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The other morning I was dressing for work and caught an interview on Good Morning America of E. L. James, the author of Fifty Shades of Grey. I was somewhat shocked when the host highlighted the fact that James’ book had sold 165 million books worldwide. As I pondered that thought, my shock was replaced by dismay. It dawned on me that so many people only read for entertainment and not to learn.
The self-made rich are rich because they don’t do what the other 99% do. This 1% does not read Fifty Shades of Grey. They don’t read Harry Potter either, which has sold over 450 million books worldwide. What they do read are books that educate. According to my research on the self made rich:
- 85% read two or more books a month for education and learning purposes
- 63% listened to educational audio books during their commute to work
- 88% read 30 minutes or more each day for purposes of education and learning
- 58% read biographies of famous successful people
- 51% read history books
- 55% read self-help books
Only 11% of the rich read for entertainment purposes compared to 79% of the poor. Billionaires like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg devote many hours a day to reading for purposes of learning.
In short, the rich deserve to be rich because they put in the work that success requires. And part of that work is reading to learn. If you only read for entertainment, you are one of the 99%. If you read to learn, you are doing what the top 1% do.
Success isn’t easy. It’s a process that requires doing certain things every day that help move you forward in life towards realizing your dreams and achieving the goals behind those dreams. Part of that process requires that you read every day for at least thirty minutes solely for purposes of self-education. If you ignore part of the process, the entire process breaks down.
Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, Effort-Less Wealth, Change Your Habits Change Your Life, Rich Habits Poor Habits and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”