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


Theimpact of reading. From your eye, to your mind, to your wallet.

“SeeSpot Run.”

Thatsentence was from one of your first reading lessons.

“Look.Look. Look.”

Thatsentence was from one of your first reading lessons.

Morethan 100 years ago,The Scott, Foresman Publishing company created the immortal readerFunwith Dick and Jane.Millions of kids learned to read from those books — me included.

Youlearned to read at a very young age. It was fun.

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

Thencame beer, and less reading.

Thencame job, and even less reading.

Thencame marriage and family, and reading books converted to reading bankstatements and insurance policies, and helping your kids learn toread from the very same books you learned from.

Youget the idea. Many people, maybe even you, have substituted readingfor other activities, pleasures, or necessities in life.

Ibelieve it’s time to reverse that trend.

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

How muchdo you read?
How muchshould you be reading?
What doyou read?
Whatshould you be reading?

Thoseare four compelling success questions.

Onlyyou know the answers.

Hereare a few more reading thoughts
Onbook reports.Teachers asked you to do book reports for a reason. Book reportshelped you talk about and think about what you read. Book reportshelped you understand the impact of the book and generated thoughtsand ideas about your new knowledge.
Ontests.Tests, especially essay questions, forced you to clarify andelaborate on what you read. Almost forced understanding, especiallyif you were like me — cramming the night before.
Onvolume of volumes.It’s likely you read more books by the age of 12 than you read inyour adult life. Why? Probably TV.
Onspeed reading.I am against it. You can’t read AtlasShrugged(Ayn Rand) in a minute. You have to read every word. You read a bookto gain knowledge and wisdom from the lessons and the ideas. You readfor the experience and the pleasure. It’s not a race; it’s ajourney. If you want to win, think tortoise, not hare.
Onfiction or non-fiction.Novels are not as thought provoking or idea laden as non-fiction. Iam prejudiced toward non-fiction because it’s more “how to” andbecause I write it. I recommend that you treat yourself to a novel ortwo a year. But if you read a book a month, the ratio should be tennon-fiction and two fiction a year.

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

Hereare some of my personal reading tips from things I do as I amreading, and after I put the book down:
Ihighlight as I read, but I don’t just underline what the authorsaid, I take my own notes as I read.
I writein the margins and enter my margin notes in an action file. I putthoughts and ideas in writing as soon as they occur.
I canidentify with characters, and characteristics. Most notably HoldenCaulfield, 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.
Idiscuss to clarify. I talk about what I learned from reading toclarify and affirm my own thinking.
I takeaction on things I want to try, or things I’m trying to accomplish.
I gaininsight. Especially when I read about creativity and thinking.
I aminspired by those in the arts whose paintings, woodcuts, andphotographs I admire.
I adjustphilosophies and thoughts when more credible ones emerge. When Iread, I’m open to learn, and open to new ideas.

Howdoes reading impact you?

Many people go to thelibrary to read. Libraries are a great place to read and determine ifthe book is valuable enough to own. Bookstores are where you canpurchase books to build your own library. Books are not justfor reading; they’re also for reference.

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

Yes, there are books Irecommend to build your library. Go to, register ifyou’re a first-time visitor, and enter the word LIBRARY in theGitBit box.