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If you’re like the average American, then you only read four books a year. If you’re someone not so average, such as Bill Gates, you’re reading 50 or more.

You’ve probably heard about the eccentric habits of exceptional entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, but not many people talk about how they manage to find the time to fit in their hobbies.

The fact is, we all read everyday: From texts and emails to social media posts and articles, we consume a lot of material. The problem is we don’t monitor closely enough what and how much we read. Yes, we may be feeding our mind knowledge around the clock, but we aren’t being selective about the contents.

That means many of us are missing out on the slew of benefits that come along with reading business books. For instance, not only does reading keep your mind sharp — it also allows you to decompress. In addition to the educational values associated with reading, it also can reduce stress by up to 68%.

The problem, then, is not that we don’t have the time to read, we just aren’t selective enough as to how we use our time and what we choose to read.

In all likelihood, your schedule probably won’t let up anytime soon, which is why it’s up to you find the time to read. You can do this by taking advantage of the gaps throughout your day. If you commute by train, put away your phone and read a book, or if your job demands too much attention throughout the day, wake up early to fit in the time.

However, most of us probably have a traditional work schedule between nine and five o’clock. In that case, there’s no reason you can’t fit in reading during your lunch break. So, what exactly should you read?

The smartest and richest people in the world aren’t reading fiction — they’re reading books that are relevant to self-improvement or their industry.

Specifically, business books that delve into topics like how to fund a startup, or how to challenge yourself to be more creative. Still, it doesn’t help that there are literally thousands of books published every month.

So, what exactly should you read on your lunch break?

To make the decision a little less overwhelming, Fundera compiled the top 18 business books that have helped the world’s most successful individuals advance their careers and business:

  1. The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice (Todd Henry)
  2. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (Peter Thiel)
  3. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (Chip Heath & Dan Heath)
  4. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses  (Eric Ries)
  5. The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win (Jeff Haden)
  6. Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big (Bo Burlingham)
  7. Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)  (Chade- Meng Tan)
  8. Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know (Mark Jeffery)
  9. Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine (Peter Thiel)
  10. Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)
  11. Keys to the Vault: Lessons From the Pros on Raising Money and Igniting Your Business (Keith J. Cunningham)
  12. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant  (W. Chan Kim)
Written By
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera . Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.

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