Top Ten Life Skills We’ve Gained From Reading

It’s been a while since we’ve shared any wisdom in the form of a top ten post. Our previous posts on how to make more time to read and how to convince people to read your favorite books made us feel so helpful since we were sharing such practical, applicable tools with our readers. Of course at the time, not many people were reading our blog, so our advice has mostly gone unheeded. But today we’re back with a new top ten! These are some skills we’ve gained from reading that we hope you find relatable! Chances are that if you’re a reader you’ve probably already gained these skills. However, even if you’re not a reader, this list will definitely act as a motivator for you to become one!

1. How to speed-read on a deadline

Ever had a library book due in just 24 hours? Sure, you’ve had the book out for weeks now, but you made the brilliant decision to read every book *besides* this one ,until you’re reminded that the book is due the next day. Well, suddenly you have the capability to finish a 750-page book in 24 hours. You may not sleep, and you might have to skip school or work that day, but you got this. You know how to manage your deadlines.

2. How to Alphabetize

People assume remembering your ABCs is easy because you learned it as a child. They are wrong. If you’ve ever had to alphabetize something you realize that remembering A-E is easy, but no one knows where T falls in the alphabet. That is unless you’re a reader. After browsing books in bookstores and libraries for many years, you get pretty good at figuring out where you can find your favorite authors on the shelves. (And if you happen to mentally sing your ABCs a few times as you search, no one has to know.)

That moment when you can’t find your book even though you’re in the right letter section

3. How to market a product to an unwilling audience

So you’ve just read the most amazing book, right. Now you just need someone to read it. As book lovers, we get really good at figuring out the proper way to pitch a book. Sure your friend dislikes fantasy and doesn’t want to read dystopian books, but they do like romance, and there is that one scene in this book where there’s some snuggling and a kiss. As long as you don’t mention all the magic and death that happens on every other page, you can convince them that this is the perfect read for them.

4. How to make decisions

You enter the bookstore and are greeted with several hundred books you want to read. But you have a budget and limited space on your bookshelves, so you can only leave the store with 3 books. It really forces you to make decisions and pick only 12 books, and put back the 29 others that you refrained from buying.

5. How to overthrow a government body

Ever get really displeased with the people who are in charge of governing your country? Well, books have given us in-depth step by step instructions on how to get rid of those pesky politicians! A little bit of rebellion on Monday means a peaceful future where you chill with one of your three love interests on Tuesday.

6. How to be focused

We all know what it’s like to be fully immersed in a book that you’re reading. So hyper-focused that you don’t notice when your mom calls you over to help her out or when your friends try to get you to hang out with them. This laser focus helps out in other areas of life too. Like maybe being super focused on work so that you can finish all the more quickly. All so that you can go home earlier and continue reading that book, of course!

7. How to carry heavy loads

You call it too many books, I call it weight training. As bookworms, we all are obligated to carry 3-55 books on us at all times and let’s just say that Ray Bradbury’s extended edition completed works (with commentary of course) weighs quite a lot. We just trudge through the world gaining knowledge and building muscles. People would be crazy to think they can cross us!

8. How to turn every conversation back to books

Talking to people is always a chore when you know you could be reading instead. But reading has taught us that it’s always okay to hijack a conversation and start talking about a book that you just read/have been reading. Books are always telling us how great readers are, and it’s our duty to let everyone know that too!

9. How to be emotionally invested in other people’s lives

We, of course, have to clarify that these aren’t real people’s lives that you’re invested in. But that doesn’t matter! The amount of energy that you’ve invested worrying about whether or not your OTP will become canon has just helped you become a more empathetic person! Sure, right now the people you’re expending all this energy on don’t exist, but someday you might care this much about a real person’s relationships. Don’t let the fact that you’ve been reading for years and this day hasn’t come yet make you think otherwise.

10. How to become an expert in fields you didn’t know existed until yesterday

You just picked up a great book, and the main character aspires to be the greatest detective that ever lived. In the past, you knew nothing about detective work, but now you can determine the time of death based on the color of the curtains in the victim’s apartment. You know everything about solving mysteries from how to determine if a suspect is lying (facial tics, obviously) and when is the best time for the great reveal to show that you knew who it was all along. You’re an expert now. The police will be coming to you for advice soon.

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What are some useful skills you’ve gained by reading? What ship have you invested way too much energy into? Can you relate to any of the things we’ve learned by reading?

40 thoughts on “Top Ten Life Skills We’ve Gained From Reading

  1. This is a very fun post! I totally agree with no. 10 (although I can’t say that that applies to me). Stories sometimes are like wikihow but not in a direct way. From solving a case, killing somebody (morbid but…yeah), escaping from some place weird, to tearing down an entire kingdom, you name it. There are so many skills you can learn just from reading books.

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    1. Yess, exactly! Sometimes some of the weird bookish acquired knowledge slips out at the wrong time, like when you maybe by mistake mention oh hey I do know the best way to incapacitate a grown man when talking to your friends. But books give over *so much* weird info! It’s hard to keep it all in 😂 Thank you for reading!! 💕💕

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    1. Hahaha, yessss. Anytime there’s any type of deadline I become a speed reading *master*. It’s a bit of a bummer that that attitude isn’t always present when I’m doing schoolwork. But oh well 😅 Personally, I think number 5 is the MOST applicable ones. I figure that the rest of them most people won’t really be able to relate to 😂

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  2. How to Alphabetize
    Welp, online shopping is depriving me of a vital life skill
    No joke I had to write down the alphabet for a thing this Saturday, for a calligraphy, and I had to look at the reference sheet to be sure I got it right. And then I made a Happy Birtday card

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂 I don’t think it’s online shopping’s fault! I actually included that skill to make fun of myself because I still have to sing my ABCs on a regular basis! Knowing all the letters is one thing, but randomly knowing where to find a specific letter in the alphabet is a completely different ability. And that’s so cool that you do calligraphy! I’ve always wanted to learn!

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  3. This is such a fun post! I wish I could speed read though, that is one skill I have not learnt (yet). I relate to the focused part, I’ve almost missed my stop several times on my commute because of a book! 😀

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    1. Reading while commuting is great because it feels like the time passes so quickly, but I’ve also had the situation where I’ve almost missed a stop 😂 Speed reading would also come in handy when reading on the train, now that I think about it. Imagine being able to finish a whole book in one commute!

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    1. Thanks, Nicole! We had so much fun writing this post! Number 3 may or may not have been based on real events. Although with me it usually happens at the library, but that’s just a small detail. I’m terrible at setting bookish limits for myself! That’s why I’ve never gone on a book ban of any kind. I knew it wouldn’t work!

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  4. These are so true! 😂 I’m really feeling the speed-reading one right now, since I have a ton of library books due next week that I have to finish lol. And those skills of marketing books to an unwilling audience and turning every conversation back to books has turned out to be pretty valuable for me, since I work in a bookstore! 😉 And, you know, knowing how to overthrow a government is always helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found these so relatable! There’s honestly nothing more stressful than speed-reading so that you can return a book to a library before it’s due. I’ve been in that position way more times than is good for my health.

      Here I was thinking that marketing books to unwilling audiences and constantly talking about books were skills that were nuisances to others, but you proved me wrong! I love how working in a book store turns those skills into a paying job!

      And keeping up to date on the best way to topple a government is something that way too many people slack on. It’s such a useful life skill!

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  5. The last two were my favorite… but actually *tongue in cheek* these are all life skills all bookworms learn for sure! I e totally become an expert on so many subjects just from books… and kdramas. Haha research has never been so Fun! 😉 And now I can totally fake caring about any real life relationship after fangirling over my favorite OTPs. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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    1. I think if I had to choose one, my favorite skill gained from reading would have to be learning new things! When I was younger it was always fun to freak people out with my obscure and strange tidbits of knowledge 😂

      Fake caring requires soo much effort, but it must be done! If not people might want to ask us why we don’t care and then we wouldn’t have time to invest in fangirling over our OTPs 😂

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  6. This was amazing! I can definitely say the same and put all these points on skills I aquired by just reading. 😁 specifically stay focused, as I have hyperactivity 1.5 yrs old kid who screams or listen rhyme or watch TV while I read. And how to buy more books in less money, where I can get discounted books.

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      1. I usually buy from Amazon. But if the price is too high and I want to wait till it’s lower, I add those book on keepa.com that site is useful. It will send me notifications. Suppose I set a limit like let me know when book 50-60℅ price, it will notify me whenever book is around that price. Try it. It even show price history when a particular product has lowest price and how much.

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  7. This is a great post, very perceptive and all of this is so true haha. Reading has greatly improved many aspects of my life, I can read faster, I’m able to infer meaning of unfamiliar words, my grammar works subconsciously is what I can think of off the top of my head. 🙂

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    1. Thank you!! ❤❤

      Reading really does help grow so many other skills! Inferring the meaning of words has always been one that I’m grateful for, especially because it always ended up helping in school. I’m still not the best at grammar in my own writing, but maybe I just need to read a little bit more 😅😂

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    1. Thanks so much, Caitlin! We had no idea if people were going to like this post or not, but we had such a fun time writing it, we just went for it!

      You’re so sweet! 💕 It means so much to hear that you appreciate our blog that much! 💗

      I’d honestly be worried if you had most of these skills! 😂

      And you’re a wonderful potato! I’m so glad to have made a friend like you through blogging! ❤

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  8. oh my I love this post so much 😂 we bookworms are so talented ahah. I’ve definitely become an expert at carrying heavy loads of books, especially on the rare occasions I get to visit bookshops, because I always somehow end up with tons and tons and tons of books in my hands hahahaha.

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  9. I can relate to all of these. ESPECIALLY carrying a heavy load of books. I would check out huge stacks of books from the library. Some other skills I’ve learned is how to sneak books into the house and to judge purses by the type of book I can fit into it (the Kindle purse, the Mass Market Paperback purse, the big fantasy book purse, etc.).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Carrying heavy loads of books from the library practically defined my childhood! I once even destroyed a bag because I tried carrying too many books, and it couldn’t handle the load! The strap ripped off!

      And while I don’t wear purses enough to have developed the skill necessary to judge which kind of books can fit inside them, I sort of have this skill when I’m packing for a vacation. I’m one of those people that brings physical books whenever I go someplace, and I’ve gotten really good at fitting books into my luggage and carry on, while being mindful of weight limits for both planes and my poor back!

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