The Reading Habits of Successful People and What You Can Learn from Them
The number of people reading in America isn’t as significant as what many would like it to be. According to the American Times Use Survey, Americans over the age of 15 spend about 16.8 minutes, reading for personal interest each day. Compare this to Mark Cuban who reads about three hours a day! Saying, “I’m too busy to read” is becoming more of an excuse rather than a reason to not read. Audiobooks are a perfect alternative to paperback books if that truly is the case. Download a book and play it while you exercise or are sitting in traffic. The opportunity is there; you just need to put in the effort.
To get a better idea of how you can incorporate reading back into your life, take a look at the reading habits of the most successful people and what you can do to mirror them.
- Mark Cuban
As mentioned above, savvy business investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Cuban reads three hours a day.
- Bill Gates
Gates reads roughly 50 books a year, attributing it to one of the “chief ways” he learns. He explained to Business Insider, “These days, I also get to visit interesting places, meet with scientists, and watch a lot of lectures online. But reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.”
- Warren Buffet
Buffet, like many of these successful people cited here, says books are the key to his successes. When he began his investing career, Buffet reports reading 600 – 1,000 pages every day!
- Elon Musk
When asked how he learned how to build rockets, Musk said, “I read books.” If books can teach you that, what can’t they teach you?
- Oprah Winfrey
On her website, Winfrey explained that books bring her joy and credits them to much of her success. “Books were my path to personal freedom,” she says.
- Reese Witherspoon
In an interview with the New York Times, Witherspoon shared, “I like to read nonfiction, or “ideas” books in the morning — Charles Duhigg’s ‘The Power of Habit,’ things like that. At night, I read fiction to calm down my brain and to expand my sense of what’s possible. What I look for most are elegantly composed sentences that pull me into a different world.”
How to set a full-proof reading routine
- Get a library card
Don’t give up on books because they are costly. Libraries are a great resource to utilize to create a better reading habit. Why buy a bunch of books when you can rent them for a period of time? Celebrities like Russel Brand, Kieth Richards, and Michael Palin are all supporters of libraries, proving that no matter your income, there is always a way to seek out a book and read.
- Read before bed
The perfect time to read is to do so before bed. Spending an hour or so separating from electronics is what the busiest professionals and students need to get a good night’s rest. Replace the blue light from devices with a paperback fiction book. You get the entertainment you desire; the only thing different is the “format.”
- Give books a chance
Reports about not finishing a book are part of the equation when it comes to why Americans aren’t reading as much as they used to. Don’t judge a book by its cover, or the first few chapters for that matter. Books that don’t have a “hook” at the beginning can sometimes be the ones that surprise you the most. Avid readers all agree to read the first three chapters of a book before deciding on whether you’d like to continue reading it.
- Join a book club
Book clubs are great motivators to keep up a regular routine. Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Oprah Winfrey’s book club are some of the most popular resources for reading recommendations. Other book of the month clubs to check out are boxed books. Once Upon a Book Club is infamous for creating a reading experience like no other. Each book has an “open your gift” sticky note covering sections of a particular passage. The gift goes along with something in that passage. It can be anything from a jar of honey to a pair of socks! You can do this at home with your young ones to get them to enjoy books and create reading habits of their own.
There is always a good reason for reading, and these successful people prove that you are never too busy to sit down with a good book. Reading helps with productivity also! In addition to your new reading routine, take our Personalized Productivity Course. This course will help you learn strategies to increase your productivity and is ideal for the very busy student or professional. Click to learn more today!