They say that ceo’s read an average of 52 -75 books a year. The average American reads 4 books a year.
If you’re like me a few years ago that number was 0. I was very interested in real estate and wanted to learn more, but hated reading. I was never someone who read in class I was the kid who used spark notes to study. I told myself that I wasn’t a reader and just didn’t have the personality for it. Then something changed. I found a subject that I was interested in. I started with a book that kept getting recommended to me over and over again to me. It was Rich Dad Poor Dad and I could not put it down, I finished it in 3 days. I then went on to Millionaire Next Door and Think and Grow Rich by: Napoleon Hill. I wanted to get to the book a week mark but as someone who works most of the day I didn’t have time. So how can I read a book a week in a timely and affordable way?
If you like reading real books with paper and cover there are a few free or low cost options I utilize.
Thrift books are my favorite distributor of books. They’re low cost used books with a wide catalgog and get delivered pretty quickly. I usually pay 3.79 a book and after three you get free shipping!
The best free resource known to man. Don’t forget about your local library. Just make sure you actually read and return the books!
Used book stores:
Another favorite resource of mine! Used book stores are great and have cheap 5$ books. They are an important resource in the community. They’re catalogs of books are generally ok for business books. If you’re having trouble finding something I’d refer back to Thrift books.
Ebooks are pdf books that you can print out, read on your computer or Kindle. I love Ebooks because you can download them the day you want them, you can bring a ton of books on your Kindle/computer, and sometimes they're FREE.
Basically just go on Amazon find a book you like and it will be available for download as an Ebook usually cheaper than hardcopy or audio.
Google Books (HAS FREE TITLES):
This is a great resource that no one knows about! The free titles I generally find are older books but they are great reads. History, the Classics like Charles Dickens, and many more.
I will elaborate on Scribd below but for now Scribd is 9.99/mo and you can get unlimited ebooks per month! Although they don't have everything I usually find every book I want on Scribd.
Audiobooks are key to hitting your reading goals. Audiobooks allow us to learn while doing other tasks. So you may think I don’t have time to read I’m too busy? Ok fair but do you have a commute to work, gym time, food preparation, laundry time, a job that allows you to have ear phones in?
Instead of putting on music maybe you could use a portion of that time to listen to a book. If you live in a city like me your commute maybe an hour or more each way. If you started listening to books during that time not only would you crush your reading goals it would make your commute more enjoyable. Now I’m not saying to maximize every minute of your life with audiobooks. When I go to the gym I listen to music because I spend other parts meeting my reading goals. When on the treadmill listening to books breaks up the monotony of running in place for thirty minutes. If you feel yourself overwhelmed from constantly listening to audiobooks turn it off for awhile and comeback. The goal is to improve not read 100 books a month.
Audible: when I started using Audible I thought it was a 15$ fee for unlimited books. It was for 1 book which is costly if you listen to a book a week that’s 60$ a month. I began looking for a service like Spotify that is a monthly fee and unlimited audiobooks. After a lot of sreaching I finally found ScribD.
ScribD: had been just what I had been looking for an totally increased my reading. I pay 9.99/mo for ScribD and get unlimited reads of their entire collection. Now they don’t have every book known to man but I’ve found they have most books I’m looking for. Usually if they don’t have a book you’re looking for they tell you when it will be available. They also have ebooks which you can read on your kindle and that is include in the price.
Library free app: When I started listening to audiobooks my library had a free app. This app was called Overdrive and works through your local library I believe it may be called Libra now. So all the books my library had access to I had access to through my app. This app was great at first however there are always caviots with free. First the catalog of audiobooks was slim and there are only a certain number of copies. So if you want to read a book someone else has it you could end up waiting months. It’s a good starter and this app also has ebooks.
Podcasts are amazing ways to get a financial education without the tuition. No they won’t tell you how to calculate the withholding on a dividend. They will tell you how to become financially free which is the point right?
So Here are some of my favorite podcasts:
Bigger Pockets Podcast:
This is a real estate podcast and my favorite. There’s over 300 episodes and all are interviews with different everyday real estate investors. From people starting out to Grant Cardone! When anyone asks me on how to get started in real estate I tell them to listen to every episode of the BP podcast.
Bigger Pockets Money Podcast:
This is the personal finance podcast of Bigger Pockets. They cover everything from saving at the grocery store to investing in HSA’s. The episodes taught me so much about things I never knew existed. If you’re looking to pay off debt or maximize your pretax savings this is the podcast for you!
Side Hustle School:
Ever had the idea of growing your income but don’t want to just get a second job. Side Hustle School is the podcast for you! The episodes are only 5-6 minutes long and will spark the entrepreneur in you. Definitely a great podcast for someone who needs ideas for extra income while working on a passion project.
How I Built This with Guy Raz:
This podcast follows the amazing journey of entrepreneurs whose brands we all know: Home Depot (my personal favorite), Kate Spade, Ben and Jerrys, Sierra Nevada Brewing... You think all of these people started with a 10 million dollar loan from friends and family? Most of them all started barely making payments to suppliers, scared but ambitious. It's amazing to hear the personal journey they went through to the titans they are today.
Progress not perfection. Don't strive to read 50 books a year. Just strive to start and maybe read 10 pages a day. One you get started you have something to build off of!
Thrift Books: https://www.thriftbooks.com
Google Books: https://books.google.com
Overdrive Library App: https://app.overdrive.com
Bigger Pockets Real Estate Podcast: www.biggerpockets.com/podcast
Bigger Pockets Money Podcast: www.biggerpockets.com/moneyshow
Side Hustle School: https://sidehustleschool.com/podcasts/
How I Built This: www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this
Matt Tallent is a Realtor with The How Group. His passions include rental property investing and helping others achieve their real estate goals.
Real Estate Investing
Buy and Hold