The Need to Read

Mark Twain once said: “The person who does not read good books has absolutely no advantage over the person who can’t read. At all!”

Reading is a primary source of new knowledge and skills for more success in life.

This is the “Information Age.” Half of what we know today, we did not know fifteen years ago.

The amount of knowledge has doubled in the last fifteen years and is said to be doubling again every eighteen months.

95% of all the books in America are purchased by only 5% of the people. The other 95% of the people purchase the other 5% of the books. (They probably don’t read them; they don’t have the time; they give them away as gifts.)

The average person reads at approximately 200 words per minute.

The average person, reading just 15 minutes per day, can read one book per month, 12 books per year.

The average person retains only 5% of what is read once, after 30 days. Therefore, take notes, file your data for easy access at a later date.

We receive more information in one day than people in the early 1900s received in their lifetime. So if you feel you don’t have the time to read, try “driving a book.” You’ll be amazed at how productive this method can be.

Commuting distances and times are still growing each year, with the average commuter now spending about 90 minutes per day in the car, just getting to and from work … 45 minutes each way. Therefore:

90 Minutes a Day is:
Approximately 7.5 Hours a Week
X 50 Weeks a Year (two weeks vacation) =

 375 Hours Per Year Or
47 8-Hour Days

Today, you can find a wide variety of books on audio cassette or CD, providing you with the opportunity to listen to your favorite book while driving to and from work every day. Consider how many books you could listen to in 47 eight-hour days! That’s how you gain a competitive edge rather than falling victim to the stresses of your daily commute!

For those of you who would rather read your book than listen to others read it to you, there is still another choice for you. Remember the very helpful Cliff Notes we all used in high school as we denied their existence? Well, today there are several companies who are doing the same thing with current best sellers. Check out and for examples!

Today’s typical 200- to 300-page book can cost you anywhere from $20 to $40 and can take up to 20 to 25 hours to read! These new services have condensed the content to no more than eight pages which take about an hour to read and can cost as low as $1.92 per book when purchasing in quantity and even FREE on other sites!

Increasing reading speed and comprehension is an essential tool in today’s competitive environment, and it is the most immediate and easiest time management tool to increase your career success. As our challenges change so do our opportunities to cope with them. Take a moment to do a little research, and you’ll certainly reap some great benefits.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

2 thoughts on “The Need to Read

  1. You are right, Harry, in that reading comprehension is essential. Make sure your children learn it correctly. We now know that poor readers can become good readers by applying reading comprehension strategies. It’s well worth the investment.

  2. Response to dhimes

    Thanks for sharing your personal insight on such a cruicial subject as reading comprehension. I totally agree that poor readers can very well become good readers but I also believe we must cease depending on schools, teachers and strategies ALONE. We, as parents, grandparents, siblings and friends must take a more active part in assisting whenever and wherever we can. Our future as a country is a stake.
    Thanks again for your input.

    Harry K. Jones

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