If you want to read more, but don’t know what books will benefit you most, here are a few tips that can help you pick genres that will offer you invaluable knowledge you can use right away. Let’s explore the basic types of books and which one you should go for first.
Books are often broadly classified as either fiction or non-fiction. In the former category you find books such as novels. Non-fiction is everything else – broadly speeking, non-fiction is not a made-up story, but is based on true facts. “Self-help” is a popular non-fiction genre and so are philosophy, science, and biographies.
What books should I read to be smarter?
This is a tough question and the answer is hotly debated. Some people see no difference between genres when it comes to the benefits of reading. If it’s a magnificently well-written book, you will benefit from it whether its a made-up story or a fact-based narrative, they say.
That being said, there are some genres that are traditionally considered superior to others when it comes to the return on the time investment you make by reading.
Science – Popular Science
This genre helps you understand new or past concepts and developments in the fields of science and then make use of them in any way that’s applicable to your life or work.
Whether you’re reading a science book on biochemistry, the environment, or human genetics, the insights you get not only enrich your knowledge but stimulate your curiosity to learn more of this ever-changing, fast-evolving field, and of the world around you.
Science lets you understand and marvel at the natural world and realize your own capacity, origin, and ultimate destiny.
Philosophy and Poetry
These are two completely different genres, but their value is equally tremendous. Discovering the truths stated by great philosophers of the world helps you understand your fellow humans and yourself a little better, and gives you powerful tools you can use in your daily life. From better analytic thinking to a critical approach to problem-solving, philosophy can help you elevate your mind and spirit.
Poetry, the other side of this coin, offers both the pleasure in reading and the thought-provoking content. Poetry encourages you to think, question and evolve.
Poetry is far more than love sonnets (or greeting cards). Poetry is the culmination of human intelligence and creativity. Poetry combines the wonder of language and the power of words with questions, teachings, and imagery no other genre can evoke.
Whether it teaches you something or just makes you smile, philosophy and poetry will sharpen your mind and speak directly to your soul.
History and Biographies
The greatest achievements of the greatest men and women are described in valuable resources we all have access to. They’re called history books. Whether you pick up a biography of a famous person or about the era in which they lived, you will have in the most condensed form the wisdom and knowledge of people, cultures, and civilizations around the world.
History books let you understand what others before you did right, and what they did wrong. Read about what they did that worked well, and you can use that wisdom and power to navigate your own life. If you’re in a place to inspire positive action in people and communities, reading history books is an absolute must. It will not only make you smarter, it also makes you more astute in how you perceive the world and its workings.
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