Why Reading is the Closest Thing to Time Travel


We all know we should read. We all instinctively know that reading is somehow good for us. We know that reading provides us with knowledge and that the pen and book are absolutely fundamental to our growth and development.

Despite this general consensus within society, and even among the most avid Tom Bilyeu and Ryan Holiday fans, I would be a wealthy man indeed if I charged a dollar (or a pound, or a euro) every time I heard the phrase “But I don’t have time to read” or “if I had time to read” or “when I retire/go on holiday I will read but I can’t right now, I don’t have time.”

The problem with these types of responses is that not only are they terrible excuses, but they are also among the greatest lies that remain on our lips, ones we re-tell again and again without ever breaking a sweat. Simply put, not having time to read is a sure fire way to remain unproductive, unfulfilled and unhappy.

Perhaps, you- my dearest QUAKE Books Agents- think I am exaggerating. But I can assure you that I am not. I will let you in on a little known secret, one that will change your life, the way your view your personally-held beliefs, your family and your job.


Reading is a time machine

It really is. It takes you back in time, to another place different to your own, compresses your timeline and gives you it back further down the line. Dr Who isn’t the only with the Tardis… and everyone wants to be a Time Lord (or own a delorean) right?

Before you switch internet tabs or google something else, think about it. What must be learned and experienced in a lifetime of say 60 years, or more, can be written down in a year or two and read in a week. If you really want what you read to be integrated into your mindset and day-to-day activities, most of the effort will take between 30 days and six months. The jury is still out on the exact number of months needed but even with the most conservative of estimates that is still a saving of 59 years.

How productive is that? And that is just one book. Imagine the possibilities if you read one book a month…

Told you, reading is a time machine.


Communicating more precisely

Continuously spending time with a book will help you communicate more precisely with your spouse, children, parents and colleagues. By expanding your vocabulary, you can express meanings that will help you become more effective at home and at work. Deep reading will help you exercise discipline over distractions that fritter away your attention. It will enable you to process your thoughts and actions better, given that neurons that fire together, wire together. It will make you more productive and more successful. If you don’t believe me just ask Richard Branson or Bill Gates.


Getting the answers you need

Reading helps you scratch your own itch. Instead of asking the same questions over and over and getting the same answers from the same people, you can grab a book (physical, e-book or even audio) written by someone who has trodden the path before you, who has experienced what you are going through and come out of the other side…


Save time, make more

Reading the right book represents massive gains in time-saving and productivity, not to mention ease. Life is not meant to be hard, so why make it harder on yourself when it could be so simple. Why go through the brambles if someone has cut a path? In addition, the ability to build on the foundations laid by someone else can provide a sense of vigour, purpose and vision.


So now you know why you should you read but what should you read? Well here at QUAKE Books HQ we make that choice easier with book reviews in our various categories, ranging from biographies, to blogs and social networks and onto neuroscience! Don’t forget you can always ask me via email or Twitter, if you are looking for something specific! So join up to our Agent Brief newsletter as the first step into my time machine, there is more around the corner but you will just have to wait!


Photos by Petr Kratochvil and Thomas Hawk. Edition by lugacapa.

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  1. Dawn Branigan on July 28, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    A good case made for subscribing to quake books…. as you know I love reading and as busy as I am I still find time to read. Knowledge is indeed power and it certainly helps to scratch that itch.

    Think it a little harsh to suggest that those saying they don’t have time are lying. Actually they don’t have time because they have chosen to have other priorities. They might also be very productive, fulfilled and happy pursuing these priorities.

    Furthermore I know some people don’t enjoy reading, prefer to access other mediums for their knowledge. We can’t all have our noses in a book!!!

    The challenge for quake books is to identify those people who love to read but are looking for a shortcut to help them select their next read 🙂

    • Kai Whiting on July 28, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Thank you Dawn for your comment. I certainly agree that our main challenge at QUAKE Books is to help avid readers select their next read. I do however think that we need to show people why reading is important. People who don’t enjoy reading normally tell me that the reason they don’t read is because they don’t like it. Many of them listen to podcasts or do actually read things that relate directly to their job. I have no problem with that. I have an issue with the excuse of not having time to read, when in reality it is not a question of time but, as you rightly say, priorities. These people are in a different category to the others we just mentioned.

      You are certainly right to say that the term “lies” comes across as harsh. It is however true and the truth hurts. In many cases, the people using time as an excuse may not realise they are lying, but they are in fact lying albeit to themselves. This is not helpful and in reality they are often using the excuse to remove or avoid the feeling of guilt. My piece explains why what they say is a lie and gives them an alternative; in both cases to stop saying “I don’t have time” because either they recognise reading as a time saving investment, or because they come out with the truth, that reading is not important to them or not a priority. The latter reason is a fine answer, it removes guilt and gives them the ability to move forward with their decision…

      As for productivity, fulfillment and happiness, I won’t say that a person who never reads is automatically less happier, productive or unfulfilled but they certainly struggle to grow and sooner or later depend on others to make them happy etc

  2. Ravi on July 29, 2016 at 1:10 am

    Kai is right on the money with in arguing for reading’s ability to increase an individual’s subjective time. His comments on being able to save many years by reading a book resonated strongly with me, as I’ve experienced this firsthand by reading various non-fiction works of some of the people who I find the most inspirational. Learning about their trials, tribulations, epiphanies, and lessons has helped me to craft a mental framework that uses these tidbits of wisdom on a daily basis, saving me eons on time that I may have otherwise spent in discovering these truths myself.

    • Agent Kai on July 29, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Thanks Ravi. It is nice to know others feel the same way!

  3. Muhammad on July 31, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Indeed books are the best reservoirs of history with all the complexities that men experience . Reading is the best instrument for going through the history , as far as one cares and is able . Those who read , reflect and act out are bound to be the best and in the lead of unfolding infinite history .
    Thanks to Kai who has offered a medium for pooling the books that quake , to save time against just reading – for there are more books that do not educate .

    • Agent Kai on August 1, 2016 at 11:33 am

      Thanks Muhammad for your comments. I could not agree more! Do let me know what you read. If you are interested you can also offer to review your QUAKE Book. Just drop me an email and we can go through the details.

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