4 Reasons Why Powerful Men (and Women) Read


If you want to become powerful and successful, you must read. Period. There is no ifs, ands, or buts about this. By reading, a slave can become free, a criminal can stand up for his own people, and an inner-city kid can become a neurosurgeon. (Notice how they are all black, the most disadvantaged ethnicity in the US. Power is color-blind.)

Reading is the only activity that is both easy to do and can give you unlimited power. Why?

1. Reading Gives You Knowledge

Call me biased, but you should read non-fictions. Most fictions are a waste of time because they don’t teach you anything. Seriously, did you learn anything useful from reading Harry Potter or Twilight? The few fictions that may be beneficial are Atlas Shrugged, Brave New World, 1984, Animal Farm, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. (Even then, I only read the summary online to get the authors’ main messages.)

Non-fictions are essentially gold in paper format. Read these and you will acquire knowledge. Knowledge leads to power, and power leads to success. Instead of re-inventing the wheel all over again, read about other people’s experience. Learn from their successes and failures. Then build your empire upon a higher foundation of knowledge.

What do you think people do in business schools, medical schools, and law schools? They read. A lot. And from all that reading, they go out to become leaders and pillars of society. Imagine what you can do and how much wealth you can acquire if you mastered business, law, medicine, technology, politics, etc. You will be unstoppable.

Remember: Investing in yourself by acquiring knowledge will give you the highest rate of return, more than anything else. Successful people never stop reading, so neither should you.

2. Reading Saves You Time

Some people don’t like to read. They learn better by watching, listening, or doing. If that is your case, I want to encourage you to take up reading and master it. If you want to acquire knowledge (and hence, power), reading is the fastest way to do so.

Once you get really good at reading, something that will take you 1 hour to learn from video or audio will only take you 20 minutes to learn from a book.

Successful people are time efficient, so you should be too.

Currently, I am in medical school. From a financial point of view, I made a very bad decision. But the one invaluable lesson that made it somewhat worthwhile is mastering how to read. Many people describes medical school as drinking from a fire hydrant. The onslaught of information is soooooo immense that there is barely any time to catch your breath. The schedule for most guys is to study, workout, and sleep. I have learned how to review 1,000+ pages of dense medical text in a day, in preparation for my licensing exam. Imagine how long that would take if I had to learn everything through video.

3. Reading Saves You Money

Reading is simple. You don’t need a TV, a computer, a radio, an iPod, or any other expensive gadget. All you need is paper and ink. You don’t have any? Well, get your butt off the chair, go to your public library, and borrow a good non-fiction book. And the good part is … You can do this all for free!

My Alma mater was books, a good library… I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity. – Malcolm X

If you have a computer and an internet connection, the world of knowledge opens up to new dimensions. Warren Buffett said that he would rather give up his private jet than give up internet access. Personally, if I had to choose, I too would give up the private jet. Heck, I would give up my right nut if I had to. (Hopefully, I would never have to make such a painful decision.)

There has never been a moment in history where knowledge is this accessible. There really is no excuse if you do not take advantage of it.

4. Reading Expands Your Mind Further Than Anything Else

If you need only one reason to read over any other form of learning, this is it. By reading, you will have access to secret knowledge, and hence, secret power — giving you an advantage over everyone else.

The layperson person does not know how to record a video or an audio. But he does know how to write. The great men in history did not produce videos or audios, they wrote books and essays. Therefore, a greater amount of knowledge is recorded in the written format over any other format. Think of all the precious gems that are hidden in paper and ink, waiting for you to mine them. If you are determined enough, you can learn things that few people will ever know in their lifetime. For example, this site.

In a later post, I want to introduce you to a few books that few people will ever read. I guarantee that after reading my recommended books, you will be forever changed and forever more powerful.

Stay lean and hungry for knowledge, my friend.

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  1. I spend my days reading about things and important people who have changed the world. I began my reading out of curiosity and so i was lucky enough to have parents who say the importance of books enough for them to buy us an encyclopedia. I devoured those books reading about current events, cultures and countries etc. I have read biographies of people who made either positive changes or negative changes in the world. The more i read the more my mind expanded enough to understand how the world works i did this at a very young age.

    And when the internet came around and i found even more information i was hooked! Reading great blogs like this one and learning about things that not many people now about. Knowledge is power which is why those with power try to prevent those below them to be enlightened as well.

    great post Alex and keep reading brother!

    • Alex Ding says:

      True that. The more I read, the more my mind expands too.

      You know, it was the internet that showed me all the manosphere blogs. I can’t say I agreed with everything but there is one thing it taught me about power …

      I’ll share about that later on.

  2. Never stop learning! I am a voracious reader. Most of the times I have to sift through a mountain of garbage to find a gem, but it’s worth it.
    By the way, I will read ANYTHING. Blogs, newspapers, the back of a shampoo bottle, manuals, textbooks, encyclopedias, etc. And the more knowledge I acquire, the more I realize just how ignorant I am of everything; it’s disheartening, but I press on.
    One thing is for sure when it comes to having a little bit of knowledge of every subject, I have been able to connect the dots, little by little, of how the real world works. Good stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That’s awesome, Bob.

      For me, I try to learn a bit about everything. And the more I learn, the more I see how everything is connected. It seems like you’re a student of life too. So keep up the reading, take action, and succeed!

  3. I agree with you, Alex.

    Reading is a way faster method to learn stuff and it’s also a medium that made knowledge from the past until today available.

    Although, I believe that people can benefit more from books if more authors learn to write concisely. I read so many reviews and people tend to complain about lengths rather than the content. There are some lengthy book due to the amount of great contents but other books usually are full of fluff that is intended to make the book feel bulky and ‘meaty’.

    Thanks for the post, Alex.

    • Alex Ding says:

      Hey Wan,

      Good books are really rare. For every book I recommend, there are 4 that I would not recommend.

      I think book lengths are set by publishers. Smart people value concise books because it will save them time. But most people are not smart. When they buy a book, they want to make sure they are getting their money’s worth. So someone is more likely to pay $25 for a 300-page book than for a 30-page book.


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