The stories of famous inventors, innovators, writers, entrepreneurs or any other creative may appear to be a glamorous overnight success. What is not obvious are the countless hours that were dedicated to their craft and how many years their efforts were met with rejection and failure. In Silicon Valley, this success fallacy has been coined the “ten-year overnight success,” because although it appears to be a fast ascension to the top this is rarely ever the case.

Reading the experiences and actions of the rare success story can inspire and educate, while at the same time humble and ground you back to reality. These books will almost always have stories of the difficult times and failures along the journey to the top. If you struggle to find time and motivation to start a business or master your current role, books on productivity will surely become a valuable addition to your mental library.

Becoming a better leader and manager is critical if you intend to grow within your career, company, or industry. The wisdom found between the pages of these 50 books have influenced millions of people on their path in business.

In this article, you will see how long it takes to read 50 business books that are highly rated and widely recommended.

50 popular business books and how long it takes to read

Since the average reading retention rate is only 10 percent, you may find it necessary to read some of these books multiple times to fully grasp the knowledge being shared. Another great way to retain knowledge from books is to actively participate in note taking, summarizing, and even teaching what you learn. If you can describe a subject and teach it to someone we tend to have a stronger comprehension afterward.

Reading has been found to increase our “fluid intelligence” which is the ability to solve problems and detect meaningful patterns—two essential skills in business. Much like a self-fulfilling prophecy, it has been proposed that the increased fluid intelligence from reading actually increases retention rate. If you can set aside two weeks of pure reading time, you should be able to get through all of these books (though it is not recommended).