Many entrepreneurs I know feel’s good without reading. They not only to read books, they don’t read anything at all. At most, they read restaurant menus, TV captions, slogans on billboards. And they don’t feel any discomfort. I never ask them what they’re reading now.
Seeing all of this many people have a reasonable questions: “If they can make good money without books, why do I need them?”, “Can be a person successful without reading books?” It depends on what you mean by success…
Why should we read books?
In the age of the Internet, Youtube, and social media, many people consider reading books a useless waste of time. However, as research shows:
- People read books more thoughtfully;
- A book is much better digested than movies, infographics, and educational videos;
- It is better to read one good book than to read tons of bad content from unproved bloggers.
The good books develop thinking, imagination and reasoning skills. They increase your intelligence. By reading a lot of literature of different genres, you improve your erudition. People who read a lot have a much broader outlook than people who don’t read.
Books also help with communication and creativity. Each new book adds new phrases to your vocabulary. For example, if you read a work of a genre you are not familiar with, you will come across new words that you can understand either from the context or by using a glossary. Your vocabulary will gradually become richer.
Numerous studies have shown that people who read books regularly have a more trained and developed memory. That’s not surprising. After all, avid readers receive a large flow of information every day, which needs to be processed, organized and remembered.
A person who reads a lot is more likely to be able to express their thoughts clearly and understandably. People who read regularly are interesting conversationalists. At the very least, this can be attributed to an extensive list of topics to talk about.
Reading good books is a useful activity. If you do it regularly, the positive result will not make you wait. You will become a more intelligent and creative person.
Why am I reading books?
I like to read so that I can constantly train my brain and learn something new. I also like to share what I’ve read.
Often in response I hear the question: “Where do I get the time to read it all?”. I advise you to pay attention to the techniques of speed reading and photo-reading. There are already several articles about them on our blog. But the question: “Why read at all?” I have never heard from my interlocutors. Perhaps, there are no such people among my audience.
For me, a book is a tool. It is a microscope and a telescope at the same time. A book carries nothing in itself that can be immediately “pump” something into my brain. It is like an optical device that allows us to look into ourselves and make the most hidden corners of our personality visible. At the same time, this same device brings our farthest dreams closer by making the possibilities around us visible.
Any book can become a personal coach for you. Even if you haven’t read it yet. When I couldn’t afford to buy any book I wanted, I would go to Amazon and copy the contents of the book I was interested in. I would read the title of the chapter and try to write a summary of it. The book provoked me to think. I believe that the right idea can always be found, all it takes is a tip and focus.
How do I manage to read books quickly and thoughtfully?
Before I start reading any book, I take at least 15 minutes to prepare. I sit down in a quiet place and try to formulate in writing the questions I would like the book to answer. Describe the problem I’d like to move forward with after reading it. This is how I make up the nodal points of entry into the book. I keep a sheet of questions next to the book. For me, it’s okay if the list of questions is refilled while I’m reading. I make sure to keep it until I finish reading. When I finish reading the last page, I already have two lists.
As I read, the list of questions brings out information from the text that somehow reveals a connection to the answers I’m looking for. I mark these places in the text. Often I write directly on the pages with a pencil or write out my thoughts in my workbook, which is always nearby.
The purpose of this quick-reading technique is to squeeze key ideas out of a book by running the text through a grid of pre-composed questions.
In addition, I write out or simply note anything that caught my attention. The finalized list of questions and the ideas and facts written out along the way are valuable things that I begin to process after I finish reading.
I read fast. I liked collecting books I read. I made a list of the books I read in a year, was registered in several Internet services that allowed me to brag about the covers as if they were scalps. Then I started buying some books a second time, forgetting that I already had them. A few times it happened that by page 30-50 I realized that I had already read it before. Then came the realization: the book I read must change something for the better in my life.
Before I started reading the book, “on my way in,” I wrote questions. When I finished reading, I sat down to make a list of ideas and tasks. I haven’t relied on my memory for a long time.
Any blunt pencil is better than the sharpest memory. If you think you’ll never forget an interesting fact, a vivid episode, or a wonderful idea, you’re probably wrong. At best, you will forget about them altogether. At worst, you will feel resentment for missing a bright idea.
After the reading is finished, I open my notebook again. I put in front of me the sheet with the questions I wrote before I started reading (let’s call it list No. 1). I reread my notes that I made during the reading. To easily find the parts of the text that caught my attention, I make a list of pages at the end of each book I read that I can return to if necessary.
It’s worth taking another 15-30 minutes to write answers to the questions on the first list. More often than not, these entries then migrate to my Ideas folder in Evernote or straight to my “to-do” list.
Taking notes, underlining, and excerpts in the age of Google and scanning capabilities seems like a pointless waste of effort to many people. I don’t think so. For me, reading books itself is just part of the work of finding meaning. In books, I look for signals that help me act, and then to reflect, to evaluate the changes brought about by those actions.
Thinking and writing are also important to me as reading.
As for speed of reading books. I spent many years mastering my skills of speed-reading in different ways. Then I got interested in photo-reading. And then I forgot about both. I just began to quickly extract the information I needed from books. It turned out that subconsciously I wasn’t interested in just learning to read faster. It was like some kind of trick to surprise or attract attention.
We should have realized that the end result of reading is to bring us closer to our desired goals. When you know what you are looking for, it is easier to concentrate on the process of searching. Attention highlights from the text everything that, in one way or another, is associated with the subject of the search. It is quicker to link things up into logical chains. Note-taking helps to fix understanding and frees attention for new findings.
I no longer read for the sake of reading. Through reading, I seek to solve the specific problems I am currently facing. And, as I said above: “Thinking and writing are as important to me as reading”.
So is it possible to achieve success without reading books?
If you have read till here and have not found an answer to this question, then I am being insufficiently concrete. Yes, it is possible to be successful without books. But at the cost of your own mistakes, not someone else’s. Moreover, there is a possibility that you can make a lot of mistakes, but you can’t learn anything and in the end you will not succeed.
When you read books, you learn about the mistakes of others, you develop your thinking, you reflect and draw conclusions. This allows you to move faster toward your goal.
We need the books to find the way, the targets, the understandings we need. But understanding without action is “information fat”. That’s why for be succesful you need not only read books, but also take action.