 2010. The term "unemployed" refers to people who are not working and actively seeking work. I consider myself self-employed now. I read that book while I was holding a full-time job. Anyway, there's no harm in reading about rocket science even if I'm not a rocket scientist, is there?

The book teaches nothing about regressing into a childish being. He encourages the opposite: growing our knowledge and understanding one another.

Junjie said...

Ahh, a fellow Joe Vitale fan? :)

By the way, in the old days revealing so much of your Bazi info (via your posts on fengshui) was considered very disadvantageous to you. Just saying... :)

Yu-Kym said...

I had to search "Joe Vitale". I didn't know who he is :P I can understand why it's not good to reveal Bazi info. But I didn't reveal mine in my fengshui posts. I didn't state what each facing direction means for me so you can only guess.