ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Most Important and Powerful Path to Success: Reading

Updated on January 8, 2010

Open the book, open your life!

Become the best example to your kids. Read, read, read.
Become the best example to your kids. Read, read, read.

You Can Open New Worlds!

It's easy to write opinions, but sometimes, statistics can be fun, too. So, fiirst, let us be clear. As Mark Twain said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." Learn from them, but don't take them too seriously. OK? On with it…

Humans like to think that they know something. And we do, actually. Nearly everything we know of any consequence, though, we have learned or discovered within the past 500 years or so. In fact, most of what we know, scientifically and technologically at any rate, we have learned within the last 120 years. We went from horse and buggy to the moonwalk in less than 70 years. We went from the first computer in the 1920s to the Internet. We watched Filo Farnsworth's blurry little TV picture (an idea he purportedly stole from someone else), also in the 1920s, and now we have flat screens and DVD/DVR/Blue Ray technology that surpasses anything Filo could have imagined. (Side note: At a recent electronics convention in Las Vegas, a new TV was introduced. It has the depth of one American quarter!)

Still, our collected knowledge is limited. And we know we know almost nothing. But we continue to reach. We must always continue to reach. It is our saving grace. Reading is the key.

Not a big reader? You're not alone. Check out these stats from the American Booksellers Association:

1. Eighty percent of Americans will not buy or read a book this year. (Still, book sales are at an all time high. Interesting. . .)

2. Seventy percent of adults have not been in a bookstore in the past five years.

3. Fifty-eight percent of adults never read a book after high school.

4. Forty-two percent of university graduates never read another book. (They know it all, right?)

5. Fourteen percent of adults go to bookstores and walk out with a book; only 10 percent of that number read past the first chapter.

6. Forty-four percent of adults read below 7th grade level.

7. Fifty percent of high school grads cannot read their own diplomas or fill out a simple employment application.

If you have trouble with your reading skills, consider this: the most impoverished nations on earth are those whose populations have the lowest to no reading skills. The more a nation reads, the better it positions itself in the world. And what goes for a nation goes for its individuals as well.

Nations that do not emphasize reading skills do not produce nearly as many successful citizens as the reading nations do. There are far more millionaires in the US than in India or China. But that can and will change if our reading levels do not continue to increase.

If you or someone you know struggles with reading skills, or reading desire, make a conscious choice to improve. Check with your local library. They can put you in touch with reading programs to suit your level. And don’t forget to emphasize the importance of reading to your kids.

Reading is the door to everything. It opens up worlds that cannot exist in any other way. "You are the same today as you'll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet." Charlie 'Tremendous' Jones (National Speakers' Hall of Fame)

Finally, here’s a little stat you might enjoy. See where you fit:

What Are You Most Afraid Of? (Peoples' Almanac Book of Lists)

Speaking before a group: 41% Heights: 32% Insects and bugs: 22% Financial problems: 22% Deep water: 22% Sickness: 19% Death: 19% Flying: 19%

(This survey involved 3000 Americans. There was no prompting. When the group was given a list of possible choices, more than 90% chose speaking before a group first.)

Read more; be more. It’s more than a good idea; it’s a necessity.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)