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Reading Habits of Successful People

Surveys have been done that have discovered that approximately only 40% of adults in the United States read literature that is not required for work or educational purposes. This is not the case for the most successful people of the world, most of whom credit their reading habits as playing a part in their success.

Successful people read far more than the average person. But, they are selective in what they read, choosing to be educated rather than entertained by the material. Wealthier people read to gain knowledge for self-improvement, or to gain an edge over the competition, while poorer people seek pleasure from reading.

Successful people are always seeking a means to expand their knowledge, and the best way to do this is through reading. Not only are they educating themselves, but reading has also been shown to aid in stress prevention and depression while enhancing decision-making. So make sure you read on to learn about the five reading habits of successful people.

The Reading Habits Of Uber-Successful People

There are many successful people in this world, and they all have their own stories as to how they managed to achieve what they have. There is one through-line though: they all tend to be on a constant journey of expanding their minds through reading. So let us examine a few examples.

Warren Buffet

Buffet was once asked about the keys to attaining success, and part of his answer was that one ought to read at least 500 pages every day. He explained that that’s what you need to do to ensure the compounding of your knowledge. He also stated that the likelihood of most people doing so is quite slim.[1]

When he started his career as an investor, Buffet read between 600 and 1,000 pages per day. This may seem like an excessive amount, but to him, it was a top priority. Some days he would look through 500 pages of financial documents and reportedly spent roughly five hours a day reading newspapers.

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban spends roughly 3 hours per day reading, and he discussed how while growing up, he would read whatever book or magazine he could get his hands on. His reasoning for reading so much, was that a single good idea that came from reading could make all difference.

He believes that he gains an advantage in whatever sphere he decides to approach by putting in the time and effort to absorb knowledge and information. He also noted that the internet had become a handy and readily available source of a vast expanse of information that is right at our fingertips.

Mark Cuban also mentioned, which we’re sure is true for that which most successful people read, that the material was publicly available. Any person could gain access to the same books and magazines he reads, but not many bother doing so.

Elon Musk

From a young age, Musk was fascinated with reading, particularly science-fiction novels. He reportedly would spend up to 10 hours per day reading. When he was only nine years old, he had read through the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.

He then went on to co-found PayPal and is now the CEO of Tesla. When it comes to his love and knowledge of rockets, he credits books and the practice of reading abundantly. Once he was asked how he is so knowledgeable about them, he simply stated that he read a lot.

When he realized that the cost of building a rocket was exorbitantly high, he decided to teach himself. He read extensively on the topic, and his drive to reach the goal and acquire the necessary knowledge led him to where he is today. 

Benjamin Franklin

America’s first millionaire, and founding father of the country was an avid reader. Ben Franklin would wake up everyday at, and he would make sure he read something enlightening or educational before[2]

He had a strict self-improvement regimen, which included at least one hour of reading each weekday. His reading helped him become a polymath; meaning, he was competent and in some cases highly skilled as a writer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, entrepreneur, and political philosopher.

Related: Want to Be Rich? Read These

5 Ways To Read Your Way To Success

Read For Success

So as we have seen with the few individuals discussed above, reading (and reading the right things) can have a significant impact on your life and can only benefit you, so let’s look at 5 habits that you can adopt to begin reading your way to success.

1. Frequent The Library

Books are an expensive commodity, but that does not mean that you have to go without them. Getting a library card is usually either free or inexpensive. The fact that you can only rent books for a limited time will help encourage you to read them within a specific timeframe. 

Libraries may be thought to be a thing of the past. Still, in an era where social media and on-demand entertainment are so prevalent, there has been a realization of the importance of books and the knowledge they can impart. And libraries offer a vast amount of untapped knowledge that is just waiting for you to tap into.

2. Ensure That A Book Is Always Easily Accessible

We will discuss setting specific time aside for reading books in a moment, but that does not mean that you have to be limited to these allotted times. Always keep the book you are reading handy, as you never know when a free moment will present itself, and you will be able to capitalize on the opportunity to get in a few pages.

Alternatively, opt for the audiobook option if you travel a lot and do not have time to sit down and read. Listening to books does not mean that the knowledge is of any less value. So sign up for something like Audible or listen to audiobooks via podcasts. Traveling can take a lot of time, and you should utilize it.

3. Set Aside Time And Set A Timer

When it comes to deciding that you will incorporate reading into your life, especially if it has been a while or if it is a new addition to your schedule, you need to make a habit of it. The best way to start this is to assign a specific time of the day and then establish how long you can read.

Make sure that this time is distraction-free and stick to the allocated time. Devote the entire period to fully focusing on absorbing as much information as you can. Doing this will force you to commit to the task, and it will soon become just another aspect of your everyday life.

4. Spend Time Reading Before Bed

Now, this may be the allotted time in your day that you spend reading, or it may simply be some additional time where you use reading to help you unwind from the busy day. Either way, it is proven that reading helps us to sleep better.

Of course the best time of day to read based can vary based on the type of reading you intend to do i.e. non-fiction, academic, or fiction. You can use this resource as a guide.

Either way, switch out the television, laptop, or cell phone screen for a book, whether this is an educational, motivational, or even fiction book, as it is a far healthier option for you. Additionally, if this is the only time you can read, it will help set you up to be consistent in the matter.

5. Give The Book at Least 3 Chapters

Every book you pick up should be given a chance, however, do not dwell on it if it is not providing you with what you are looking for. Indeed, we ought not to judge a book by its cover, and sometimes the first chapter does not hook us right away, but after the first three chapters, you should know if it is for you or not.

So give it a chance, especially if it has featured on the list of those read by successful people, but also realize that not every recommended book will offer you the same as others. So it is okay to switch it out for something else that will benefit you.


Successful people read a lot that is no secret, but they are also selective in what they read and what you will find is that they opt for books that offer knowledge and insight. They are less concerned with entertaining literature and focus more on expanding their minds.

We certainly hope that this has been a worthwhile read for you and that you are now inspired to begin the reading journey that will hopefully catapult you into your own success story.

Till next time,


The Strive Team is made up of everyday people and experts from all sorts of different callings and professions, each contributing their best advice and unique insights to help you navigate the challenges of achievement, and support you as you strive to live your best life.