Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by Mark Ferguson
It is not a coincidence that some of the world’s richest people are also avid readers. They read books, reports, newspapers, and anything else they can get their hands on. There a couple of common phrases you may hear: “Readers are Leaders” or “Readers are Earners.” But is it true that reading books makes you more successful?
I am a big believer in reading as well, and I think reading has been a huge part of my success. I don’t mean listening to audiobooks but actually reading. Not only can reading teach you an incredible amount of things, but it can calm your mind and help you focus.
Why are successful people also readers?
Warren Buffett may be the best know voracious reader out there. Many people don’t believe how much he reads (500 pages a day!). He does not just read books but also newspapers and company reports. He loves to read and learn. His partner and right-hand man, Charlie Munger, is the same way. He can’t be found without some kind of reading material. If he has to wait for anything, he doesn’t stare at social media posts on his phone—he reads.
Elon Musk is famous for many things, but SpaceX is one of his main focuses now. He actually taught himself rocket propulsion by reading! He isn’t the one writing the formulas and making sure the rockets fly, but he wanted to understand exactly how his company worked.
Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are also big-time readers. I think it is no coincidence that very successful people tend to be readers. You can learn and be motivated by books. Plus, reading calms your mind and is meditative. You can block out the distractions of the world when reading.
Is it true that reading books makes you more successful?
Just about all of us went to school and were forced to read books. We mostly read textbooks that were the most boring thing you could possibly read. I feel like the point of a good textbook was to take all of the feeling and fun out of real life! Unfortunately, many people remember how horrible textbooks were and equate textbooks to all books, especially non-fiction educational books.
The truth is some non-fiction educational books are boring, but most of the best-sellers are quite entertaining. The only way those books sell is if people like them, not if the government forces you to buy and read them.
The good books will keep you interested and make you want to keep reading. If you are interested in the subject, it can be an amazing experience. Excellent books will force you to take notes while you read because you get so many ideas for your business, job, life, etc.
Do you have to read non-fiction to learn?
A lot of people think the only way to learn from books is to read non fiction. The truth is you can learn from almost any book. Some of the best fiction books have amazing stories, and in those stories, there are usually lessons…lessons about love, life, business, money, and history.
Some of my favorite recent reads are by Ken Follet. The books are mostly fiction but have some real events and history mixed in. The Century Trilogy and Pillars of the Earth series are amazing.
I also tried my hand at writing a fiction book that was meant to teach real estate and be entertaining as well: Buying Into Success.
Why is it better to read than listen to books?
I listen to audiobooks, and I read real books as well. I think audiobooks are better than no books, but I get so much more out of a real book.
When I read a real book, I am forced to pay attention, unless I want to absorb as much information as I did dozing off and daydreaming while reading those textbooks in school.
By reading real books, I am also forced to calm my mind down. I don’t have my phone; I don’t watch TV; I try to have few distractions; and it lets me become absorbed into the book. It clears and calms my mind because I have one thing I am thinking about—the book or the story in the book.
Meditation is an amazing exercise for the mind and the soul, but it can be tough to find the time to meditate. Reading is like meditating to me and helps kill two birds with one stone. I am able to learn and calm my brain down.
When I listen to audiobooks, I often am driving or working out. I am distracted and do not listen or absorb everything I am hearing. I have to listen to the same books over and over again to make sure I understand everything. Audiobooks can be great, but they just don’t have the same impact on me.
What are some good books to read?
I am very biased because I have written 9 books, so I obviously think all of my books are the best out there. 🙂 Actually, my books are great for those looking to get into real estate and like straight to the point no-nonsense information. I don’t think I am going to win any awards for my writing, but I do have almost 400 positive reviews on my most popular book on Amazon: Build a Rental Property Empire.
I try to buy many different kinds of books, and I wrote another post that goes over many of my favorite business books here.
Reading a book is one of the best things you can do for your mind and your soul. Books teach, calm, soothe, and can give you some amazing inspiration as well. If you are not a reader and are feeling stuck in life, I would give it a try and see if it helps get you out of your funk.