As a lover of reading and a self-proclaimed bookworm, it’s no secret to me that there are plenty of benefits associated with reading. Unfortunately, that isn’t true for all Americans, as 33% will never read another book after graduating high school and 42% will never read again after college.
If you happen to be one of those people who quickly dropped the habit of getting into a good book after it stopped being required of you, I would rethink that decision. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and consistently ranked as one of the richest people alive, says reading may be one of the easiest keys to success.
“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarentee not many of you will do it,” Buffett challenged in a recent interview with CNBC when he was asked about the key to success. Sadly, based on the statistics above, Buffett was right.
It turns out that while Warren Buffett may have planted the seed that reading can help you on your road to success, science has a lot of data to back it up. Of course there are some obvious benefits: You are likely to be more knowledgeable in general and studies have shown that reading can help your long-term memory, but there are some lesser known ways reading could benefit your life.
Those who read are more likely to end up wealthy. Millionaire writer Steve Siebold conducted interviews with 1,200 of the worlds wealthiest people to get some insight into things they had in common. I’m sure you can guess what one was— reading! To add on to that, author Tom Corley studied habits of the rich and the poor and found that 67% of the wealthy limited their TV time to 1 hour or less, and chose to use their time on more beneficial activities.
In addition to increased knowledge, better long term memory, and a better chance at being rich, reading can help your emotional intelligence as well. Studies performed by many different organizations, including Science Magazine and the Public Library of Science, reveal that readers have more empathy and an overall increased emotion intelligence than non-readers.
“I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business,” Buffett explains. He begins each day with his morning papers, and says he probably spends about 80% of his day reading. Warren Buffett has already reaped the benefits of reading, but next time you think about picking up the remote I would reconsider.
Check out Buffett’s 14 Must-Read Books here.