Reading should be part of your job

Ode to the reading lifestyle

Alex Barrera
3 min readNov 8, 2017

There seems to be a particular perception that when someone picks up a book, they’re relaxing. After all, most people only read when on vacation, during the weekends or to chill.

I’ve always found this idea ridiculous.

Reading can be recreational, but for many, it’s part of their work. There are many benefits to reading, being the most important one the capacity to learn from what you digest.

Books allow us to read other people’s experiences, learn from them. We get exposed to different realities, to other mindsets. It enriches us; it shocks us; it enlarges us.

When you can’t travel, move or experience life first hand, those slivers of wood swallow and vomit you into different worlds. Such a cheap drug, one that expands brain, emotions, and empathy.

Sometimes I take a look at my friend’s Goodread’s profiles. Many don’t have. Most that have barely read, averaging six read books a year. Very few read 15 or more books a year. And of those words, I would say, 85% of them come from so-called “Business Books.

I have nothing against Business Books. I read them myself. But I had to stop. I felt that most of them were rather dull, superficial or outright lousy advice.

Worst of all, these books give you more of the same. We take time from work to read, guess what, books about working more! The most problematic aspect is that they give precisely what we’re looking for. They don’t challenge our assumptions. They don’t force us to think differently. They don’t show us other realities.

To help, you have to see beyond your comfort, education, and upbringing.

We read books from us by us. We swallow words from the same Gods, from the same church. And that is wrong.

Your work isn’t just Work. It’s to grow as a human being. And to improve you need to go beyond your job. You need to experience different worlds, different realities. To help, you have to see beyond your comfort, education, and upbringing.

Those that narrow the scope of their activities to the money making aspect are doomed to fail and reopen the hideous wound of the self.

Reading should be your job. Make time for those words.

Read. Read more. Open your sights to a new universe. Navigate the letter constellations and parallel dimensions of existence. Life isn’t Work but a set of experiences that help us be more human. Touching others, extending a helping hand, removing pain and suffering. Let the whole world fill you, feel it slip past the flickering of your eyelids.

No, I’m not chilling when I’m reading. Do I enjoy reading? I love it with every speck of my soul. Someone asked me how I had time for reading. You make time for reading. Reading should be your job. Make time for those words.

Reading Twitter isn’t reading. Reading news isn’t reading. Reading Facebook isn’t reading.

Reading is opening a treasure trove of worlds, experiences, feelings, ideas. It’s going down the rabbit hole for hours and hours, scavenging words. Words sometimes so alien that hurt, that will kick your mind and trash your conceptions. Fight them. Embrace them.

Because only in plurality we grow to become better humans.

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
Oscar Wilde



Alex Barrera

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.