“The only thing worse than not reading a book in the last ninety days is not reading a book in the last ninety days and thinking that it doesn’t matter” —Jim Rohn To be successful in real estate investing, you have to take the right actions. A wrong turn could put you back years and cost you a lot of money. There are two ways of learning what works and what doesn’t. You can learn from some one else’s mistakes, or you can make them yourself. If you want to do anything great, chances are someone has already done it. They’ve also made a lot of the same mistakes you’re likely to make. There’s this funny thing about successful people. They love talking about how they did it: writing books, blogging and giving speeches. Think about this for a minute. If you read a book of distilled lessons from an investor with 30 years’ experience, have you not gained 30 years of knowledge? How long would it take you to gain that knowledge yourself? Related: Income Inequality: Are the Wealthy Superior People or is the System Unfair? “If you listen to instructional CDs as you drive each year, it would be the equivalent of two semesters of an advanced degree in college.” —Brian Tracy What would happen if you read two investing or business books a month starting now? In a year you would have read 24 books. If each book distilled just 10 years of the author’s investing experience, you would now have 240 years’ of knowledge. In just four years, you would have gained over 1,000 years. How much time and money do you think that will save you? A book costs $15. BiggerPockets is free. What is the cost of making a real estate mistake? “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” — Warren Buffett Let’s Look at a Few Statistics 88% of the wealthy read thirty minutes or more each day vs. 2% of the poor. 63% of the wealthy listened to audio books during their commute to work vs. 5% for the poor. 85% of the wealthy read two or more self-improvement books every month vs. 15% for the poor. *Where “wealthy” = $160,000 or more annual income and greater than $3.2 million in net worth and “poor” = $35,000 or less in annual income and $5,000 or less net worth. How to Find Time to Read More (& Make It Count) Bathroom Reading I always have a short chaptered book in the bathroom. The One Thing, The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff are my favorites. You can read and re-read these books. Car Reading Audible has a huge selection of affordable business audiobooks available. Most books are 8-15 hours long and easily finished during your work commute. Making Time Before Work Most people learn better if they read in the morning. I like to start my mornings reading something educational. If I read in the morning, I can spend the rest of the day reflecting on and trying to implement what I learned. Related: A Case Against Frugality: Why Pinching Pennies is NOT the Best Path to Wealth Conclusion “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” —Jim Rohn Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Every day you choose what you do and you choose what you don’t do. The more you learn from other people, the more successful you’ll be. Warren Buffett, one of the richest people to ever live, spends about 80% of his work day reading. He started this habit when he started investing. Book Recommendations by BiggerPockets Authors: The Top 12 Business and Real Estate Books as Recommended By BiggerPockets Podcast Guests BiggerPockets Presents : The Best Real Estate Books Ever 7 Top Business Books to Help You Put Vital Systems in Place Five Business Books That Changed My Real Estate Investing Life [Editor’s Note: We are republishing this article to help out members newer to BiggerPockets.] What are the top 5 books that YOU would recommend as must-reads? What’s on your reading list? Let’s help each other out with suggestions in the comments section!