IT is Harry S Truman who said: “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
I discovered the gift of reading in my 30s and I can’t imagine life without books.
Evidence points to the fact that there is a global decline in reading, particularly among the young people. Apparently, the young believe reading is only necessary for passing examinations and that books are for old people.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The confident ignorance on social media arguments points to the need for all sorts of serious reading, particularly by the young generation. WhatsApp forwards are no substitutes for reading news in this fake news age. And audio books are not books at all.
Reading is fundamentally important for informed voters and the health of democracy.
Writing in The Week, author and politician, Shashi Tharoor @shashiTharoor endorses Margaret Atwood’s warning that: “If there are no young readers and writers there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead and democracy will be dead as well.”
In this age of instant gratification, likes, X posts, reposts and information overload, we are perhaps the most ignorant generation since creation began.
- In Conversation With Trevor: Munyati: Sports, arts are viable careers
- In Conversation with Trevor: Bango: ‘Street wisdom’ shaped me
- In Conversation With Trevor : Diplomatic posting was a mistake: Chihombori-Quao
- I’ve been a victim of racism in classical music: Mhambi
Our gated social media ghettos fool us into believing we are informed.
I am dyslexic and so reading and writing require some effort. I read for many reasons including continuously improving myself, growing my vocabulary and sharpening my writing skills.
In 1989 when I was employed as the Financial Gazette assistant editor, one of my lecturers was convinced I would fail because I could not “write a paragraph to save” my life. I am sure he would be proud of what reading and forcing myself to write has done over the past 30 years.
Reading has changed me. It has challenged and grown me. Reading has expanded my world and opened vistas I never knew existed.
I am generally a curious person and being able to feed this part of me through reading has been a pleasurable journey.
The @TrevorBookClub recommendations have been an important source of the books I read. I am also delighted that the book section is a favourite part of the In Conversation with Trevor for many people.
Below are my book recommendations for 2024 if you have not yet read them.
I read the Bible about twice a day and make an effort to read it from Genesis to Revelation once a year.
- Born in Blackness — by Howard French
- Team of Rivals — by Doris Goodwin
- What we owe each other — by Manouche Shafik
- How Democracies Die — by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
- The Four Agreements — by Don Miguel Ruiz
- 12 Rules for Life — by Jordan Peterson
- Elon Musk — by Walter Isaacson
- ZERO to ONE — by Peter Thiel
- Life after Google — by George Gilder
- The Art of Possibility — by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander
- Think Again — by Adam Grant
- The Narrow Corridor — by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
- Difficult Conversations — by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen
- Disorder (Hard Times in the 21st Century) — by Helen Thompson
I hope you make reading part of your life from 2024. I tend to read a lot over the holidays and when travelling. Books make an important part of my shopping list.
I would love to hear what books you are reading to add to my list.
Please drop me an email marked TrevorBookClub to [email protected]
Thank you for your support in 2023.
We are taking a long break so that we are back in 2024 recharged and revitalised.