12 things I learned from reading 80 books last year

 

If the last book you read was To Kill a Mockingbird in high school…you need to read this…

 

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Here’s a quick scenario…

 

You just bought a pet lizard and you want to train it…you want to teach your pet a few tricks. Like, for example…how to jump.

 

Would you listen to someone who told you they’ve read hundreds of books on analyzing and influencing reptile behaviour? (I’m not sure if these types of books exist, but humor me for a sec).

 

Of course you would.

 

You would because this person could probably get your pet lizard to jump. 

 

 

Bottom line is, books make you smarter.

 

So if you and I both know that books make us smarter…why does the average person read less than one book a year? (if you fall into this category, read on)

 

It can’t be that there isn’t enough time in the day. We all have the same 24 hours.

 

And in those 24 hours some people read lots, while others read not so much…

 

In The Miracle Morning, author Hal Elrod makes some calculations for us…if you read 10 pages of a book a day, that would equal 3650 pages in a year. If you estimate the average book to be 200 pages long, that’s 18.25 books in a year. 

 

That would equal 18 times more books read than the average person.

 

Can you read 10 pages a day?

 

If you read 18 books a year on any topic, do you think that you’d become more knowledgable on that topic? (of course!)

 

You could read books on health, money, marriage, personal development…and the list goes on…

 

Do you think that it would be important to increase your knowledge on these topics?

 

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The reason I read 80 books last year is because I had a lot of catching up to do.

 

I hadn’t read much since I quit university and got a job.

 

And life became a vicious cycle of eat, sleep, work, repeat. A cycle that’s easy to get into, but hard to get out of (for about 30-40 years or so).

 

I learned more from those 80 books than any high school or university course I’d ever taken.

 

These books contained life lessons from people that had done things I’d aspired to do. They had advice in them I needed to hear. And they gave me instructions on how to get where I wanted to go.

 

They made me a better person. Literally. I’m a better person today than I was a year ago simply because I expanded my mind by reading more.

 

So how does one read more?

 

Well, we all have 24 hours in a day. Out of those 24 hours, a good chunk of it is spent driving, making meals, working out, cutting the lawn, eating, doing laundry, and countless other tasks that require little mental concentration.

 

This is the perfect opportunity to plug some headphones into your ears and utilize this time to listen to books…

 

When I used to drive my 45 minute commute to work (1.5 hours a day), I used to listen to the radio or CD’s. Every. Single. Weekday. That’s 7.5 hours wasted that I could have been injecting the knowledge that books provide into my brain.

 

If your commute to work is a round trip of 1 hour a day, you could finish at least 1 audio book a week (most audio books I’ve listened to are around the 5-7 hour mark.)

 

That would net you, 52 books a year if you only ever listened to books during your weekly commutes. This practice wouldn’t even cause you to alter your schedule in any way! Add that to the 18.25 books you’ve taken in by reading 10 pages a day and you are up to 70.25 books a year!

 

And just for the record. I count listening to books as reading. When I read, I’m seeking the raw knowledge. So it doesn’t matter if it’s by reading words off of a paper or computer screen or having someone read it to me. I just want to absorb the material.

 

If you read 70.25 books in the next 12 months on a topic, I’m pretty sure you could be teaching that subject to someone else (and maybe they would even pay you to teach them that topic). Or you would simply be a smarter all around person (unless you’re reading romance and vampire novels).

 

But how much does this all cost?

 

Well, I’m glad you asked. In case you didn’t know. People donate books everyday. Some people read a book once (or don’t even read it) and then they are done with it. They donate it to their local bookstore or second hand store and it finds a new home.

 

There’s nothing wrong with that. Personally, I like to read books several times and hold onto them for reference, but that’s just what I do. I can always find use for a good book.

 

I’ve found new books that regularly retail for 40+ dollars brand new for $4 at the second hand store. And in some cases I’ve bought books for $1. 

 

You can’t affix a price tag to the essential information that these books hold.

 

There’s also the option of getting a library card and getting books for free from your local library (yes, libraries still exist).

 

It’s FREE knowledge. 

 

Books are incredibly cheap these days, and the information in them is priceless. But if you feel like you can’t budge on the extra costs you would endure when buying a new book, forgo one Starbucks latte a week and you could get 1 book from the second hand store. Or stop in at your local library and pick up as many books as they’ll let you take out at once.

 

When I got my subscription to Audible (by clicking on this affiliate link, you can sign up for Audible. I believe they still start you off with a 30 day trial and a free book.) I was mesmerized by the fact that I could literally devour 2-3 extra books a week (or more) if I wanted to, without changing my personal schedule one bit. I held off on getting a subscription to Audible for the longest time. But now I cannot live without it.

 

And neither should you.

 

Now I plug my headphones in my iPhone and listen to books while I drive, cook, work out, and any other time I get a chance. Even if I have only 5 minutes to kill, I plug my headphones in and continue my book from where I’d left off.

 

I’ve learned more in the last year from reading books than I did in the past 12 years just going through life’s motions.

 

A subscription to Audible is the best investment I have ever made. 

 

Instead of listening to 80’s music, Drake and Ellie Goulding (don’t judge), I’ve been taking in books by the late great Sam Walton, Og Mandino, Dale Carnegie, Richard Branson, and many more.

 

Between reading every night and taking in 1-2 audio books a week, I’ve had weeks where I’ve finished 3 books (and sometimes more) without altering my schedule or feeling like I had less time in the day to do other things.

 

Anyone can do this, if they want to.

 

So, in case you were wondering…here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way…

 

1.There are people out there smarter than me and you, that have extremely valuable information to pass along to us that we can use to better ourselves in every area of our lives.

 

2.People like to talk about their failures as much as they do their successes. IF you heed the words of someone who has failed numerous times, you can avoid the same mistakes they’ve made.

 

3.You don’t need a life coach, you just need to read books written by smart and successful people. These books can be your life coaches.

 

4. The more you read, the better and faster you get at it (and the more books you can read!)

 

5. Reading makes you fearless and stronger (trust me, it just does – for more information on become fearless – read this).

 

6. My vocabulary has become larger (I think I used the word pulchritude in a sentence the other day 😉 – not really, but reading does increase your vocab).

 

7. I find a new detail or point I’ve missed everytime I read a book again…and again…and again.

 

8. I don’t even want to watch TV anymore because I find it to be a waste of time and I have more fun reading books (I’ve tried to cancel our cable but my wife won’t let me).

 

9. I rarely listen to music anymore – again, waste of time (but when I do, it’s 80’s, rap, and sometimes even country…again, don’t judge).

 

10. Life is more exciting when you read books. 

 

11. I sleep better when I read before bed, that’s when my mind is the most clear and I absorb the most information. Also I find reading early in the morning to be a great way  to start off my day.

 

12. I’ve increased my IQ substantially in the areas of finances, health, marriage, and life simply by reading more books.

 

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Reading is an essential habit (an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary – source: dictionary.com)  that needs to be formed in order to grow.

 

If you want to live the lifestyle you’ve always desired, start by reading a book about someone who’s done things that you haven’t done…and get inspired.

 

Send us any book recommendations you have, we love getting any ideas on new books we can add to our list.

 

 

Hey….here’s 10 books that are a great starting point for your book reading journey. Read at your own risk (they may just change your life)…

 

  1. The Science of Getting Rich – Wallace D. Wattles (highly recommended-written in 1910 and timeless)
  2. You are a Badass – Jen Sincero
  3. How to be Like Walt – Pat Williams
  4. Take the Stairs – Rory Vaden
  5. The 10x Rule – Grant Cardone
  6. Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell
  7. The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz
  8. The Greatest Salesman in the World – Og Mandino
  9. Rich Dad Poor Dad– Robert Kiyosaki
  10. The Only Secure Job – Richard Worzel

 

Happy reading 🙂