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Blog and magazine articles often claim that reading can make you rich. The question is whether this is true or not. Isn’t it too good to be true that reading books can make you rich?
Generally speaking, you can’t become rich just by reading books. But, reading does play a catalytic role in your journey to become rich. A majority of successful and rich people do share reading as a common trait. Reading allows you to learn from others’ successes, and attain success faster.
In this article, we’ll discuss why and how reading can make you rich. We’ll also look at what wealthy people read and what some of them have to say about the role of reading in their financial success.
Does Reading Books Make You Smarter?
While you are now looking at how reading can make you rich, you probably wonder whether reading books makes you smarter overall as well. The answer is “yes” because studies have shown that the stimuli reading provides to your brain does definitely enhances brain functions and makes you smarter.
I have written a detailed article on how reading can make you smarter. If you are interested in becoming smarter (and who isn’t?), be sure to check out that article!
Interestingly, it is also generally accepted that self-made millionaires are smart people. One could deduce that if you can get smarter, your chances of becoming richer are better.
Thus, reading can make you smarter and richer – two very good reasons to look at the reading habits of “self-made” rich people! Most of the books that they’ve read, will not only help you to get rich but also get smarter overall.
Do You Make More Money When You Start Reading Books?
Making money and becoming rich always start with an idea.
Reading books enhances knowledge and allows you to learn from others’ experiences. It gives your brain the basic information and tools to firstly formulate ideas about how to make money. Furthermore, reading also allows you to put these ideas into practice and learn to make smart decisions.
As Robert Kiyosaki, the author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ and entrepreneur puts it: “Money is just an idea… If you want money in your hands, first put an idea in your head.“
Napoleon Hill, the author of “Think and Grow Rich’ once said that “all achievements, all earned riches have their beginning in an idea.”
To make money and to become rich you must first have ideas in your head on how to make money. And the more information and concepts are stored in your brain, the more ideas you will be able to generate. It is not for no reason that reading is known to make you more creative!
Related Article – 21 Benefits of Reading Regularly [Here’s Why We Should All Read!]
One of the easiest ways to add information to your brain is by reading. When your brain recalls information and conceptualizes ideas it doesn’t differentiate between your real-life experiences and experiences you’ve read about.
So, reading the right books frequently enough will stimulate your brain to provide you with new and unique ideas to make more money.
However, the reason why we give a “conditional yes” is that you will only make money when you’ve decided to execute your money-making ideas that have stemmed from your reading.
Reading Habits of the Wealthy
According to research done by Tom Corley, the author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals,” both rich people and poor people may have the habit to read frequently, but not all become wealthy.
Related Article – How to Get Interested in Reading and Make it a Habit?
However, if you get into the habit of reading many self-improvement books, like most financially successful people, your chances to become rich are much higher than people who read only for entertainment.
Several other studies have shown that business people who are in the habit of reading at least seven business books a year, earn 2.3 times more than business people who only read one business book per year.
From these studies, it can be deduced that the habit of the wealthy to read self-improvement and business books is a habit to pursue.
The reading habits of the wealthy can be summarized as follows:
- Read frequently.
- Read whenever you have the time for it.
- Read self-improvement books.
- Read business books.
- For leisure, read poetry and well-written novels with intriguing plots (to enhance your self-evaluation and critical thinking skills).
How Many Books Should You Read to Become Successful?
You should read at least 2 books a month in order to become successful. However, the number of books independently does not guarantee success. The quality and the type of books you read coupled with your ability to put the learnings into practice play an equally important role to attain success.
The exact number of books one should read to become successful is can vary from one person to another. However, one can look at how many books wealthy people read.
According to research, the average wealthy person always stays in the habit of reading to grow and learn. The total number of books such a person has read is not as important as the frequency that books are read – the total number of books is keeps varying from time to time.
According to research done by Thomas Corley in his book “The Rich Habits” (which by the way you should definitely read!), Thomas shares that 85 percent of self-made millionaires read two or more books per month.
Warren Buffett was once asked what his secret to success was. He said: “Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”
Bill Gates reads more than 50 books per year – at least 1 book every week.
Mark Cuban reads more than 3 hours every day, and billionaire Charlie Munger was quoted: “In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time.”
What Type of Books Should You Read to Become Rich?
To determine what type of books you should read to become rich, we’ve looked at what the wealthy read. According to research done by Thomas Corley
- 85% of rich people read two or more self-improvement, education, and career-related books per month;
- 94% of them read news publications; and
- the books they read are mainly non-fiction, such as biographies and self-help books.
Businesspeople who are reading poetry when they read for leisure, unconsciously practice their self-reflection skill – a skill most wealthy people have.
Self-reflection is the habit of deliberately recollecting previous actions to reflect on your own emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and decisions. You can then evaluate whether you have done things efficiently in the past or have to change to better money-making ways in the future.
To recollect information, you have to activate your autobiographical memory. Reading poetry activates your autobiographical memory. This is because poetry is generally written in such a way that it entices you to recollect personal experiences.
So, apart from all the non-fiction, you have to read to become rich, read poetry often, do self-reflection, and become richer!
Correlation Between Reading Books, Critical Thinking and Getting Rich
To be a successful businessman and become rich, you have to be able to think critically. Well-written novels teach your brain to think in sequences and link cause and effect. This is in principle the basis of critical thinking.
The more you read, the more your brain adapts to this way of thinking, and the more ideas you generate to make more money. The “recipe” is simple:
- Read well-written novels.
- Your brain learns to think in sequences.
- Your brain learns to think critically about cause and effect.
- You get into the habit of thinking critically in real life about your money-making ideas.
You make realistic decisions and become richer!