The title of this piece is derived from the devotional Every Day With Jesus (EDWJ) the popular devotional read by most Christians. I am one of them. I start my day with the usual quiet time routine – studying and praying with EDWJ.

I believe in growing the spiritual man as much as growing any part of your life. I think there are 5 parts to a person and all of the parts must be grown systematically for you to achieve balance and wholeness. The parts are: spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, social. I tagged them ‘the SPIES’, derived from their first letters. Reading and writing is embedded in the attribute ‘intellectual’ and that’s where I will focus on.

I was curious as a boy on the formula for effective living. I searched books because they are a repository for timeless wisdom and I was able to get a daily guideline. Pray every day to enrich your spirit, exercise every day to maintain your body, read every day to stimulate your mind, spread love every day to feed the emotion, and socialize with people every day not to be alone.

I studied every day without ceasing. It was not always like this! I know from accounts by my mother and caretakers that I had some form of attention deficit. I couldn’t stay still and was always playing when I was between the ages of 1 to 7. It was a battle for my teachers to get me to do classwork and assignments. This continued till I was 8 when I was arrested like Saul of Tarsus with the illuminating blast of knowledge and a thrill for books. I snuck into my father’s library to get a toy he had seized. I got the toy but before I left I was curious about the books on his self and what their purpose was. I can’t remember the first book I took but it kept me sneaking back to the library for a refill. This reading habit has stuck to me and it is one of my longest-standing habits. I read between 60 – 150 books every year since I was 8. There is no point in my life you won’t meet me in either one of these four phases; starting a book, in the middle of a book, finishing or ruminating on a book.

Reading has been the blocks I use to build my life. It has served as the lighthouse that has led me through any phase. I don’t start anything or launch into any phase of my life without consulting specific books relating to that stage and finding out as much as I can. Before I went to secondary school, I read accounts of high school life, same for university, same for the working class.

I have installed different protocols in the mind through books. My habits have been filtered and designed by books. I read all types of books- fiction, non-fiction, self-help, biographies, etcetera. I call reading the bodybuilding of the mind. I get sad when I encounter people who don’t read. I despair when I meet people whose reading life has been eroded by TV and social media, people who say they no longer have time for reading.

The benefits of reading have been well written about. The key ones for me are; it builds empathy, a much-needed skill in this chaotic world. it builds capacity, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. A reading man sparkles. It is easy to detect a reading man by how he speaks and conducts his affairs. He is a solid, deliberate and wise man.

The standard complaint is that there is no longer time to read especially when people start working and start a family. They abandon the habit of leisure reading time and fill it up with other things. The beauty of reading is that you can consume in sips, stealing time to sneak a peek in the multiple pockets time opens up in a day. I don’t think it is the debate of time; it is more of will and passion because I believe that people will always make time to do what they really want to do. The first thing is to find your reason, once you find your reason for doing something, it becomes the rock where you build your life.

Reading every day is important to anybody who wants to build their mind. It is one of the habits I will bequeath to my children. It is one of the things I have seen in great men – the Bill Gates, the Barack Obamas etcetera. It is a habit I recommend to people who are seeking to be great in life. Read every day. Every Day With Reading. Do your EDWR today!