The Power of Books and How You Can Read for Free!
“My Alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.”
Learning How to Read
I almost failed first or second grade because I was reading on a level below my peers. When my mom found out, there was no way she would let her son fail. Every evening after school she would force me to read an article of her choosing. After reading the article, my assignment was to summarize it. The next step would involve her quizzing me on what the article meant and some of its vocabulary words. “What does this word mean, young man!?” she would ask. If my answer was not satisfactory, I would be given a spanking. Although some of you may disagree with her pedagogical methods, it produced results! I ended up advancing to the next grade.
When I returned to school the following year, I was reading five grade levels ahead of my peers. Although learning to read had been a struggle, my mom’s unwavering faith in my ability to learn helped me conquer this mountain of mine. With my new found power of reading, I would go on to learn exciting facts about ancient cultures, science, psychology, etc. My standardized test scores improved tremendously. After graduating from elementary school, I got accepted into a magnet program because of my high test scores! Learning to read helped me to succeed then and now. If you are reading this, thanks Mom!
Thirst for Knowledge Continues
My mom is to blame for my insatiable desire to acquire knowledge that exists today. I can recall reading a quote from Malcolm X that describes how I feel about books perfectly. Although Malcolm X never went to school beyond the 8th grader, reporters would ask him what his Alma mater was. “My Alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity” would be his reply.
A Gifted Orator
Whether you agree or disagree with Malcolm X’s political belief, you cannot deny the fact he had a peerless command of the English language. He was a sought after speaker at Universities including Harvard and Oxford. While serving a ten year prison sentence, Malcolm stumbled upon a “homemade” education. He would end up copying the entire dictionary on a tablet! After learning this, I was inspired to duplicate this somewhat when I purchased The Verbal Advantage!
The Verbal Advantage
The Verbal Advantage is a vocabulary book that promises to teach a vocabulary that is share by “only the top percentage of Americans.” Definitely a bold marketing claim but the book is an incredible read. I loved it so much that I created a flash card for each word. When my friends and I were on winter break during my junior year, we stayed at a hotel street on Canal Street in New Orleans, La. I remember carrying them around and my friends asking what the hell I was doing. Trying to become a wordsmith, of course! You can improve your vocabulary by buying this book from Amazon for $3.71 or read on to discover how you can read it for free!
How You Can Read for Free
If I purchased every single book I was interested in, I would definitely be a member of Broke Phi Broke forever. That is why I read most of my books for “free” at the library. It is not truly free since most libraries I know are built with taxpayer dollars. In 2016, taxpayers voted to support the library in my hometown of Baton Rouge, La for another decade. While I am not exactly sure how other library systems work, at my system you can check out 50 books at a time and that does not include digital books! For digital books, we use a widely known platform called Overdrive.
OverDrive is a platform most library systems use to allow you to check out digital copies of books. In my library system, you are allowed to checkout up to 15 e-books at once. Below is a list of books I currently have checked out! If a book you want is not listed, I will show you how to recommended your library purchase a copy. Rise and Grind is a book I had to recommend.
How to Recommend a Book on Overdrive
Cait Flander’s book is not available in my library’s OverDrive catalog so I chose Recommend to Library on the left side of the screen
Hit recommend again under the format you want. I recommended the Ebooks because I find most audio books boring to listen to.
Enter your library card number is the text box provided!
Hit recommend one last time and sit back and wait for your library to purchase the book! My library system purchased the book after a few days. After reading Rise and Grind by Daymond John, I may do a book review so be sure to comeback for that!