“Wait until I sit for my final exam. I swear by heaven and earth that I will never read again. I won’t even read posters or billboards on the road.”
School has made many people curse reading.
Many people confess that they have never read any book past their formal education. They only read eulogies in burial ceremonies.
It is sad. Not the burial ceremonies, their poor reading habits!
The average person reads two books in a year while the average CEO reads 4-6 books in a month. If you ask people the last time they read a book, it was the last time they were revising for an exam.
In a technologically advanced world, there are so many things you could be doing instead of reading. In our contemporary world, people are forgiven to say that reading is boring when they should be persecuted. People laugh and stigmatize people who read all the time calling them nerds and bookworms.
These people end up working for the same nerds. If you look at people who have moved the world greatly in the past few decades they were all nerds. From warren buffet, bill gates, Steve jobs, to Elon Musk.
In the words of Charlie Munger, “In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time, none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads- and at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”
REDING SEPARATES WORLD BEATERS FROM ORDINARY MEN
Elon Musk is the CEO of three world-leading companies- Tesla, Space X, and solar city. He is now the richest man on earth.
We all know that. But here is something you do not know about Elon Musk.
For a man who has achieved so much in life, you would be intrigued to know what was his foundation for success. Wait till you hear Elon’s reading culture.
I often hear my older siblings say that my most striking character as a child was that I used to cry a lot. For Elon Musk, it was his compulsion to read. To quote Ashley Vance, “he seemed to have a book on his hands all the time.”
His brother Kimball admits that it was not unusual for Elon to read for ten hours a day. And that during weekends he could go through two books in one day.
When his family went for shopping excursions, they always realized mid-trip that Elon was missing. Only for them to find him in the nearest bookstore sitting on the floor, reading in one of his trancelike states.
I have come to realize that great people always hide to be in their right places. Jesus Christ hid from his parents to go to the temple. At least there is a similarity between the richest man in the world and the man who saved the world.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ
If they say knowledge is power, then reading is a superpower.
In the words of Mark Twain, “those who do not read have no advantage over those who cannot read.”
It’s The Best Bargain
Most books are written by experts. They take several years to research and conduct experiments. They then summarize their great knowledge in a few pages. You can then download the whole book into your brain within a few hours. Is that even fair? Is there any better deal?
“An Investment in Knowledge Pays the Best Interest”- Benjamin Franklin
Knowledge compounds much faster than money. In the words of James Clear, “learning one new idea won’t make you a genius, but a commitment to lifelong learning can be transformative. One book will hardly change your life, even if it does deliver a lightbulb moment of insight. The key is to get a little wiser each day.”
Reading Sharpens The Brain
Reading nourishes and energizes the brain. It helps the brain work harder and better. Reading exercises the brain. As Jim Kwik puts it, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” The next time you are reading something, imagine your brain is lifting some weights.
THE PARADOX OF READING
In the words of David Perell, “the books you read will profoundly change you even though you will forget the majority of what you read.”
Maybe James Clear said it best, “whenever you learn a new mental model or idea, it’s like the ‘software’ in your brain gets updated. Suddenly, you can run all your old data points through a new program.
Most of the things we do are a result of the subconscious mind (the unthinking mind). Reading rewires the brain. This will enable you to make better decisions.
The most striking thing that I have seen while reading books is that I will forget most of the things but not the main lessons. I will always relate a book to a certain idea. I always find my brain retrieving ideas from books I read sometimes back.
HOW I ENJOY READING
Many people are reading fewer books or unable to cultivate a habit of reading because of how they approach reading.
If you are just getting started on reading books, here is the guide I wish I had a few years ago when I was getting started on reading.
Start by Reading Books On Topics You Love.
Read the books you love until you love reading itself. If you love motorsports look for books on such. If you love magic look for such books.
Don’t Be Overambitious When Starting.
You will hear stories of people who read two books in a day and you will want to be like them. It does not happen that fast. Start by reading a few pages every day. Then to a few chapters as your brain adapts to reading often. Soon, you will be churning several books in a day.
Don’t Force Yourself to Read a Book.
If you start reading a book and you are already drooling on the book on your first chapter, throw the book away and pick another one. There are many interesting books to be wasting your time on a boring book.
Schedule Time to Read
Finding time to read is hard.
There are so many entertaining things you could be doing instead of reading.
If you want to read more, you have to make time for reading. You have to allocate some time in your schedule specifically for reading. Choose a time when you know that you won’t be marred with distractions.
When you love reading you will realize that you won’t have to allocate time for reading, you will find yourself reading all the time. You will be drawn into books the same way insects are drawn to flowers.
Start Several Books at A Go
The mistake many people make is saying that they won’t start another book until they finish the one they have started. Who said you have to finish every book you start? I start reading about three books at a go. I will be reading two non-fiction books and one fiction book. I will have a non -fiction book that is hard to read and comprehend and a non-fiction book that is easy to read. I will juggle the books in between my reading time and effortlessly finish them. My reading is a circus on its own.
IT’S NOT HOW MANY BOOKS YOU GO THROUGH, ITS HOW MANY BOOKS GO THROUGH YOU
Nowadays, people have turned reading into a competition. Human beings have become reading machines that churn hundreds of ideas from books, process very little and retain nothing. Our brains are now like sieves. They have become highways of information and life-changing ideas. We are getting obsessed over the wrong metrics.
In the words of David Perell, “consuming as many books as possible has become a competitive sport for knowledge workers who want to show off their intellectual curiosity.”
HOW TO GET THE BEST FROM READING BOOKS
If you are not implementing what you learn, reading is a zero sums game for you. When you read a book on sleep like Why We Sleep and you still have poor sleeping habits, then you have poor book implementation habits.
Summarize Books Through Actionable Takeaways.
Summarize every book you read in three sentences. Summarize the top three things you learned from the book in your own words.
Implement Actionable Items into Your Life
We only learn by doing. Ask yourself about some of the ways you can immediately implement what you have learned into your life. We remember things we use. The only way to remember what you read is by coming up with a way to implement what you have read in your life.