“I read myself out of poverty long before I worked myself out of poverty.” (Walter Anderson)
Information is power, and there is no better way to get information than to have a healthy love of the written word. When I read I open myself to learn about things in a few minutes that it would take me years to learn through experience. Reading is the door to success in my world.
When I was in elementary school there was a public library branch that I passed as I walked to and from school. My school had programs to encourage more reading, and I was a regular participant. I remember starting in the children’s section and working my way through the various letter-based books (Letters A through E or F were assigned to books based on their difficulty level). Some were story books, while others were informational, non-fiction books.
In the center of the first room of the library were two large tables. As I progressed into the upper grades, one of those tables became a favorite place for me to stop on the way home to do some homework. I really loved visiting that library.
When I reached High School, and later College, I had far more reading to do for my school work, but I also discovered reading novels for enjoyment. Some of my earliest reads were Jaws, The Deep, Carrie and works by Edgar Allen Poe. In the many years since, I have retained a love for reading fiction, although I don’t always make enough time for it.
These days I try to mix business books, inspirational works, and self-help books. I find that I quite enjoy constantly expanding the horizon of knowledge and experience that I get when diving into a good book.
Now, as many of you know, I am a very old-school person. When I say I am reading a book, I mean something with a binding, and paper pages. I do read quite a lot on line as well. I find both to be relaxing and educational, but especially when it comes to a work of fiction, I am far more comfortable with a good book in hand.
Education is the key for many to rise up from humble beginnings. What Anderson is saying with this quote is that reading, and building your own education, is the surest way to find more opportunities in life and to bring yourself up.