A habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur unconsciously. Habits can be categories as either good habits or bad habits. Bad habits are negative behavior pattern. Examples of bad habits are gambling, smoking, overspending, and procrastination. Whereas, good habits are behavior that is beneficial to one’s physical and mental health and often linked to a high level of discipline and self-control. For example, regular exercise, balanced diet, and reading are good habits.
The quote “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us” from an English poet, John Dryden. It means at first we are in control of our behavior and we can determine which habits we would like to practice. But, when we practice the habits, it will influence our life no matter it is good habit or bad habit. Thus, it is better for everyone to foster the good habits and break the bad habits. And, the best time to correct a bad habit is immediately. If you have a bad habit like gambling, then it is better to quit it now before you become bankrupt due to this bad habit. However, if you have good reading habit, you should continue this practice.
Reading is the process of recognizing the written words and understands their meaning. It is a complex interaction between text and reader. Reader’s prior knowledge, experiences, attitude and language are related to the reading process. People can have their reading through book, magazine, newspaper, and electronic displays such as mobile phones or e-readers. There are many benefits of reading habits.
Reasons why reading habits is good and important:
1. Expose to new things
By reading, we expose ourselves to new knowledge and information. We learn the new ways to solve a problem and new ways to achieve our goals. Besides that, we also can develop our new hobbies through reading. For instance, when read cuisine book, it may influence our interest in cooking. We improve our knowledge in various fields and expand our thinking to wider views. In addition, exploration begins from reading and understanding. For example, a backpacker start his travel experience by reading travelling magazines and understand more about the culture and environment of the country before his exploration from one country to another country.
Self-improvement is the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts. People can improve themselves by practice reading habits. Reading habits help us to build self-confidence. It helps us to become a better person. We improve ourselves by reading newspaper, novels, and historical books. All the books we read will be the assets in our mind. And, reading variety of books also known as one type of investment on ourselves. Through reading, we create a structured path towards a better understanding of ourselves and know the better choices to make in our life.
3. Mental stimulation
Reading helps to keep our brain active and prevent it from losing power. That is because brain is functioned when we are reading. Sometimes, we also need to think and try to understand what we are reading. The reading process is the good way to stimulate our mental and enhance our cognitive mental ability. Thus, reading habits can prevent older age diseases and slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s.
4. Stress reduction
Reading habit is a relaxing hobby. People choose to read when they feel stress and tension from their routine work and daily life. For example, reading a well-written novel can transport the reader to other realms. It can take you away from reality and drain away the pressures. Many people prefer to read a book and forget all their cares and worries for a while as they experiences and enjoy the peace and tranquility through reading.
5. Stronger analytical and thinking skills
When read an amazing mystery novel, we put on analytical and critical thinking skills throughout the reading. We improve our ability by analyzing the plots and try to figure out the developing plot or mystery. Sometimes, the writer use high-context in their writing. As a reader, we need to analyze the deeper meanings behind the story. Every story gives different learning outcomes and it depends on how the reader analyze on it.
6. Boost imagination and creativity
Books are beyond imagination. It likes a huge spider web, where you keep linking to more new things and knowledge. By practicing reading habits, we expand our thinking from a narrow angle to wider angle. We explore a different perspectives to see the things and understand how different actions lead to different results. Reading is vital for children to develop imagination and creativity. Fairy tales in the story book give the children to imagine what going on in the story although it is not happened in reality.
7. Better writing skills
The more you read, the more words you exposure to and the more you understand about one thing. The vocabulary words and knowledge in certain field improve our writing skills. People come out with many ideas when they read more and know more vocabulary. For them, writing an essay within a short time just a piece of cake.
8. Memory improvement
Reading improves the memory and helps to exercise and boost your memory powers. When we read, the reading materials will enter our memory system and when we able to remember back what we reading before. The reading habits improve our memory and enhance our ability to memorize things. For instance, students read the reference books during exam and able to memorize the important points when they are sitting for the examination. Day by day, their memory ability is improved and they able to apply what they learned in their daily life.
Business Growth of Hussain by reading habits
Based on the case study, reading habits help Hussain to grow faster in the business world. Initially, Hussain sold chocolate in the market every morning in order to earn income for his family. Due to his unique habits of reading, his uncle offered a classical book for him to read. After Hussain finished reading the book, he got an offer from an old man to sell that book at double price. For gaining more money, he bought two more copies of the same book and managed to sell them within three hours. He noticed that people are in need of good books. Hence, he decided to sell books along with his chocolate business.
When Hussain realized the profits earned from book sales much better than the chocolate sales, he stopped his chocolate business. He distributed free chocolate as the marketing strategy for his new business of selling books. He was a good reader as well as a good trader. He bought the books from small hawkers or vendors and successfully sold the books with double profits. He still practices his reading habits while selling the books in the market. However, he faced the problem of lacking a shop to keep all the books.
Hussain was an ambitious person. He looked at things differently by believing the book sales can gain more profits in the future. He asked his uncle to convert his father’s steel workshop into a bookshop. He owned his bookshop and it was the first bookshop in that area. This made him became the monopoly in that market since he is the sole bookseller at there. No competitors and competition with others for his business.
Besides that, Hussain knew his products well. He had good knowledge of all the available books in his bookshop. In addition, Hussain able to answer his customers questions regarding any book in his bookshop. This ability increased the customer satisfaction and encouraged their loyalty to his business. Hussain managed to build good relationship with the customers and retain the customers for their next visiting to his bookshop.
Hussain had a kind personality and behaved like a sophisticated person with his teachers. His teachers used to visit his bookshop and became his valuable customers. By helping teachers to buy gifts near his bookshop, he got the inspiration of providing additional products in his bookshop. He expanded his bookshop’s products from books to gifts such as notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. Thus, his business started to satisfy all the schools’ needs and he became popular in many schools.
By signing a contract with his uncle, Hussain get his new stores. He was able to buy in bulk and became the main supplier of books to many schools. Moreover, providing the schools’ needs led him to think of the students’ needs such as bags, ruler, erasers, and sharpeners. Therefore, Hussain converted the bookshop concept to a wider concept where all the schools’, teachers’, and students’ needs were met. He expanded his target markets to teachers and students.
Unfortunately, Hussain lost his bookshop due to a big fire which caused by an electric short circuit. After his secondary education, he restarted his business of supplying educational goods. Hussain employed two assistants to help him run for the bookshop business. His business started picking up and received huge demands from many schools due to the good location of his bookshop where it closed to various schools. The strategic location of his new bookshop was convenient to the customers and be the success factor of his business.
At the same time, Hussain applied to work in the government as a store keeper. He could convince his sponsor to supply the needed office stationery at a low price. Since there was no specific buyer for the stationery with good system in servicing orders and delivering products, Hussain’s bookshop became the only office supplier for the government services. Many government departments, offices, and companies became his valuable customers. Thus, the high growth in demand led four times expansions to its first size of the business.
Due to the need of money to cover the purchase in bulk from China, Hussain decided to sell his bookshop. When Hussain solved his financial problems, he established his new company for office supplies near the bookshop. He informed all his previous customers about his new option of setting up a company which specialized in stationery. He left his job as a store keeper and rented a small office equipped with fax and telephone. His employed two workers and found an appropriate store in a cheap location near the office.
This change reduced the cost to the lowest. He started to buy stationery abroad. By applying JIT techniques, his company’s revenues and profits increased dramatically. The customer service was well managed and the company focused on wholesale orders. Hussain leased back his ex-bookshop at a lower rental price. He reopened the bookshop in an innovative way by providing all the educational products required by individuals.
He closed the new office and relocated it inside the bookshop. The bookshop served individual customers, whereas the office served wholesale orders. By doing so, Hussain’s business served for both types of customers. Moreover, the products were displayed in the bookshop and facilitated the wholesale buyers to see the products physically and test them before taking orders. The advantage of testing the products created value added to his business.
Furthermore, Hussain be the first who use the new technology that just entered into the country. He bought the computer with Windows95 for reducing transaction time. It is a solution to feed all customers’ data, accelerate the delivery of customer’s orders, and get typed invoices. Hussain managed to achieve his dream of converting bookshop into a big company for office supplies. Hussain felt that he could provide new office equipment such as photocopiers, printers, and other related devices.
In conclusion, Hussain’s reading habits help him to go through all the challenges and struggles in his life and make him grow faster in the business world. His business grew from the initial small chocolate business to a big company for office supplies with new technology. Hence, books are forever friends to human. Reading habits change the life of Hussain as well as his business.
All leaders and successful people never stop reading. That is because the day we stop learning is the day we stop growing. There is a quote from an American academic, Charles W. Eliot, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” The reading habits definitely can give benefits and grow us up from day to day. Thus, we should make books be our loyal friend companion.
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