How reading CAN make
smarter and more successful

What do the most successful people have in common? They read.

Steve Siebold, who has interviewed more than 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people over the past three decades, discovered that all of them have one thing in common, and that is the habit of regular reading

So how can reading make you smarter, more successful and what can you learn from the world’s greatest?

The Habit Of The Rich

How can reading make you smarter and more successful
Bill Gates photo from

Warren Buffett 

  • Reading frequency: At least 5 hours a day, circa 500 to 600 pages.
  • Book genre: Mainly financial books and newspapers.

Oprah Winfrey 

  • Reading frequency: Every night before going to bed.
  • Book genre: All from novels to self-help books.
  • Interesting fact: She has been hosting her own Book Club since 1996, where she personally selects one book a month.

Bill Gates 

  • Reading frequency: One book a week on average.
  • Book genre: Mainly educational books on public health, business and science, but occasionally a novel, too.
  • Interesting fact: He said that reading has helped him drive forward his career.

Mark Zuckerberg

  • Reading frequency: In 2015 he read 1 book every other week.
  • Genre: Educational books on science, psychology, sociology, biographies and once in a while some fiction books.
  • Interesting Fact: At the start of 2015 he started a reading challenge and created a Facebook group called “A Year of Books”, where he shared his reading journey and invited some of the authors of the books he selected.

Emma Watson

  • Reading frequency: She reads one book a week, plus one a month for her book club.
  • Genre: Novels and books on feminism.
  • Interesting Fact: After finishing shooting “The Circle” and “The Beauty and The Beast”, she took a year away from acting to focus on her self-development through books.


  • Reading Frequency: He read almost every day.
  • Genre: Books about history, philosophy and religion, also some poetry books as well.
  • Interesting Fact: He owned a collection of approximately 10 000 books, which he ended up donating to a public library.

Mark Cuban:

  • Reading Frequency: He read at least 3 hours every day.
  • Genre: Educational books on technology, media, and business.
  • Interesting Fact: Knowledge he acquired through books gave him an opportunity to compete with experts in the technological field while having a very little computer background.

Sheryl Sandberg 

  • Reading Frequency: She reads every night.
  • Genre: Self-educational books.
  • Interesting Fact: Has written her own book “Lean In”, and co-wrote with Adam Grant “Option B”.

4 ways reading can make you smarter and improve your life

  1. YOU CONSTANTLY LEARN NEW THINGS  Successful people are in a constant hunt for new learnings that can add value to their lives and businesses.Even if educational books are the preferred option of the top performers when it comes to self-education, other types of books can provide valuable advice as well. E.g., fiction books provide a great reflection on real life and usually contain subtle action calls we can learn from.

  2. YOU BECOME MORE FOCUSED AND LEARN TO PRIORITIZE By reading, you learn to focus on one activity at a time, which almost acts as a form of meditation! Nailing this will makes you more efficient at work as you train your mind not to jump from one task to another without actually completing anything (something that is becoming more difficult in today’s world of technology!).In addition, when you choose a book instead of TV or social media, you build your willpower to prioritize things that can actually make you grow.

  3. YOU IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY It is proven, reading improves your memory function (read more about the NCU studies here). While reading, your brain is constantly absorbing pieces of information. This acts as a brain exercise, due to which your memory improves. So next time you are reading, think of it as a mental exercise for your brain, just like lifting weights for your body.

  4. YOU BECOME MORE OPEN  When reading you expose yourself to various ideas and cultures, and learn how to deal with different situations.You can experiment in your life with different techniques that you may never have learned on your own. And you will be more comprehensive with other people, understanding that the same does not work for everyone.

“When you choose a book instead of a TV or social media, you build your willpower to prioritize things that can actually make you grow”

Dovile Sinke

how to turn reading into a habit?

If Elon Musk and Bill Gates find time to read, you can too!

 Join our 21-Day Daily Reading Challenge by subscribing here and develop a habit of daily reading. You will receive guidelines, tracking tools and encouragement from us and our community – all you need to do is to sign-up!


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    Add reading to your morning routine, for example, read while you drink your coffee or while commuting to work. If your mornings are very busy, pick up a book before you go to sleep to unwind and relax.
    Do you have a habit that you want to get rid of? For example, maybe just like me, you are one of those people that grabs a snack every time they get bored or anxious?

    The best way to eliminate the bad habit is to replace it with a new positive one. So next time you are anxious and want to go and grab some food, take a mental notice and pick up a book instead!

What​ about your reading habits?

Do you read? How often and what type of literature do you prefer?

Drop us a comment below or on the social media.

Your feedback means the world to us!


Dovile Sinke

Dovile Sinke

Dovile is interested in all things related to health, fitness and nutrition. She's a hard-core fitness freak - you can either meet her doing some sorts of intense HIIT training, walking in the park or unwinding with a cup of vegan cappuccino after a relaxing yoga class. Dovile is a founder of 21 Day Hero, responsible for the content and running the entire show.
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