The Habit That Changed My Life

I Acquired A Kindle Unintentionally

It was meant as a Christmas gift for a girl I was dating at the time. She broke up with me right before Christmas and I kept the Kindle. I had no idea the impact it would have on my life.

Reading Has Never Been Easier

The main benefit of the Kindle is that it makes reading hassle free. I find a book on Amazon, one click  to ‘buy now’, and it’s automatically downloaded to my Kindle and the Kindle app on my smart phone. Now I read before I go to bed, in line at Chipotle, or when I sit on the commode. I also use Audible to listen to audio books in the car and while I exercise (anytime I would normally listen to music).

All that time adds up. Over the last five years I’ve completed 20 to 30 thirty books a year through intermittent spurts of reading, far eclipsing my one or two book average in the years prior. Reading has become a daily habit that has taken the place of television. I feel as if I’ve replaced smoking with exercise. Let me explain why I believe that analogy is appropriate.

That Best Scene in One of the Greatest Movies

Good Will Hunting, the Harvard Bar Scene. In case you don’t remember it:

“You dropped 150 grand on a fuckin’ education you could have got for a dollar-fifty in late charges at the public library.”

And that’s what I found the more I read.  There’s a vast wealth of information for little to no cost. How come nobody told me about this sooner? They bribed me with pizza in the third grade (Remember Book-It?). Other than that, I didn’t read growing up. That changed when I got a Kindle. I discovered that this is where all the great ideas had been hiding. All inexpensive and easily accessible.

Thoughts From The Most Successful People

Reading allows me to pick the brains of some of the greatest minds that have ever lived. If Benjamin Franklin offered to stop by for coffee and a chat, would I do it? Of course! That’s not very plausible, because he’s dead and all, but I can read his autobiography. Same for Sam Walton (founder Wal-Mart), Ray Kroc (founder McDonald’s), Malcom X, and many more. It’s unlikely that I’ll become good friends with billionaire Richard Branson, but reading his memoirs I gain insight that would only be had from very deep conversations.

I Can Attribute Major Events In My Life To Reading

Here are a few examples:

The Success Principles – the book that exposed me to the whole “self-improvement” genre, taking 100% responsibility for the outcomes in my life
Born to Run – I signed up for and then ultimately  ran a 100 mile ultramarathon
The 4 Hour Workweek – I quit my job and started a business
Goals: How To Get Everything You Want – Wrote down my list of goals, went after them
I Will Teach You To Be Rich – Paid off all my credit cards, got more aggressive with my savings

Everybody Is Doing It

Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, the Dalai Lama, and Elon Musk  are all prolific readers. Warren Buffet read every book on investing in the Omaha Public Library by age 12. Bill Gates said if he could have one superpower, it would be to read faster. Elon Musk read textbooks about rocket propulsion in order to start SpaceX.

Goal #26: Read 20 Books

I feel as if I’m just scratching the surface with reading. My Kindle is full of purchased, but unread books. My goal for reading this year is 20 books, and I’m behind on that goal. As valuable as I find reading to be, I don’t set aside enough time to do it. That needs to change.


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