Meet Emerson Spartz: the 27-year-old man giving a whole new meaning to the term "bookworm."
I read about Spartz for the first time the other day in this Chicago Tribune article, but have unknowingly been connected to him for quite some time.
When Spartz was 12, he built the world's most popular Harry Potter fan site, MuggleNet.com, a site this blogger may or may not have visited a time or two in her earlier years.
Spartz was able to launch the website after convincing his parents to let him drop out of middle school to develop his own homeschool curriculum, which included reading four short biographies on successful people a day.
That's right, folks – four biographies daily. At age 12!
While in college at the University of Notre Dame, Spartz again decided to forge his own learning path. Instead of getting ahead in the classroom, he decided to do the bare minimum and forgo the syllabi for his quest to read one nonfiction book a day.
Nowadays Spartz is (unsurprisingly) extremely successful. He is the CEO of Spartz Media, a multimillion-dollar viral media business that promotes "turning virality into a science."
'"Wherever your eyes are, you move the pen, line by line by line," he recommended. "It prevents regressions. It prevents your eyes from going back and rereading the same thing over and over again. It forces you to move forward."'
But Spartz acknowledges that the speed of his reading changes based on the type of book. When it comes to nonfiction, he relies on subheads and skimming, but with fiction books, he reads at a normal pace to follow the story like its author intended.
The media mogul also makes new employees read 20 books in 30 days to see how much information they can retain. Sure, this sounds tough, but it also sounds like a great work assignment! Am I right?
I'm not saying everyone should be reading four biographies a day (let alone 1,000 words per minute), but there's no denying that the foundation of this young man's success seems to be rooted in reading, like so many other successful men and women in this world.