What's the secret to thinking like a CEO? According to Jessica Mah, co-founder of InDinero, it's simple -- just read 100 books a year. She's not the only one insisting that, if you want to be super successful, you need to read more. Business greats like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have said much the same thing. Mark Zuckerberg publicly got through 23 titles as part of his book club last year.
The problem, of course, is that you're busy. Most of us would love to have the leisure time to curl up with a great book for hours every day but few of us do. How do these super busy billionaires manage to read so much? And, more important, how can you?
Founder and author Darius Foroux insists getting through 100 books a year is doable, no matter your schedule. In a post on Medium recently he offered some detailed advice on how even the busiest entrepreneur can squeeze in so much reading.
1. Buy books in advance.
When trying to form a new habit, it pays to remove any obstacle that could get in the way of you keeping to your new routine, no matter how trivial. So those looking to start taking their vitamins might move the bottle to eye level, or new runners might invest in better sneakers. For would-be readers, this principle dictates you don't wait to finish one book to buy another. You should always have books lying around and easy to grab.
"If you have more books in your house, you'll have more choices, and this will help you read more," insists Foroux. "Here's why: Most of the books you read are not planned in advance. You don't sit down in January and say: 'The first week of June I'll read this book.' You finish a book, look you at your inventory, and decide what to read next... Having an inventory of books keeps up the momentum. You also never have an excuse not to read."
2. Always be reading.
It's as simple as ABC -- always be reading. Nope, you're not miraculously going to find unfilled hours to devour that novel. Instead, you need to make a conscious choice to use the odds and ends of your days to reach your reading target.
"Find a way to read around your schedule and your life situation," says Foroux, who suggests you could read on the train, while waiting at the doctor's office, while breastfeeding your baby (I can personally testify you can get through quite a lot of books this way), or during breaks at work. It might sound like simple advice but Foroux's math is compelling. "Most people read 50 pages an hour. If you read 10 hours a week, you'll read 26,000 pages a year. Let's say the average book you read is 250 pages: In this scenario, you'll read 104 books in a year," he calculates.
3. Read what you like.
Want to read a lot? Then don't force yourself to read books you're not interested in at that particular moment. This isn't Literature 101, with a set syllabus. Anything you pick up and enjoy will offer you some value.
"Not all books are for everyone. A book might be a bestseller, but maybe you can't stand the writing. Or maybe it's not the right time to read a book," observes Foroux. "If you can't flip through the pages, put the book away and pick up something you are so excited about that you tear up the pages." Life is too short (and the supply of potential titles too plentiful) to make yourself read boring books.
How many books did you read last year? How many will you get through this year?