Reading for Success 101: Seven Surefire Ways to Make You Read More Books

Here’s a startling fact that you may not have realized before: many successful top executives and CEOs of famous brands and companies today actually read an average of four to six books per month. That’s an impressive number to take in considering that the average person can only manage to read one book per year. Most people often take the act of reading for granted given that we now live in a high-tech society where majority of society across all generations have this “too long, didn’t read” mentality or TLDR syndrome.

This may be disheartening, but the fact that so many prosperous businessmen and women everywhere are able to read a staggering amount of books in a year is completely mind-blowing. Which brings us to this question: did you ever stop to think that maybe a huge part of their success can be attributed to their voracious reading habits? Multiple research studies have conclusively proven that people who read more will have a broader vocabulary, a higher level of intelligence, and a more open worldview compared to those who read less.

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The correlation between reading and one’s personal and professional success is undeniable, and if you are an ambitious individual who wants to rise to the top, then you need to make reading an essential aspect of your life if you want to reach your desired goals. After all, reading is fundamental and one shouldn’t stop reading books even after finishing several levels of education in their youth. But how exactly do you get to read more books just like the average CEO or executive? Look to the helpful details below to begin your journey.

Bring a book with you everywhere

One of the most effective ways to ensure that you use your free time at work—or anywhere else, for that matter—is to make sure you always carry a book with you at all times. The physical weight of an actual book will not allow you to forget its presence among the things stored in your day bag, so you’ll obviously be compelled to read it when you have a sizable chunk of time to finish off a chapter or two. And when we say bring a book everywhere, we really do mean everywhere since you can pretty much read books anywhere and anytime.

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Apart from reading your book at the office while on your lunch or coffee breaks, you can take it with you while taking public transportation or spending time out in public places such as cafes, restaurants, or parks. Never miss an opportunity to read a book especially if you know you won’t be doing anything that requires your full attention. For instance, if you’re going to do your laundry at home, you can easily pop your clothes in the washing machine and then finish off several chapters while waiting for the spin cycle to complete.

Keep a running list of must-reads

The thing about reading is that you’ll never run out of good material to read for as long as there are the best authors and writers living in this world. So if you want to increase the number of books you plan on reading, then you should maintain a reading list wherein you have a selected number of books you intend on completing. Furthermore, this list must always be updated so that you’ll always have new titles to look forward to reading once you’ve finished reading the ones that came before them.

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If you’re already an avid reader to begin with, then a good way for you to sustain your reading list is to browse titles featured on e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, where you’ll also have the opportunity to immediately order books you want to read and have them delivered right to your doorstep. Another good thing about keeping a reading list is that it constantly motivates you to maintain your reading habit, and gives you wider opportunities to explore different kinds of books that are available.

Diversify your book genres

Everyone has preferences when it comes to the kind of books they want to read, and this is an understandable fact. However, if you truly want to be a well-rounded reader with an open-minded worldview, then you need to step outside of your comfort zone and try to read things that you wouldn’t normally consider reading. Even the top CEOs and captains of industry in the world don’t just read boring business guides and manuals all the time, so don’t confine yourself within one box and try to explore other genres out there.

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For instance: if you frequently read nonfiction works such as self-help books and biographies of successful and well-known individuals, then you should dip your fingers into really great modern fiction pieces, or perhaps reread all of the classic works of literature that you used to read and analyze back in high school or college. Another good example would be trying out a selection of poetry books if you’re the type of person who likes motivational quotes. Make it a point to keep your reading materials as diverse as possible so you’ll expand your knowledge base and learn new things in the process.

Ask others for recommendations

If you’re at a loss on what to read—especially if you’re not the type to read that much in the first place—then the best solution for you in this scenario is to ask recommendations from people in your social circle that are avid readers. Book lovers are more than happy to share their libraries to others, and it gives them the chance to introduce newcomers to titles that they might like based on their personality. Furthermore, asking others for their book opinions will give you better insight on who they are as individuals.

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Whenever you approach someone for book recommendations, it’s important for you to keep an open mind because it’s considered rude and impolite to dismiss something at the onset if the person is trying to describe what a certain book is about. If you are unable to ask people in person for suggestions on good reading, then you can visit websites like Goodreads where people are able to leave reviews of books that they have read. Online reviews are a good alternative for you to use if you need solid recommendations.

Listening is a great alternative

When you’re the type of person who really tries hard to read a book but find it tiring to read blocks of text for a long period of time, then there’s a really neat and entertaining solution for you in this type of situation. Audiobooks are essentially vocal recordings of a written work being read aloud by a narrator or voice actor. These are wonderful alternatives for people who want to get information from books without actually reading them. While many audiobooks are still available on compact disks, the rise of the internet has made it easier for people to download or stream audiobooks online.

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The best thing about audiobooks is that you can actually listen to them while doing something else, thereby allowing you to effectively multitask while learning new things at the same time. Plenty of people listen to audiobooks while commuting to work, or even play them through their headphones while working in the office. Others may choose to play audiobooks during their spare time at home so they can really concentrate on the narration and fully immerse themselves in the text being presented.

Establish a dedicated time for reading

If you’re truly serious about reading more books in a month, then commit yourself to having a portion of your regular schedule exclusively dedicated to reading books and nothing else. Doing this will help you develop a stronger sense of reading as a pleasurable activity as opposed to something that you need to do just because the most successful people in the world are also doing it. When you commit yourself to reading, make sure that you’re doing it for yourself and not because you want others to be impressed by your bibliographic veracity.

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Depending on how busy you are, you can adjust the timeframe that will suit you best so that it won’t cause conflict with the rest of your itinerary. For example: you can set aside at least two hours a day immediately after coming home from work to read a new book or perhaps finish a book that you’ve been reading for the past few days. On weekends, you may increase the time to three or four hours, especially if you don’t have anything planned for the day with your friends or family members.

Share your knowledge to others

If you have a strong inclination to have insightful discussions about the multitude of books that you’ve recently read, then you should definitely share your thoughts and opinions with other book readers who will be more than happy to engage in friendly discourse with you. You know you’ve come full circle when you’re in the unique position of having to recommend books to others who may not have read the things you’ve completed. It’s such an uplifting feeling to have others respect you for being a well-read individual.

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One of the best ways to consistently share your newfound knowledge with others is to join a book club. Book clubs are essentially a gathering of individuals from varying backgrounds to discuss a book or books that they have read and use it as a forum to express their opinions, ideas, or criticisms about the source material being analyzed. This social activity is also great for meeting new people who you may form great professional connections with in the future.

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