Charlie Munger’s Reading Strategy Changed My Approach to Books

Jake Wilder
4 min readSep 5, 2022

Start Many, Finish a Few

Photo: iStock

Someone told me the other day, with a certain amount of pride, that he doesn’t read. He knows how, but he doesn’t. If it’s not required for his job, he has no interest in reading it.

Which is a shame. When Warren Buffet was asked about the keys to his success, he pointed to a pile of books and said, “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.”

Or, as Jim Rohn put it, “Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”

It’s such a simple idea. But it’s amazing how few people take advantage of it.

Years ago, I was in this same boat. I didn’t read much. I followed a couple authors but would rarely branch out into new areas.

Reading was a chore. It wasn’t fun. It was one more thing that I needed to do at the end of a busy day.

And then I heard some advice from Charlie Munger. He said, “Most books I don’t read past the first chapter. I’m not burdened by bad books.” It stuck with me. It changed how I started reading.

Most of us picked up the habit, likely in school, that we need to finish every book we…



Jake Wilder

I don’t know where I’m going. But at least I know how to get there.