If you’re anything like me, you probably have a whole stack of books sitting around that you’re really going to read some day. Yeah right!
Sure, it would be nice to get some more reading done, but let’s face it: there is usually something more urgent that needs to get done. And when you have to do all the urgent things, there isn’t much time left over for the non-urgent (but still important in the long run) activities like reading.
Did you know that the majority of people in the United States don’t ever read a single book after high school? In fact, if you take all the book sales in the U.S. it’s enough for about one book per person, and most of those don’t even get read. They’re sitting on some shelf like in my bedroom.
Without continuing to read, how can you stay sharp in your industry and get a raise? How can you keep your brain alert and full of new ideas? How can you master new skills and improve your hobbies?
A book is incredibly powerful because it gives you leverage. The author could have spent years of his or her life studying a subject, reading everything that had already been written, learning from the best, summarizing different theories, and simplifying complex ideas. After ten years of research, thousands of hours and millions of pages can be condensed into a concise little 200 page novel, and little old you comes along to get it for $10.
You can now plug that information right into your brain, just like you’d insert a CD-ROM into a computer. Zap! A few hours later it has been copied, and you’ve just done an amazing thing: gotten the accumulation of the best ideas that the human race has produced for all time. If you had to do it on your own, it would have taken you the ten years and millions of pages that the author went through. But instead you took a short-cut.
I mean, other animals can’t do that. A monkey can merely learn from it’s parents or other members of it’s group. It can’t learn from a monkey that lives on the other side of the world, or even over the next hill, and it certainly can’t learn from monkey’s of the past who are long gone. If the monkey wants to discover a new way to peel bananas, he’s pretty much limited to what he can come up with on his own. With each generation of monkey’s that passes on, great amounts of information as lost because they can’t store and pass on ideas to future generations.
We as humans have been given this amazing communication tool, and yet so few take advantage of it. It’s really a shame when you think about it.
So here is my long winded answer to getting more reading done that we should all take advantage of: audio books.
You see, every day you have to drive (or perhaps take the subway or public transportation). With a stack of books at home, you can always have something more important to do instead. But you aren’t going to wake up one day and say “I’m too busy to drive anywhere today”. Given the average commute to work alone, you’ll probably spend 45 minutes in the car.
Life is quite simply too short to spend time listening to Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, and advertisements for male enhancement on the radio, and as Brian Tracy says “if you aren’t listening to books on tape, you quite simply aren’t serious about being successful in life”.
Almost every high performance person I know listens to books on tape. Probably a number of people who you respect and admire do as well, but you just don’t know it yet! It’s not the kind of thing that comes up in everyday conversation, especially since feels a little bit dorky (to be perfectly honest). But they are still doing it.
Almost every major book you can think of that comes out today is available as an audio book. You can purchase them on websites like Audible.com (the Amazon of audio books) and even get them for free at your local library. Once you start to meet other people who listen to audio books, you’ll start to swap them and get them for free that way.
Another benefit of audio books is that many people retain information better by listening than by reading. Were you the type of person in class who preferred to listen to the teacher or to read the text book on your own? Personally, I always found reading text books in school to be boring, but I have no problem listening to someone talk (especially if the topic is interesting) and tend to learn better that way. Everyone is different, but it was a big advantage for me.
With the amount of time the average person spends in the car, it’s not unreasonable to finish an additional book every week. Since you have to drive (or commute, or go to the gym, etc – there are plenty of other places besides driving), the chances of forgetting to read or not having enough time go right out the window.
How would your life be different if you read an additional 50 books per year? Do you think you might get some good ideas? Do you think you might learn a few tips that could help your life?
Get started right now by going out and purchasing an audio book.
Brian Armstrong became a financially independent business owner within one year or quitting his job. You can learn how to start your own home based business in 30 days with less than $100 at his website.