Reading as an Approach to Learning


Reading books, even those that are outside one’s field, is important for multiple reasons. Reading a diverse set of literature offers access to an expanded range of perspectives and knowledge. In order to be intelligent, sharp, and a critical thinker, diverse perspectives are necessary on a wide range of topics. This knowledge can then be converted into an opportunity as reading at a high level “not only improves your chances of success, but it opens up an infinity variety of avenues of success for your choosing” (Zimmerman, 2012, p. 3). By having a wide knowledge base, one has a greater awareness of the world, which generally offers more choices in life, both personally and professionally.

This is also supported by McMinn (2015), who suggests taking a holistic approach to learning, meaning expanding one’s focus and disciplines of knowledge. He goes on to discuss personal constructs or frames through which each person sees the world. These are formed by 1) unique personal experiences, upbringing, and ideology and 2) information received from outside sources. The personal constructs “come with a set of presuppositions and assumptions that anesthetize the mind” (McMinn, 2015, p. 30). Critiquing the lenses through which one sees the world is difficult but very healthy to do, allowing for potential growth, understanding others, embracing diversity, and sometimes solidifying one’s own perspective.

Planned Books

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinkingby Malcolm Gladwell Discusses decision-making and mental processes in a popular psychology format touching on many areas ranging from sports to behavioral economics.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peopleby Stephen Covey A well-known self-development and growth book offering a holistic and integrated approach to solving personal and professional issues
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warmingby David Wallace-Wells The book discusses the consequences of global warming and climate change, offering a detailed and scientific explanation on how things will progress.
Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us Allby Paul A. Offit The book focuses on misinformation surrounding vaccines, even prior to the pandemic, and medically discusses the outcomes of vaccine hesitancy in the modern world.
War and Peaceby Leo Tolstoy A historical fiction which is considered a masterpiece of the classic literature world. Containing many philosophical, political, social, and religious discussions in the context of society in Imperial Russia, this book would be optimal to read once receiving a full education and having a better understanding of the world.
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Storyby Nikole Hannah-Jones A history non-fiction focusing on the history of slavery in America but seeking to introduce a new perspective as part of the critical race theory approach, potentially helping to understand modern race relations.


McMinn, D. (2015). Lifelong learning. iPlace Press.

Zimmerman (2012). Reading – The hidden success factor.

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