If Reading Can Make You A Millionaire, Why Don’t More People Do It? The Important Truth


“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” ― Groucho Marx

What if I told you there was a simple, almost guaranteed way to become a millionaire?

No, it isn’t a product for sale on a late night infomercial. Or a system you can get for just $997.97. It isn’t quick… but it’s super easy.

Do I have your attention yet? Good. Because this is important.

The simple way to riches is this:

Read more.

I know, this is probably not what you were expecting. You wanted something deep, something revolutionary, something you’ve never heard before. Well, sometimes the most life changing truths are also the most simple.

But if becoming wealthy is just a matter of reading more, why don’t more people do it? Good question. I’ll answer it in a moment. But first a few statistics.

A large percentage of Americans haven’t picked up a book at all this year, and it’s even likelier that if they did, they didn’t finish it. Research by the Associated Press shows that one in four Americans don’t read books at all, and half of Americans read less than four books each year.

What’s more, 33% of high school graduates in this country will never read another book after high school. And apparently having more education doesn’t make much of a difference, as 42% of college students will also never read another book after they graduate.

Now, compare those facts with this alarming statistic – the average American spends five and a half hours every day watching TV. While television can be entertaining, it does nothing for your brain or body.

Here’s an interesting fact: you actually burn more calories reading a book than you do watching TV! Why? Because reading engages you. You think more. You use your imagination more and you increase your knowledge.

But there’s another, more important advantage to reading and that’s this – reading prepares you. And if you’re reading books about success, then reading prepares you for success.

I think of my brain like an axe.

A dull axe could take 10 hours to cut down a tree. That same axe could cut down the tree in 4 hours, if you spent an hour sharpening it. 10 hours vs 4 hours to do the same amount of work, but the difference is in the preparation.

What sharpens my brain? Reading. It might surprise you to know that I read 5-7 hours a day. Every day. I read to increase my knowledge but as importantly to make me more aware and prepared for success each day. You see, I strongly believe that more opportunities for success are missed simply because a person is not prepared for success.

Mr. Opportunity is a bald man

In Greek mythology, Caerus was the personification of opportunity. He was shown with only one lock of hair. Caerus can easily be seized by the hair hanging over his face when he is arriving. But once he has passed by, no one can grasp him. The back of his head is bald because so many have tried to grasp him only after realizing the opportunity for success had passed. They were too late. They weren’t prepared for success.

How can you avoid the regret of missing your opportunity for success? Be prepared. And there’s only one way to be prepared – thru reading.

Studies have shown that reading improves our ability to analyze and solve problems. Readers improve their general knowledge, and more importantly they are able to spot patterns quicker. Think about this – If someone can spot patterns at a faster rate, do you think they would also be able to spot opportunities faster? Yes!

Here’s why – as you read more books the depth and breadth of your knowledge expands and your ability to form new connections increases. In other words, you connect more dots and at a faster rate. In reading one book to discover a path to success, you’ll find other paths that you may not have considered. Those that know me know that I say this often – “I didn’t invent anything. I simply connected the dots”. I connected the dots from what I read. It’s really that simple.

Brian Tracy has said that “one way to become an expert in your chosen field is to read 100 books on the subject.” Well, there are more than four thousand billionaires and 12 million millionaires today. And there are literally hundreds of books written both about and by them, all available to you at your local library. That’s billions of dollars’ worth of success knowledge, all available to you just by reading. Imagine what a billion dollars’ worth of knowledge could do to your bank account.

Now to answer the question, why don’t more people read? It’s because they’ve convinced themselves they don’t have the time. In today’s fast paced world, reading seems like a luxury. Many would rather watch a two hour movie than spend one hour reading a book that can help them become successful. What they don’t realize is that movies and television paint the picture for us, while books allow us to paint our own picture.

Rather than watch someone else’s picture, paint your own picture of success. After all, if you don’t have time to read, you won’t have time to become successful. Become the most well-read person you know and watch your success take off!

Be free. Nothing else is worth it.

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  • Tom Sikes

    Setting a specific time has been the best way for me to pick up a book. I usually read when I get home from work as a way to unwind. Then I’ll read in bed which I thought I’d hate, but it’s nice to read until your eyes are tired and you’re ready to sleep.

    I’d recommend putting the computer and TV in a different room from where you do your reading. I like to separate the digital technology from my bookshelf.

  • Connie

    Love this article. I happened upon your site over from an article you shared on Ezine. I have noticed that taking that time, even if it’s after the kids are finally asleep, to read a book has helped me keep my mind straight and be more open to new ideas.

  • AngelaKaye

    I agree. i had to restart the habit of reading after college. I find that the best time for me to read is right before bed. I love to read at all times, but I am actually able to read on most days when I do it right before bed. I also find that I sleep better on those nights that I read before I go to sleep than on the nights where I’m watching tv right before bed.

  • Hector

    This may be “cheating” … I listen to audiobooks while driving. I’m using my time more effectively and also improving my listening skills. When reading, it’s easy to skim or skip parts. With audio, you don’t set the pace, which is refreshing in a strange way.

    Books bring a nice side benefit: you improve the way you think. That brings an edge in today’s competitive world — especially when so few read.

    • Melanie H.

      Hector, I don’t think that’s cheating! It’s a productive use of your commute time, and audio books do help improve listening skills.

  • Anna Brejner

    Been reading over 150 books in the last 15 years and my vocabulary is quite large. 🙂