“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss
When asked how to get smarter, Warren Buffett once pointed to a stack of books and said “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 guarantee not many of you will do it.”
He’s not the only avid reader; Bill Gates reads about 50 books per year, which breaks down to 1 per week, Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read a book every 2 weeks throughout 2015 and these aren’t just random examples, A study of 1200 wealthy people found that they all have reading as a pastime in common.
Great advice but who really has the time to read 500 pages a day or read one book per week? You might exclaim. Technological advances have brought more opportunities to make reading easier, from smart phone apps and tablets. No longer do we have to carry weighty hard/paperback books around with us neither do we have to complain about the inaccessibility of books.
Despite these advantages, we still find excuses not to read.
“I’m very busy.”
“Reading for too long is boring.”
“I can’t afford a Kindle right now.”
There’s a way to make the process easier. Enter the 10% rule.
The 10% rule plays by this simple guide:
- Create an inventory of books you’d like to read: List out a number of books you’ll like to buy and read or list out the books you have presently have in your library but haven’t read yet. If you are on amazon or goodreads, both platforms have a wishlist which helps you add books you wish to buy or you are yet to read to a wishlist. This will help you create an inventory.
- Choose a book to read: From the inventory list, pick a book and Commit to reading a new book it in its entirety by reading 10% every day. This is the basis of the 10% rule. A point to be taken is that reading 10% of a 200 page book is not the same as reading 10% of a 300 page book, so take into consideration when you’re going to read. It’s best to read when your energy is going to be at its highest. If 10% is a lot because of the size of the book, split it in half and read 5% in the morning and 5% in the evening. (This is easier if you commute to work via public transport). That means that if you’re reading a book that’s 200-300 pages in length, you can read an average of one book a week. That’s 52+ books a year, even more than the yearly read of Bill Gates!
- Archive your notes for easy reference: Taking notes is an often overlooked aspect of the reading process. Making notes is necessary if you want to remember what you’ve read. If you are reading via kindle, it provides the option of highlighting chosen portions of a book that inspire you. You can always go back to these notes for reference.
When you have read a book, the next big thing you can do is donate the book. Think of the book as a special gift that will enlighten others as much as it has enlightened you. The best channel for giving books to a wide audience is through a library, one like the Herbert Macaulay library, Yaba recently redeveloped by GTBank into a state of the art learning and recreational facility. To donate your new or used books to the Yaba Library, simply send it to or any GTBank branch, addressed: CSR Team, GTBank Head Office, Lagos. Spread the word!