If you want to be a better entrepreneur, pick up a book!

When Elon Musk was recently asked how he learned to build rockets, his answer was simple: “I read books.”

Books are an infinite source of ideas and, for creative minds, one idea can easily lead to another. So many entrepreneurs, ranging from Mark Zuckerberg to Mark Cuban, have extolled the importance of reading in their lives.

In fact, Zuckerberg really hit the nail on the head when he said that books are necessary in this day and age in which the average person spends literally hours staring at a screen. Quick, easy, and short is the typical requirement for reading material these days. Books defy this trend and invite you to immerse yourself deeply in a subject or story. And when the book is great, the process becomes effortless.

Reading boosts memory

Entrepreneurs have many facts and figures to keep in mind, so keeping their memory sharp is vital if they are to quickly reference data in meetings and calls.

Many studies have shown that there is a link between reading and memory improvement, but one really stands out. It is a 2017 University of Waterloo study that found that reading information aloud hones your memory.

So, if you have an important investment or board meeting coming up and a presentation is in order, read your material out loud to yourself, so you don’t have to keep reading from your notes.

Reading enhances creativity

Entrepreneurs are known for their unique vision, creativity, and ideas. There is a strong link between reading and creativity. Researchers from the National Taichung University of Education, for instance, found that people who spend more time reading and writing perform better on creativity tests than those who spend less time on these activities.

Of course, some writers are particularly brilliant when it comes to honing the imagination. They include Tolkien and George R.R. Martin. You don’t have to read about fire-breathing dragons or violent battles to hone your creativity.

Even authors who write biographies and everyday life stories (such as Joyce Carol Oates) reveal the extent to which words can be used to reimagine the simplest life experiences and occurrences. Some of Joyce Carol Oates’ popular books include Blonde, which takes the real-life story of Marilyn Monroe and turns it on its head thank to imaginative interpretation.

Reading improves public speaking skills

Any entrepreneur worth their salt has to face an audience various times in their career, and reading can help you improve your oratory skills. This hobby helps boost your awareness of sounds, spelling structures, and grammatical structures, which you need in spoken as well as written communication

Possessing a wide vocabulary (which reading affords) also helps you understand and answer questions with aplomb. It enables you to impress your audience with your ability to articulate your thoughts precisely.

If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, one of the most important habits you can embrace is that of reading. Studies have shown that reading helps boost memory. It also increases creativity and public speaking skills.

Entrepreneurs need to be great communicators – not only to sell their products and services, but also to inspire others with their vision and motivate their employees to achieve great things.