Despite the kind of cheesy title, I actually really liked this book. The Author, Mr. Hedges was not a big reader, but reluctantly decided to read a self-help book that his sister-in-law had recommended. This book not only inspired him to read more books, it actually inspired him to change his life, to make the changes necessary for him to grow rich, both materially and spiritually.
Reading self-help books, although very helpful for many people, is also considered kind of déclassé. This is ironic since traditionally, studying the humanities (including Literature) was considered a form of self-help, a respected way to understand humanity and oneself.
This is something Mr. Hedges touches upon when he lists a number of historical self-help books such as Pilgrims Progress and Walden. Both are popular self-help books, that are also considered Literature.
The author also stresses the importance of self-education through reading, and gives some historical examples, including:
– Abraham Lincoln who went to school a couple of times a week when he was 7 years old (a total of 18 months according to Wikipedia), and that was it. The rest of his education he got from reading widely.
– Frederick Douglas, a slave with no formal education, who learned to read by listening while the wife of his owner taught her children to read. He was self-taught through reading, and became a major force in the abolitionist movement.
What I particularly liked about this book was the author’s sincerity in wanting to spread the word on the benefits of reading, which he does is a very lively way.
Where the book lacked, was that the author neglected the importance of reading for enjoyment. After all, the more you “read for pleasure”, the easier reading becomes (practice makes perfect). And the easier reading becomes, the more likely the reader will stick with and comprehend more instructional books.
I also really enjoyed the historical references that Mr. Hedges makes. It’s obvious he did his research, and I definitely learned a lot!