Why You Should Read More Books (Even If You Don’t Want to Be a CEO)

I used to be in a cult.

The Benefits of Reading

Ok, it wasn’t an actual cult, but it was close to it. The funny thing is…I developed the most valuable skill from joining it.

The cult in question is called Amway. It’s one of those MLM network marketing companies where you recruit other people to your team and get a cut of their sales, so on and so forth.

Anyway, what I did enjoy about the group was their dedication to education — mostly reading. They wanted the sales team to have the attitude required to grind it out and hustle vitamins and eco-friendly cleaning products.

I left the cult, kept the habit, and like 938,384,230,872,657,002 other people, I now can’t help but espouse the benefits of reading.

The question — what is the purpose of reading?

The answer — let’s start with what the purpose of reading isn’t.

The Purpose of Reading Isn’t to Become a Ceo

You’ve heard this quote before, “the average CEO reads one book per week.”

So what? Who cares?

Most people are never going to be CEOs. Most people don’t want to be CEOs.

And even if you did want to be a CEO, the number of books you read wouldn’t cause you to become one. I suspect the average CEO reads one book per week because the average intelligent person period reads a decent amount and — ethics aside — most CEOs are intelligent.

I’m not sure why the average CEO quote has to be a part of the advertisement for “why you should read books” when there are so many better reasons.

That’s the first bad reason to dispel. Let’s move on to the second.

The Purpose of Reading Isn’t to Count How Many Books You Read

I admit it. I used to be one of those pretentious people who not only counted the books I read, but told other people how many books I read.

No more. I think people like me (in the past) and others who brag about how much they read can actually turn people off to it. In fact, I think pretentious attitudes about the entire range of self-improvement topics turns people off to the genre as a whole.

Nobody wants to feel bad about not keeping up with some arbitrary quota so they can become the next CEO. We all want to improve our lives, but we don’t want to hear our lives aren’t good just because we don’t meet quota ‘x’ — x being how many books you read, how many times you get up and do a morning routine or the number of goals you reached in a month.

So, at least I won’t be another person to tell you to treat reading like a sport.