*2min + smile

So I looked at Melvyn and said: “Melvyn, I don’t care about becoming a millionaire, but I do care about having your brain at your age of 73!

I never met a person with such a powerful memory and brain like Melvyn. He has an encyclopedic knowledge. I enjoy talking to a dilettante reader like him.

I contrast Melvyn with my dad. It is difficult to hear my dad repeating the same questions every time I call home. He is losing his short-term memory and cognitive ability at the age of 76.  I believe a few of the reasons are the facts that for more than past 25 years, my dad has not read anything, has not eaten  healthy, nor has he exercised.

I had a chance to take him to a doctor last time I was in Chicago. I felt validated when I heard the doctor telling him; “You need to read, walk, and eat healthy” This was the same advice I had given to from my father on the phone. He wasn’t listening.

And I feel extremely jealous every time I watch a lecture on YouTube from a well-known person who is the age of my father or older. Take for example Bernard Lewis I was amazed by his cognitive ability and sharp brain. To witness for yourself, I recommend you watch a YouTube video of him.

I realized that reading is one of several common denominators among people with a higher cognitive ability that will last through older age.

As I learned through reading, the brain has a neurogenesis property, which is the ability to generate new neurons.  Every time we exercise, our brain gives birth to new neurons that will last a few days. If we don’t use those new neurons in learning, our brain will prune them.  Hence, people who go to the gym and read (learn something) generate new synapses that become part of their brain. It is a habit that makes them smarter than those who only go to the gym.

I spend time socializing with friends talking about useless stuff and passing calumny. I spend money improving my outward appearance with clothes, yet neglect investing to improve my brain. Seeing my dad losing his cognitive ability made improving my brain a life goal.

Exercise makes the brain grow. Eating healthy improves the brain’s well-being.

Eating walnuts, blueberries, broccoli, the yellow yolk of eggs, and exercising (an hour a day, five days each week), and reading have become my daily habit.

If investing 10,000 hours leads us to master any skill like tennis or playing the piano as Gladwell popularized in this book Outliers, what about reading 10,000 books?

This question inspired me to have an ambition of reading 10,000 books in my lifetime.

I’d like to see how my brain will perform as I pass 70 years, as I cross the Rubicon of my cognitive limits. 

I’ve started this journey more than five years ago.  At some point I suppose I became committed.  I am formally delivering a commitment verdict with this blog. I pinned the running count of books I read each year on Pinterest boards: (https://www.pinterest.com/nninoss/)


And here are a few blogs I wrote about reading with a few book recommendations:

Happiness from Lalastan

300,000 Pages and One Book

400,000 pages in Baghdad

As for Melvyn’s life advice for me, he said, “son…read and have sex as much as you can!

Hmmm…I’ll try my best Melvyn… Thanks!” I said.



* Click on  “Follow”  from the lower left corner to follow the story.

* Please take a minute to comment what you think.

* Feel free to share.