How reading can make you rich
Chapter 11 from the CHANGE JOURNAL »
Let's not kid ourselves: we read too little.
Too few books.
The statistical numbers1 are horrifying (a small taste test: 18 percent of men and eleven percent of women don't read a single book. In a month, in a year, in their lives. That's true.).
Reading is a completely incomparable enrichment: Everything has been, and still is, discussed between two book covers (or on a reader screen). Nothing is forbidden, crime and love, history and future, vision and fact, man and woman and android, Nazi and saint, in the book, all are equal - and you can access all these experiences, theories, fantasies and treasures of knowledge as you like pleases. That's great!
You're in good company: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg does it, tennis star Andrea Petkovic does it, design pope Karl Lagerfeld does it, Motörhead legend Lemmy Kilmister did it (almost as much as drinking cola whisky), the richest Man in the world Bill Gates does it - the list of major bookworms is long.
And: Celebrities have a tightly scheduled life. How can they free up so much time?
The answer is simple: They do it - because it is important to them. They are curious. They want to be whisked away into unknown worlds, they want childhood memories back, they love mental cinema, and they want to continue their education.
And for this, they reserve several hours weekly (reserve, don't sacrifice!).
By the way, there are many solid, good reasons for reading. Here are my personal top six:
1) You open yourself to new things and benefit from the wealth of experience of others
2) You leave the whole annoying world outside
3) You improve your comprehension, your creativity, and your vocabulary
4) You increase your focus, your concentration, your memory strength
5) You are more relaxed after just 6 minutes of reading2
6) You become a more competent and attractive conversationalist
To come back to the topic of time: for a book of, say, 300 pages, you have to calculate five, maybe six hours of reading time - in total. Statistically, you hang out on social media and messengers for almost two* hours a day.
The calculation is simple: If it were possible to exchange a few minutes online for a few minutes of reading a book daily, then you would have achieved a great effect: one hour of reading per day = one book per week.
But be careful. Take on only a little right away. My tip: Start, and you will find your measure. You will also discover which books kick your ass and which bore you. Only read what you like! Then you look forward to reading and don't see it as a tiresome task that needs to be ticked off. Far too many wonderful books out there want to be read!
We have based the following calendar templates on a study by Mindlab International, according to which reading reduces stress. Subjects only had to read silently for 6 minutes, and heart rate slowed, and muscles relaxed.
You can track how much you read every day. You can also judge whether reading was easy or difficult for you.
Yes, that's right, it's all about books. Twitter, Facebook, e-mails, blogs, etc., are also read. And I'm sure you'll learn something from it, too. But it's all digital and rather fleeting in character. And I wouldn't count everything you must read for your job or studies either. You'll feel the difference yourself if you take the extra time to fully immerse yourself in a book and then dive into a different world of thought. We want to track that here.
Here is an example from the CHANGE JOURNAL:
1 Forsa Institute 2015 on behalf of Stern magazine
2 According to a study by Mindlab International at the University of Sussex, reading reduces stress. Subjects only had to read in silence for 6 minutes and heart rate slowed and muscles relaxed.