The Single Best Tip to Read More Books

One approach to transform your reading habits forever

The other day someone told me that they had loved reading when they were younger but now, as a college graduate, they could not even trouble themselves to pick up a single book.

Another friend of mine from university told me how they had attempted innumerable times to pick up a book, but seem to always fail to finish reading it.

This conundrum is not a rare one. It’s a common affliction in modern times especially for young adults. With the pressures of finding a job or career, or the perpetual, looming threat of exams in school, outside reading often falls by the wayside.

For many of us, reading has become a relic of the past, a bygone activity of our parents and grandparents. It can be hard to muster the concerted effort without proper motivation.

Most people desperately want to be avid readers, but they simply cannot find a way to either begin a book or finish one.

How is one to navigate this problem?

Start by reading a book that is a favorite book of someone you admire or respect

People of high interest or admiration often command an unusual amount of influence.

Think of star athletes, famous actresses and actors, big-name CEOs, authors — these individuals have achieved an inordinate amount of success, which is why admirers are keen to learn about them.

Rarely do high-achievers garner their success by accident. A great deal of time, effort, and investment is typical.

And sure enough, these individuals often have books they reference as formative or influential in their lives.

Recommendations by high-achievers are exactly the books you can start reading to create a reading habit.

For example, if you love Elon Musk, you can look up his favorite book recommendations, or the books that have been most influential in his life.

Taking this approach has a two-fold benefit:

  1. You can better understand someone you deeply admire — this book is one that left a significant impact on the person of your admiration.
  2. By reading a book recommended by someone you look up to, you will likely be more motivated than usual to read and finish it.

Reading a book such as this will help you gain a better understanding of the mindset and personality of your idol. It can provide insight into who they are behind the curtain of the public eye.

These reasons can manifest themselves as a strong motivation to begin and finish the book even for someone who is struggling to start reading more regularly.

Though rarely talked about, book recommendations are one of the most intimate ways of getting to know someone.

It is one thing to recognize a famous individual through a movie screen or public platform or news article, but reading a book they love adds a far deeper dimension.

Reading the same book as someone is akin to having access to an identical set of information as that person — and knowing that this information was highly influential to that person adds further intimacy.

It is exciting when you read books recommended by people you admire, love, and respect because it affords you the opportunity to better know these people, their mindset, and their passions.

With these approaches in mind, one has access to a starting point for a new and foundational reading habit to develop.

Phil Rosen is a writer and journalist. If you want to see more of his ideas, check out his travel and lifestyle blog and Instagram.

Bestselling travel writer. Columnist. Author. USC Annenberg School of Journalism.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store