The Impact of Reading. From your Eye, to your Mind, to your Wallet.

The Impact of Reading. From your Eye, to your Mind, to your Wallet.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

“See Spot Run.”

That sentence was from one of your first reading lessons.

“Look. Look. Look.”

That sentence was from one of your first reading lessons.

More than 100 years ago, The Scott, Foresman Publishing company created the immortal reader, Fun with Dick and Jane. Millions of kids learned to read from those books – me included.

You learned to read at a very young age. It was fun.

Then came television, it was more fun, and your reading was cut in half – maybe more.

Then came beer, and less reading.

Then came job, and even less reading.

Then came marriage and family, and reading books converted to reading bank statements and insurance policies, and helping your kids learn to read from the very same books you learned from.

You get the idea. Many people, maybe even you, have substituted reading for other activities, pleasures, or necessities in life.

I believe it’s time to reverse that trend.

You have all heard the phrase, “Read to succeed.” I believe the phrase should be, “The more you read, the more you will succeed.”

How much do you read?
How much should you be reading?
What do you read?
What should you be reading?

Those are four compelling success questions.

Only you know the answers.

Here are a few more reading thoughts:
On book reports. Teachers asked you to do book reports for a reason. Book reports helped you talk about and think about what you read. Book reports helped you understand the impact of the book and generated thoughts and ideas about your new knowledge.
On tests. Tests, especially essay questions, forced you to clarify and elaborate on what you read. Almost forced understanding, especially if you were like me – cramming the night before.
On volume of volumes. It’s likely you read more books by the age of 12 than you read in your adult life. Why? Probably TV.
On speed reading. You can’t read Atlas Shrugged (by Ayn Rand) in a minute. You have to read every word. You read a book to gain knowledge and wisdom from the lessons and the ideas. You read for the experience and the pleasure. It’s not a race; it’s a journey. If you want to win, think tortoise, not hare.
On fiction or non-fiction. Novels are not as thought provoking or idea laden as non-fiction. I am prejudiced toward non-fiction because it’s more “how to” and because I write it. I recommend that you treat yourself to a novel or two a year. But if you read a book a month, the ratio should be ten non-fiction and two fiction a year.

The benefits of reading are short term and long term:
Read to enjoy.
Read to understand.
Read to get answers.
Read to strategize.
Read to clarify.
Read to see what others are thinking.
Read to learn.
Read to expand your knowledge.
Read to refine your thinking.
Read to impact your thinking.
Read to create an atmosphere of focused thought.
Read to change your thinking.
Read to create new thoughts.
Read to generate new ideas.
Read to achieve.
Read to win.
Read to earn.

Here are some of my personal reading tips from things I do as I am reading, and after I put the book down:

I highlight as I read, but I don’t just underline what the author said, I take my own notes as I read.
I write in the margins and enter my margin notes in an action file. I put thoughts and ideas in writing as soon as they occur.
I can identify with characters, and characteristics. Most notably Holden Caulfield, he was the first. Then came Sherlock Holmes, Howard Roark, and John Galt. There are many others including, but not limited to Bugs Bunny, Alfred E. Newman, The Cat in the Hat, and Don Juan.
I discuss to clarify. I talk about what I learned from reading to clarify and affirm my own thinking.
I take action on things I want to try, or things I’m trying to accomplish.
I gain insight. Especially when I read about creativity and thinking.
I am inspired by those in the arts whose paintings, woodcuts, and photographs I admire.
I adjust philosophies and thoughts when more credible ones emerge. When I read, I’m open to learn, and open to new ideas.

How does reading impact you?

Many people go to the library to read. Libraries are a great place to read and determine if the book is valuable enough to own. Bookstores are where you can purchase books to build your own library. Books are not just for reading; they’re also for reference.

The action plan is simple: Read ten pages a day. At the end of a year you will have read 3,650 pages. My bet is that those pages will teach you more, inspire you more, and earn you more, than the TV re-runs you’re currently watching.

Yes, there are books I recommend to build your library. Go to, click Access GitBit, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enter the word LIBRARY in theGitBit box.