This morning I listened to a traditional roundtable discussion, called Noble Minds, with the 2017 Nobel Laureates at the Grünewald Hall in the Stockholm Concert Hall, hosted by BBC’s Zeinab Badawi. I am always fascinated by the creative ideas and the display of higher order thinking we so often encounter among academics, especially those who receive the top honours in their fields.

The debates centred around various academic fields such as chemistry, physics, economics and literature. One interesting point of debate was whether academics are doing enough to communicate their research findings in ways that make them accessible to the average reader.

When questioned by the host about the accessibility of research, science and factual content, Nobel Laureate in Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro, in his response, expressed his view that the media and journalism reporting business model is currently broken. The traditional ways in which newspapers and periodicals used to spread news and stimulate debates, were rewarded based on accuracy, a time which is long gone.

The new era of online media and journalism is rewarded for clicks, likes, shares and eyeballs on websites and not necessarily the truth. It seems we care more about those who are first rather than who speaks the truth, if I may quote Denzel Washington.

If all we ever read, see, hear and think about is based on the internet, social media and our personal influencers, how far are we truly removing ourselves from the true state of affairs, facts about things, the latest research, and most importantly, how do we judge ideologies, test theories, evaluate principles and scrutinize the host of ideas we are bombarded with daily, if we get all our education online?

I would suggest that one way we can counter this is to read as many books as we have time for each day. Read wide, read in depth, read academic works, read quality novels, read history, politics, science and philosophy. Spend time with books because a book is not an easy feat; it takes time, it requires commitment and research, and it has to be put together with a great measure of penmanship.

That is not to say there aren’t also rubbish books of course. It’s just harder to short-circuit the truth or to promote a flimsy opinion, on any matter really, if you have to do it for 250 pages or more. Reading a book also allows the author and reader to engage in a meaningful conversation where ample time is given to the author to carefully formulate and convey her ideas. Frivolous ideas, flimsy opinions or a shaky storyline simply cannot last for a decent number of pages.

Be careful to whom you open your mind to – be selective and educate yourself wisely.